TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+
  • NATIONAL | WASHINGTON (AP) — Brennan gets offers for legal action on clearance revocation

Clint Bowyer Leads Coke Zero Sugar 400 Practice with 200-mph Lap; Qualifying for 60th Annual Event Set for Friday

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – On Thursday, NASCAR returned to Daytona International Speedway with practice sessions in advance of Saturday night’s 60th annual Coke Zero Sugar 400, the traditional midsummer, midseason night-time classic for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Drivers in both the Monster Energy Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series took to the DIS high banks for practices on Thursday. The Xfinity Series will run the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 on Friday night. Qualifying for both races will be Friday – the Xfinity Series at 2:10 p.m., the Monster Energy Series at 4:10. The Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 takes the green flag at 7:30.

Thursday’s sole practice for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 was led by Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford), at 200.799 mph. Bowyer was one of 10 drivers to post a 200 mph-plus lap. The second practice was rained out.

Ryan Reed (No. 16 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford) and Xfinity Series rookie Chad Finchum (No. 40 Amana Toyota) led the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 practices with fast laps of 196.143 mph and 185.567, respectively.

In line with this tradition-rich weekend of stock car racing, two drivers in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 are chasing special, respective spots in the record book. Austin Dillon (No. 3 American Ethanol e15 Chevrolet), the reigning DAYTONA 500 champion, can become the sixth driver to pull off a season sweep of DIS’ two Monster Energy Series races. Likewise, defending race champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Fifth Third Bank Ford) is trying to become the sixth driver to win the Coke Zero Sugar 400 in consecutive years.

Dillon was last seen on the high banks pulling away from a last-lap DAYTONA 500 incident with Aric Almirola (No. 10 Smithfield Ford), beating Bubba Wallace (No. 43 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet) to the finish. That returned the legendary No. 3 of Richard Childress Racing to the DAYTONA 500’s Gatorade Victory Lane for the first time since Dale Earnhardt’s historic 1998 victory. For Dillon, Childress’ 28-year-old grandson, it was his second victory at Daytona International Speedway; he also won the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 in 2015.

“It feels great, anytime you come to Daytona when you’ve been able to win a couple of races here,” Dillon said. “I’ve enjoyed this place from the beginning. I’ve been coming here since I was born. It’s like a second home to me.

“It’s a good feeling coming to the green flag and the entire field is behind you. Anytime you can relive those moments … it’s kind of like a dream.”

Back to reality – and Dillon’s appearance Friday (3 p.m.) at the “DAYTONA 500 Champions’ Walk of Fame” in front of the DIS Ticket and Tours Building. He and DIS President Chip Wile will place a cement block with Dillon’s signature, hand prints and right footprint into the walk lineup. The imprints were made earlier this year following the DAYTONA 500, during the post-Gatorade Victory Lane celebration. Today’s event is open to fans.

For Stenhouse, the weekend represents a chance to reestablish himself as a preeminent racer in restrictor-plate events. (At 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway and 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR mandates that cars have engine restrictor plates which contribute to the reduction of horsepower, in the interest of safety.) Stenhouse has only two Monster Energy Series victories, both coming last season in restrictor-plate races – at Talladega in the spring, then the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Stenhouse finished 29th in the DAYTONA 500, in February.

“It’s a great opportunity for us.” Stenhouse said. “We felt really good about our car here in the 500. We’ve made a few changes to the package but I still feel like our Ford will be strong enough to do what we need to and hopefully get it back into victory lane here and defend the race win.

“I think this race weekend is always special … and obviously, pulling into that victory lane is unlike any other. That’s something we all strive for.”

Tickets for the 60th annual Coke Zero Sugar 400, the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 and other Daytona International Speedway events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

POLITICS & POWER NEWS

National Politics

Brennan gets offers for legal action on clearance revocation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former CIA Director John Brennan said Sunday that he is considering taking…

Trump rages on Mueller following Times report:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday railed against special counsel Robert Mueller in…

White House admits error for false claim on black employment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has acknowledged error in its false claim that President…

VIDEO: Congressman Darren Soto on Grayson's Attacks During Kissimmee Debate

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL-09) talks with Florida National News after…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

VIDEO: Adam Putnam Talks Algae Blooms, Washington Politics, Florida First at Lakeland Rally

LAKELAND, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Florida GOP gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam rallied voters at the…

Adam Putnam Joins Gold Star Family, Supporters in Clearwater to Kick Off Day Four of Florida First Bus Tour

Clearwater, FL - Adam Putnam kicked off day four of his Florida First Bus Tour at Frankie’s…

[VIDEO] Bernie Sanders: A Victory for Andrew Gillum an Extraordinary Step for Florida and America

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Former Democratic Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont)…

City of Orlando’s Home-Sharing Ordinance Allows Residents to Rent a Portion of Their Home to Guests

ORLANDO, Fla. – In an effort to expose visitors to authentic Orlando experiences and provide…

SPORTS NEWS

MORE SPORTS NEWS

VIDEO: Buccaneers Head Coach Koetter, Jason Pierre-Paul Talk Training Camp Improvements

TAMPA, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - On the penultimate day of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' training…

VIDEO: Tony Dungy Talks Ring of Honor, Jameis Winston and the Anthem

TAMPA, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Former Buccaneers head coach and NFL Hall of Famer Tony…

Horan Leads Portland Thorns to Huge Win in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Coming into Saturday night's game at Orlando City Stadium, the…

Buccaneers Prove Ready in First Preseason Match Against Dolphins

MIAMI, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Thursday, August 9 marked the start of the 2018 NFL…

Orlando Magic Unveil 30 Years of Pure Magic

ORLANDO, Fla. - As part of the Orlando Magic’s 30th anniversary celebration this upcoming season, the…

The Pride's Late Effort Doesn't Earn 3 Points in Draw with Sky Blue FC

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Entering Sunday night's game at home, the Orlando Pride had…

BUSINESS NEWS

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

VIDEO: Elected Officials and Business Leaders Launch the 2018 Hispanic Business Conference

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Elected officials and HCCMO trustees launched the 2018 Hispanic Business…

VIDEO: The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro-Orlando Celebrates 25 Years of Service

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro-Orlando celebrated a quarter-century…

Hispanic Chamber To Host 2018 Hispanic Business Conference in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) will celebrate…

Zignavisual Florida Announces Corporate Re-Branding, Changes Name to iUSE Photography

MIAMI, Fla. -- Zignavisual, a leading real estate photography company serving South Florida realtors since 2016, is relaunching with…

Banco do Brasil so impressed with Valencia Students that they give more money for Student Scholarships

ORLANDO, Fla.,   June 29, 2018  -  Banco do Brasil Americas will celebrate the 2018…

VIDEO: Grenada Consul General Warren Newfield Discusses the Island Nation's Growth

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Grenada Ambassador-at-Large and Consul General in Miami Warren Newfield,…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Walt Disney World Resort to Host Kickoff of ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Nationwide Bus Tour Auditions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is set to host…

Aerosmith to launch residency in Las Vegas next year

NEW YORK (AP) — Aerosmith is the latest act to head to Las Vegas to…

Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town Wow Tampa on The Bandwagon Tour

TAMPA, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Grammy, CMA, and ACM award winning artists Miranda Lambert and…

Guardians cast issues open letter in support of James Gunn

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Pratt and his fellow “Guardians of the Galaxy” castmates are…

Carnival Graveyard: Rust In Pieces Revealed As The Next Original Haunted House Come To Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights

Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed an all-new original content haunted house coming to Halloween Horror…

New Spooky Experiences Coming to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – There are more nights and new reasons to celebrate the…

LIFESTYLE NEWS

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Walt Disney World Resort to Host Kickoff of ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Nationwide Bus Tour Auditions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is set to host…

Applications Now Open for Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Applications are being accepted now through Oct. 31, 2018, for…

Christopher Comins Donates Trauma Kits to Belle Isle Police, Launching School Safety Initiative

BELLE ISLE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Philanthropist Christopher Comins has been spotlighted in Florida National…

Carnival Graveyard: Rust In Pieces Revealed As The Next Original Haunted House Come To Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights

Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed an all-new original content haunted house coming to Halloween Horror…

New Spooky Experiences Coming to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – There are more nights and new reasons to celebrate the…