Daytona International Speedway: David Ragan Wipes Away a Bitter Daytona Memory; Earns First Career Win

July 3, 2011 1 Comment

David Ragan, who was forced to forfeit a chance at winning the Daytona 500 in February due to a penalty for changing lanes too soon on a late-race restart, found victory lane Saturday night in the Coke Zero 400.

Ragan survived two attempts green-white-checkered finish and received a strong push from veteran teammate Matt Kenseth to earn his first career Sprint Cup victory. Ragan only led 15 of the 170 laps on Saturday, but avoided the late race drama to earn sweet revenge after having to settle for a 14th place finish in the biggest race of the year.

“Everybody kept talking about it (the Daytona 500),” Ragan said. “I just tried to take the positive from it and move on. I can’t thank my spotter and my crew chief and my team enough. They really humbled me and kept me focused. Matt pushed me to the finish line.”

Joey Logano, who won Friday night’s Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway, finished in third despite losing his drafting partner (Kyle Busch). Kasey Kahne, who pushed Logano on the final restart, finished fourth.

Kyle Busch was able to salvage a fifth place finish despite brushing the wall and cutting a tire on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard, Juan Pablo Montoya and A.J. Allmendinger rounded out the top 10.

Bayne’s hopes of sweeping the Daytona races were eliminated within the first 10 laps. Bayne was being pushed by Brad Keselowski, but the Ford-Dodge tandem didn’t hook up correctly, sending Bayne directly into the outside barrier in turn one.

“I wanted to be a pusher because I know that these things can happen,” said Bayne. “He got to us and was pushing us down the frontstretch. I was still kind of lifting a little bit, letting him get to my bumper, and then I got back to the gas wide-open. I don’t know if I turned down more getting in or if he kind of came up across our bumper, but, either way, our bumpers caught wrong and it sent us spinning.”

Series points leader coming into Saturday, Carl Edwards, ended up finishing 37th after a wreck on lap 24. Edwards was being pushed by teammate Greg Biffle. Needless to say, Edwards was sent spinning down the backstretch before he slammed the inside wall.

Edwards had been the points leader since Texas Motor Speedway (April 9th) but after a rough outing on Saturday, he now finds himself in second, five points back from Kevin Harvick.

Here are the complete results from Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway:
1. David Ragan
2. Matt Kenseth
3. Joey Logano
4. Kasey Kahne
5. Kyle Busch
6. Jeff Gordon
7. Kevin Harvick
8. Paul Menard
9. Juan Pablo Montoya
10. A.J. Allmendinger
11. Tony Stewart
12. Brian Vickers
13. Denny Hamlin
14. Kurt Busch
15. Brad Keselowski
16. David Gilliland
17. Marcos Ambrose
18. Greg Biffle
19. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
20. Jimmie Johnson
21. Jeff Burton
22. Jamie McMurray
23. Ryan Newman
24. Regan Smith
25. David Reutimann
26. Landon Cassill
27. Andy Lally
28. Terry Labonte
29. Joe Nemechek
30. Travis Kvapil
31. Bobby Labonte
32. Casey Mears
33. Mark Martin
34. Robby Gordon
35. Martin Truex Jr.
36. Clint Bowyer
37. Carl Edwards
38. Geoffrey Bodine
39. Dave Blaney
40. Mike Skinner
41. Trevor Bayne
42. Michael McDowell
43. Kevin Conway

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One Comments to “Daytona International Speedway: David Ragan Wipes Away a Bitter Daytona Memory; Earns First Career Win”
  1. Gary Ginther says:

    I have to wonder why Nascar didn’t throw the caution when the first wreck of the second green white checkered started. Ryan Newman was sitting in the middle of the track in a cloud of smoke and dust, and it’s a miracle he didn’t get ran into. Also, the second part of the wreck might not have happened. Someone (Nascar), needs to pull their head out. Oh, TNT needs to know that their coverage sucks. I don’t mind looking at a drivers feet for a few seconds, but 5 minutes? And 4 minutes looking at a temperature gauge? I watch the race to see racing. If I wanted to see a gauge I’d go to a Napa Auto Parts store and watch to my hearts content. Oh, and Kyle Petty, If we’re telling the truth, you should keep quiet.

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