NASCAR Daytona Results 2012: Tony Stewart Wins Coke Zero 400

Tony Stewart had an answer for the dominant pair of Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle.

In winning Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Stewart side-drafted and separated Kenseth and Biffle, who had surged into the lead during a two-lap run to the finish, then pulled away for his fourth win in the last eight July races at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

As Stewart approached the checkered flag for his third win of the season and the 47th of his career, a massive wreck in Turn 4 skewed the finishing order behind him.

Jeff Burton came home second and series leader Kenseth third (after leading a race-high 89 laps), with Joey Logano and Ryan Newman completing the top five.

Denny Hamlin, suffering from a sore back that kept him out of practice for the event, made an ill-fated move exiting the tri-oval on Lap 153 of 160, triggering a multicar wreck that thinned the field for the final restart. All three Joe Gibbs Racing cars -- those of Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano -- were involved, as were the Michael Waltrip Racing entries of Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr.

Kenseth led the field to the restart with Stewart to his outside and Biffle behind him.

A caution on Lap 124 for a seven-car wreck that destroyed the Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson interrupted the dominance of Roush Fenway Racing teammates Kenseth and Biffle, who both had committed to pit road before the caution flag flew.

Pit road closed with the yellow, however, and Kenseth continued without stopping. Biffle, on the other hand, drew a penalty for stopping while pit road was closed and was sent to the rear of the field for a restart on Lap 131.

One of the last drivers to pit after pit road opened, Kenseth also restarted deep in the field, but before long, he and Biffle hooked up and began rolling to the front in the outside lane. When Brad Keselowski's spin in Turn 2 caused the fourth caution on Lap 144, Kenseth and Biffle were running seventh and eighth, respectively.

The first caution didn't come until Lap 81 -- one lap past halfway -- when Sam Hornish Jr., driving the No. 22 Dodge in place of suspended AJ Allmendinger, blew a tire and wrecked on the backstretch. Hornish was a last-minute substitute for Allmendinger, whose failed drug test from last weekend at Kentucky was announced Saturday afternoon, along with his suspension from NASCAR competition.

The caution was a huge break for Stewart and Keselowski, who had fallen a half-lap down during the first cycle of green-flag pit stops. Stewart made excellent use of the reprieve and soon worked his way to the front of the field.

Keselowski's good fortune was short-lived. During pit stops under caution for Hornish's crash, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon went three-wide and tangled on the way to the exit from pit road. Newman's Chevrolet turned across the nose of Kahne's Chevy, and slid into the back of Keselowski's Dodge, which was parked in its pit stall.

Alert and nimble, Keselowski's crew and a NASCAR official scattered and escaped injury. And with full credit to the pit crews, all four cars effected repairs and remained on the lead lap.

Here are the results from Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway:

  1. Tony Stewart
  2. Jeff Burton
  3. Matt Kenseth
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Ryan Newman
  6. Carl Edwards
  7. Kasey Kahne
  8. Brad Keselowski
  9. Michael Waltrip
  10. Bobby Labonte
  11. David Reutimann
  12. Jeff Gordon
  13. Jamie McMurray
  14. Paul Menard
  15. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  16. Travis Kvapil
  17. Martin Truex Jr.
  18. Casey Mears
  19. Aric Almirola
  20. Terry Labonte
  21. Greg Biffle
  22. Dave Blaney
  23. Kevin Harvick
  24. Kyle Busch
  25. Denny Hamlin
  26. David Ragan
  27. Trevor Bayne
  28. Juan Pablo Montoya
  29. Clint Bowyer
  30. Marcos Ambrose
  31. David Gilliland
  32. Landon Cassill
  33. Sam Hornish Jr. (subbed for suspended AJ Allmendinger)
  34. Regan Smith
  35. Kurt Busch
  36. Jimmie Johnson
  37. Bill Elliott
  38. Josh Wise
  39. David Stremme
  40. JJ Yeley
  41. Joe Nemechek
  42. Stephen Leicht
  43. Michael McDowell
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