Stenhouse wins caution-filled Coke Zero 400


Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took out the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday as Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed out on a win in his final race at Daytona International Speedway.

Earnhardt won the pole and was a favourite to win, but a wreck with 55 laps remaining ended his race.

"It wasn't meant to be," a disappointed Earnhardt said as he walked off the track where his legendary father died in 2001. "It was a wild night.

"The attention and reaction from the fans makes me feel great. Hopefully we're able to turn that around. I wish we could have had a good finish."

A blown tyre on lap 105 caused Kevin Harvick to spin out and take several other drivers with him. Earnhardt, Keselowski, Jamie McMurray and Kasey Kahne were all involved in the multi-car accident. The wreck brought out the 10th of a record 14 caution flags in what was a long night at Daytona.

Fortunately for Keselowski, he spun around several times but did not hit any other cars and had little damage to his car.

Keselowski, last year's Coke Zero 400 winner, started third and won the first stage to gain a valuable play-off point.

After avoiding any major damage in the Harvick spin-out, Keselowski, who led a race-best 35 laps, finished 31st after hitting the wall and withdrawing on lap 116.

Stenhouse went on to capture the chequered flag in the caution-filled race.

It was the first win for Stenhouse at Daytona and his second straight restrictor plate victory after winning at Talladega in May.

Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard, Michael McDowell and Ryan Newman rounded out the top five.

Of the 40 cars that started Saturday's race, only 25 finished.

"It was tough out there," Stenhouse told NBC Sports. "It's cool we put it in Victory Lane and got our second win of the year.

"I had a 4th of July party planned. It just got a little bit bigger."