Open Race Thread: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola | Daytona International Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 06: Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Zest Ford, poses in Victory Lane after qualifying for the pole position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Update No. 3: Penske response: "NASCAR notified Penske Racing this afternoon that AJ Allmendinger was administered a drug test earlier this week, and those results tested positive. NASCAR has a strict drug testing program that Penske Racing fully supports. Penske Racing will work with NASCAR through this process and its next steps. Sam Hornish Jr., will drive the No. 22 car in tonight's Coke Zero 400."

Update No. 2: "Driver A.J. Allmendinger has been temporarily suspended from NASCAR competition based upon notification of a positive “A” test NASCAR received from the Medical Review Officer as stated in Section 19-11B (6,7) of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy. Pursuant to the rule book, Allmendinger has the oppurtunity to request within the next 72 hours that his “B” sample be tested.”

UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger has been replaced with Sam Hornish Jr. Suspected failed drug test. More in a few moments.

I love the Firecracker 400 ... um ... the Pepsi 400 ... no, make that the Daytona 400 ... no wait, THE COKE ZERO 400 POWERED BY COCA-COLA! Ha, got it!

All kidding aside, I just love this race regardless of who the sponsor is although I still wish they called it The Firecracker 400. They could call it The Firecracker 400 powered by Coke Zero, a product of Coca-Cola engineering ... or something like that anyway.

So who do you think is going to win tonight? Yep, I agree with you. I think that is a good choice.

The reason I agree with you is because this race, like all restrictor plate races, is a crap shoot - anyone can win. I mean look at what happened last night in the Nationwide race, Kurt Busch won in an unsponsored, underfunded, half-wrecked car.

And to add to the drama, Kevin Harvick may have to leave because his expectant wife, Delana, has returned home to N.C. for 'precautionary reasons'. Austin Dillon was originally selected to be Kevin's back-up driver, but NASCAR didn't approve because he is still classed as a Rookie. Kenny Wallace is now Kevin's back-up driver.

Wouldn't it be cool if Harv won and then flew home just in time to welcome his new baby into the world? I'd like that.

Starting line-up after the jump. See you in the comments.

POS CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Zest 192.386 46.781 Leader
2 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Aspen Dental 192.353 46.789 -0.008
3 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet HendrickCars.com 192.291 46.804 -0.023
4 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 192.139 46.841 -0.060
5 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Pepsi Max 192.061 46.860 -0.079
6 50 Bill Elliott Chevrolet Walmart 192.012 46.872 -0.091
7 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 191.934 46.891 -0.110
8 22 AJ Allmendinger Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 191.894 46.901 -0.120
9 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 191.857 46.910 -0.129
10 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford DEWALT 191.824 46.918 -0.137
11 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser Folds of Honor 191.799 46.924 -0.143
12 99 Carl Edwards Ford Subway 191.710 46.946 -0.165
13 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Quaker State / Menards 191.681 46.953 -0.172
14 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 191.579 46.978 -0.197
15 21 Trevor Bayne Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 191.497 46.998 -0.217
16 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 191.477 47.003 -0.222
17 43 Aric Almirola Ford U.S. Air Force 191.270 47.054 -0.273
18 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Batteries 191.245 47.060 -0.279
19 20 Joey Logano Toyota Dollar General 191.229 47.064 -0.283
20 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Wheaties 191.095 47.097 -0.316
21 98 Mike Bliss Ford Phil Parsons Racing 190.986 47.124 -0.343
22 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Interstate Batteries 190.945 47.134 -0.353
23 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Office 190.921 47.140 -0.359
24 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard 'An American Salute' / Diet Mountain Dew 190.848 47.158 -0.377
25 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / Farm American 190.718 47.190 -0.409
26 30 David Stremme Toyota Stock Car Steel and Aluminum 190.666 47.203 -0.422
27 34 David Ragan Ford MHP / 8 Hour Alert 190.617 47.215 -0.434
28 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 190.597 47.220 -0.439
29 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 190.557 47.230 -0.449
30 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / NRA Museum 190.553 47.231 -0.450
31 26 Josh Wise* Ford MDS Transport 190.174 47.325 -0.544
32 38 David Gilliland Ford Glory Foods 190.134 47.335 -0.554
33 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Golden Corral 190.118 47.339 -0.558
34 32 Terry Labonte Ford C&J Energy 190.046 47.357 -0.576
35 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services 189.994 47.370 -0.589
36 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves 189.673 47.450 -0.669
37 33 Stephen Leicht* Chevrolet Little Joes
Autos.com
188.719 47.690 -0.909
38 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 188.683 47.699 -0.918
39 10 David Reutimann Chevrolet CarportEmpire
.com / TMone.com Call Centers in America
188.549 47.733 -0.952
40 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King 187.939 47.888 -1.107
41 47 Bobby Labonte+ Toyota Kingsford 186.505 48.256 -1.475
42 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 - - -
43 249 J.J. Yeley Toyota Jay Robinson Inc. 187.021 48.123 -1.342
Did Not Qualify
44 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Toyota North Texas Pipe 186.834 48.171 -1.390
+ Set by Owner Points
* Denotes Rookie
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