DAYTONA BEACH FLA. – It was rain delayed, rain shortened event, and as it turned out left a lot of mangled sheet metal strewn about the garage area at Daytona International Speedway. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 took the green flag Sunday morning after being postponed the night prior thanks to persistent rain showers that have plagued the event since NASCAR team’s arrived on Thursday.
Sunday dawned bright, sunny and with few clouds. Amazingly however just prior to the 11:00 a.m. start a lone rain shower popped up near the speedway. NASCAR was able to only get in 7 laps before the shower skirted the track; the caution period turned into a 25:43 red flag period until the rains stopped and the track could be dried. The field was eventually sent back out. On lap 20 however the day turned to disaster for many teams.
As the field came to the line for lap 20 and a scheduled NASCAR competition caution, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. bobbled; Jeff Gordon reacted behind Tony Stewart exiting turn 4. Stewart was turned down into the field and chaos ensued along the frontstretch. A total of 16 cars were involved including favorites in addition to Gordon and Stewart. Also getting damage was Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and 9 others.
Stenhouse said later he wasn’t sure what set the melee off.MORE>>>