Jimmie Johnson wins the 2013 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway
Another milestone for Jimmie Johnson and another spectacular finish for Daytona International Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson beat Tony Stewart to the finish line in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 to record the first season sweep of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at the 2.5-mile superspeedway since Bobby Allison accomplished the feat in 1982.
As Johnson crossed the line at the end of a green-white-checkered-flag finish, the second of two massive last-lap crashes erupted behind him. Kevin Harvick stayed in front of the melee to run third, followed by Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip.
The five-time champion led the field to the restart on Lap 133 and stayed in the top spot until a wild six-car crash near the entry to the tri-oval on Lap 149 stacked two-thirds of the field and wrecked the cars of Denny Hamlin (who slammed nose-first into the frontstretch wall), Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, AJ Allmendinger, Dave Blaney and David Reutimann.
The accident stopped the race for eight minutes, 53 seconds while track workers picked up the debris. Johnson led the field to another restart on Lap 154 and two laps later, Ambrose, running third, pinballed off Johnson's No. 48 car and knocked the No. 5 Chevrolet of Kasey Kahne into the inside backstretch wall to cause the race's sixth caution.
That set up the green-white-checkered finish that took the race one lap past its scheduled distance of 160 laps.
Johnson had the night's dominant car, but he also benefited from some attrition, such as what transpired on Lap 98. The No. 56 Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. got loose off Turn 4 and turned sideways, triggering a wreck that collected the cars of Hamlin, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kyle Busch. The crash ended the winning chances of all but Busch, whose team effected quick repairs to the nose of the No. 18 Camry on pit road.
Busch rallied to finish 12th despite being a victim of the last-lap crash, but Truex, who cracked the top 10 in points after winning at Sonoma to break a 218-race drought, fell out of the race in 41st place and dropped back out of the top 10.
So did Joey Logano, who blew a tire in Turn 2 on Lap 70 and slammed into the outside wall. A week after working his way into the 10th spot in the standings, Logano was out again after being credited with a 40th-place result.
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