NASCAR at Daytona results: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wins Coke Zero 400

Clint Bowyer rallied to finish second, followed by Paul Menard, Michael McDowell, Ryan Newman, Ragan, Brendan Gaughan, A.J. Alleminder and Chris Buescher. For the first 54 laps, Earnhardt was in front of the lead pack and was contending for the lead. It took just seven more races for Stenhouse to earn his second.

Stenhouse, driving the No. 17 Fifth Third Bank Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing, has now won two of the season's first three restrictor-plate races; he got his first Monster Energy Series victory earlier this season at Talladega Superspeedway.

"I wish we had had a good finish tonight if not a win". But he and his team powered through, got him back in the race and, after being two laps down, worked his way back up to sixth. Ragan, who's been NASCAR's "super sub" filling in for so many drivers and is universally regarded as one of the sport's nicest guys, was thisclose to a win on Sunday night.

"I just didn't expect all that attention", he told NBC.

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In Stage 2, McDowell made contact with Kyle Busch, triggering a multi-car pileup that collected Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon and Jamie McMurray. On the resuming restart, he positioned himself on the inside, in front of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. He fell out of the race after spinning and hitting the wall on lap 116. Right-side damage to sheet metal and tires forced a lengthy pit stop which put Earnhardt two laps down - and seemingly out of contention. After escaping a late race accident on the frontstretch, which took out a number of contenders, Stenhouse was able to work through traffic over the final few laps and took the lead from Ragan on the final restart of the night and was able to hold on to score the victory.

The crash started when Kevin Harvick's vehicle snapped out of control directly in front of Earnhardt. "We had a lot of fun, led some laps, but came up a little short". Dale Jr. received the free pass back onto the lead lap following the incident, so it's not over yet. Both Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne spun out, but neither suffered severe damage and remained on the track.

But after a strong run at a track that has been dubbed "Dale-tona" in previous years, Earnhardt is confident heading into the final stretch of the regular season. NASCAR's most popular driver felt like his right rear tire was going flat as he entered a turn, started to slow and then brushed the wall and flattened the right front tire. "It hurts. But we got a lot of racing left, and I'm a tough guy; I can handle it". "I just couldn't get a run off Turn 4 coming to the checkered".