Johnson is the first driver since NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison in 1982 to sweep the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 in the same season. Other drivers to have accomplished the sweep were Fireball Roberts (1962), Cale Yarborough (1968) and LeeRoy Yarbrough (1969).“To do anything Bobby has done is pretty special,” Johnson said in Gatorade Victory Lane.
Johnson, driving the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, put on a dominating performance leading 94 of the 160 laps. He also mastered the late-race restarts and pulled away in the green-white-checkered finish to win his first Coke Zero 400 by a margin of .107 seconds.“It’s tough to (dominate) at a plate track, especially with how tight the rules are,” Johnson said. “I think I showed strength early and a lot of guys were willing to work with me and kind of help me through situations, which was great. I don’t know if I really made a bad move tonight, so I’m pretty proud of that.”
Tony Stewart, the four-time defending champion of the Coke Zero 400, finished second while Kevin Harvick was third. Rounding out the top five were Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip.Prior to the Coke Zero 400, for the fifth straight year, Daytona International Speedway honored four Medal of Honor recipients.
In addition, race fans were treated to a pre-race concert by nine-time GRAMMY winner Sheryl Crow and an starting command by Grand Marshals – and Grown Ups 2 stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Shaquille O’Neal.NASCAR will return to Daytona International Speedway for Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 and the 56th annual Daytona 500. Tickets for all events are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR and #COKEZERO400. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway onTwitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.