One of NASCAR’s most anticipated events, the Coke Zero 400 is all set to hit Daytona tracks on 2nd July. This will be the second race at the track for the Cup Series this season. The race can be seen live on DSPORT on Sunday at 04:30 am IST.
Sunday’s Coke Zero 400 at the World Center of Racing will be the final race of four-time Daytona winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt Jr. will take his last ride as a full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver at the 2.5-mile track. Known as a restrictor-plate king like his father, Junior’s best chance to end a 35-race winless drought could be under the lights at Daytona.
Stage lengths for NASCAR at Daytona
The Coke Zero 400, which is 160 laps and 400 miles, will be broken into three segments: Stage 1 ends on Lap 40, Stage 2 ends on Lap 80 and the final stage ends on Lap 160.
Sunday’s Xfinity Series race will be broken into three stages: Lap 30, Lap 60 and Lap 100.
Top 5 contenders for Coke Zero 400
Brad Keselowski- He will attempt to defend his 2016 win on Saturday. A skilled restrictor-plate racer, Keselowski has four wins at Talladega to go along with his one at Daytona. In 16 starts at the 2.5-mile Florida track, the No. 2 Ford driver also owns three top fives and four top 10s.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.- He needs a win to secure a playoff spot in his final season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. NASCAR has a history of creating storybook endings. Jeff Gordon won at Richmond to secure his spot in the Chase in 2015 and Tony Stewart won at Sonoma to secure his spot in the Chase last year. Earnhardt has been the best driver at Daytona in his career and the race Saturday night gives him the best chance of getting to Victory Lane before the playoffs begin. If Earnhardt does win at Daytona, it may be the biggest party in NASCAR history.
Chase Elliot– He is still winless in his young career but he has shown flashes of success at high-speed tracks. Earlier this season, Elliott won a Daytona Duel and has three poles in six races at Daytona and Talladega.
Denny Hamlin– He has become one of the best restrictor-plate racer in the sport. He won the Daytona 500 last year and he has finished five of the last seven races at the track in the top six. Hamlin needs a win to secure his spot in the playoffs. After a slow start to the season, Hamlin has been on a hot streak. He followed up his fourth-place finish at Michigan with a fourth-place finish at Sonoma. Hamlin will be up front at Daytona.
Kevin Harvick- He is often referred to as “The Closer” at Daytona because he likes to ride in the back of the pack before making his way to the front in the final laps of the race. Harvick had the sixth-best average running position in the Daytona 500 and he led 50 of the 200 laps. Harvick will have momentum after winning his trip to Victory Lane last week at Sonoma. Harvick has two restrictor-plate wins on his resume and it would not surprise us if he added another on Saturday night.