Ricky Stenhouse Jr wins at Daytona

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr wins at Daytona

Ricky Stenhouse Jr wins at Daytona

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series never disappoints when it comes to Daytona International Speedway, and Saturday's Coke Zero 400 was no exception.

Stenhouse may have already won a race at Talladega earlier this season, but was still not viewed as a true challenger week in and week out. For instance, Ragan noted it wasn't as fast out front as it was pushing others. Starting the Coke Zero 400 in 30th position, he was bound to improve his position on the scoring chart.

Brad Keselowski, who led 32 laps in dominating the first 40-lap stage of the race, was also among those who retired early. "The guys worked on the auto, we got our laps back and we were about to have some more fun and mix it up and then that happened with (Harvick)". Then a group including Stenhouse, Ty Dillon, Larson and David Ragan found speed on the bottom groove in the final 10 laps.

MISCELLANY: Defending race victor Brad Keselowski continued his success at restrictor-plate tracks by winning the first stage of the Coke Zero 400. You never want to be racing just for points, but sometimes you do appreciate the points you can get. However, on the backstretch with help from Michael McDowell, Stenhouse got around the No. 38 vehicle, en route to his second-career Cup Series victory. Bowyer has finished second three times this year and has a third among his seven top-ten finishes for his new team, Stewart-Haas Racing. But about 30 laps after he got back on the lead lap - and got as high as seventh - Harvick had a flat, spun and Earnhardt ran into him, ending his day 106 laps into the 160-lap race. Earnhardt is on the pole for the event. My auto wasn't good on the bottom.

"The [Nos.] 17 and 95 just had way too good of a run". "The repave changed the track quite a bit, but I'm sure some drivers loved it then". We'll chalk it up. Ryan Blaney led nine laps but was part of the lap 154 crash and finished 26th. It was McDowell's first ever top 5 finish in 230 career starts.

Since returning to FRM at the beginning of the year, it's been up and down for Ragan.

Cole Whitt's blown engine resulted in the first caution on lap 10. Regular crew chief Adam Stevens continues his four-race suspension for a wheel coming off the auto during the race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

A Front Row Motorsports victory would have given the team an improbable berth in the playoffs.

"There was a lot of carnage out there", said Earnhardt. "I couldn't be more happy for Bob". "The attention and the reaction from the fans makes me feel great". "We were going to have to be real aggressive". Stenhouse Jr. charged past Ragan with a lap and a half to go.