Tony Stewart managed to survive the wrecks at the Coke Zero 400 on July 7 and added another win to his total this season. Smoke was able to have a first place finish, one day after having his time disallowed by NASCAR for having a violation during qualifying, despite starting in the 42nd position. I think he was fortunate to avoid the wrecks that destroyed the chances of other drivers.
Races at the Daytona International Speedway are known for having multiple accidents. Unfortunately, the Coke Zero 400 was not an exception on July 7. Several accidents occurred during the race and involved multiple drivers. In addition, there was a wreck in the pits that ended up tangling four cars. I think Tony Stewart was fortunate to have been in front of some of these accidents and able to avoid serious damage.
Matt Kenseth Loses His Chance
The Coke Zero 400 showed that NASCAR's attempts to eliminate tandem racing have not been completely successful. It played a part in the race on July 7 and almost gave Matt Kenseth first place. Although it has reduced its frequency, I believe that NASCAR will not be able to stop tandem driving completely this season. Greg Biffle's attempts to push Matt Kenseth were interrupted by Tony Stewart who was able to take the lead during the race. Kasey Kahne also deserved credit for pushing Smoke and helping him stay ahead. Kenseth led most of the laps during the Coke Zero 400.
After the race, Matt Kenseth admitted to having regrets about his strategy with Greg Biffle. This has always been the caveat for tandem racing. Pushing another car is not a guarantee that either driver will have a successful conclusion because the race can often be too unpredictable.
As Tony Stewart celebrated his victory at the conclusion of the Coke Zero 400, he admitted that he would be willing to exchange it "for just one Daytona 500." Smoke has never won the Daytona 500 despite accumulating a total of 18 different wins at the Daytona International Speedway. He will have to wait for next season to see if his dream can become a reality.
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Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.