Here are the winners and losers from the recently completed NASCAR weekend at Daytona International Speedway:
The consistency hasn't necessarily been there for Tony Stewart in 2012. Then again, when you have three wins and are solidly in the Chase – not to mention, the No. 1 seed – I guess you can wait to try and figure out that whole running well week-to-week thing.
In an unusual occurrence, Brad Keselowski got wrecked while sitting in his pit stall as Ryan Newman went sliding into the back of his Dodge. The damage was significant enough that NASCAR was on the verge of black-flagging him for dragging part of his right-rear fender on the track.
Luckily, a caution came out and Keselowski was given a reprieve as his crew went to work during the yellow to make repairs. And despite having a bruised and battered machine, Keselowski was able to fight back and finish eighth – just the second time this season the Penske driver has finished in the top 10 in consecutive weeks.
There wasn't a lot of action to speak of for the first 100 or so laps and the drivers may not have been able to pass – and had no issue expressing their frustration afterwards. Regardless, the television ratings for the Coke Zero 400 were huge, with over 6 million people tuning in. For a sport which has seen its ratings dip or level off this season, and will soon be renegotiating its television contracts, to say that's huge would be an understatement.
We don't yet have all the details on AJ Allmendinger's suspension, but what we do know is this will be a black eye for Penske Racing. The organization values its reputation as much – if not more – than any other team. And after parting ways with Kurt Busch, they were hoping to get some stability, along with peace and quiet.
Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle
For 159 of the 160 laps Saturday, the Roush Fenway duo of Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle appeared unstoppable. The pair easily had the two best cars and on the night led a combined 124 circuits around the 2.5-mile oval. However, the final lap was their downfall as Tony Stewart broke up the Roush party and sped to the win. Adding salt to the wound, Biffle triggered a multi-car wreck on the final corner and left Daytona with a crumpled Ford in 21st place.
Restrictor-plate races have not been kind to Jimmie Johnson this season. In three starts, the driver of the No. 48 machine has yet to finish a race. He crashed out of both Daytona events and had engine expire at Talladega. And Saturday's race marked the fourth time in his last six Daytona starts that Johnson has recorded a DNF and was the sixth straight race he finished outside the top 20.