Coke Zero 400 Preview

Photo- Getty Images
Photo- Getty Images

Daytona’s high banks are legendary. History is worn into them along with memories that will last a lifetime. Twice a year when NASCAR rolls in, skid marks are added to recognize the wildness that occurred in the race. More of the crazy Daytona racing that fans adore is returning on Saturday Night. The July race is always special and year after year, the excitement is still there. Could more history be engraved this weekend? Anything could happen so you never know. It’ll be fast, wild, and hot, because it’s Daytona.

The Coke Zero 400 is set to go green on Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 7:49 PM EST. There’ll be 160 hold-your-breath laps that make up all 400 miles. As of now, the forecast calls for some isolated thunder storms during race time, but Florida’s weather can be as wild as the cars on the track sometimes. You can watch the television broadcast of the race on TNT or listen to the radio version on MRN.

When the Cup Series was on the track last July, then Roush-Fenway teammates Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle dominated the race, but they were unable to seal the deal. The field started to stack-up as they zoomed through turn 4 and Biffle and Kenseth lost all momentum, forcing them to back-up which put Biffle in the center of the wreck. Tony Stewart managed to win the race with no drafting partner for much of the final lap. This race is one of Stewart’s best and he has won it on numerous occasions. He’s the safe pick for the weekend, but really, this race could go to anyone as Talladega demonstrated.

No one would have thought to consider David Ragan in the May Talladega race before he won. That race reiterated the fact that anyone can win at the restrictor plate tracks. With the Gen 6 car, that fact is ever so true once again. It doesn’t matter if you start last, are mid-pack on the final restart, or don’t have the best car, if you find drafting help, you have a shot at the win. Expecting the unexpected is the key for this weekend since anything could occur over 400 miles of racing.

A late spin in last weekend’s Kentucky race could have cost Jimmie Johnson a lot of ground in the standings. However, he recovered nicely to maintain a 38 point advantage over Carl Edwards. Daytona is one track where the standings always take a shake-up following the race, but only a big mistake by Johnson would jeopardize his lead. Besides being a point’s nightmare track, it can be a great one for gaining a win for the wild card hunt. The ten drivers currently eligible for the wild card are hoping to grab an easier race that will put them in a decent position to possibly take home one of the wild card spots.

In February, NASCAR rolled into Daytona for the Gen 6 car’s debut, this time around; the car has seen half a season and the action will likely pick-up. A single file parade was seen in the 500, but with the experience they now have with the car, don’t be surprised to see a pack roaring around the track. Pack racing is unpredictable and it will be anyone’s game on Saturday Night. There’s nothing better than Daytona racing on the Fourth of July weekend, so pull those belts tight, because we may see quite a fireworks show when the cars hit the track.

Next Race– Camping World RV Sales 301 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH

By Jason Schultz

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