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Rolling into NH
Jimmie Johnson heads to NHMS with momentum
Jimmie Johnson (48) beats Tony Stewart to the finish line to win the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT)
Johnson won a wreck-filled Coke Zero 400 on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, becoming the first driver to sweep both Daytona races since hall-of-famer Bobby Allison did it in 1982.
Cup points-leader Johnson won Saturday night in a green-white-checker finish, despite two accidents breaking out behind him on the final lap. He finished ahead of Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip.
Another big crash had just come on Lap 150. It involved several cars, including Denny Hamlin, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and David Reutimann. Hamlin appeared to start the wreck on the front stretch, when he lost control and hit the wall. Hamlin's Toyota got airborne, as did Kenseth's, farther down the track.
Kyle Busch dominated the early portions of the race and led until Paul Menard's engine blew on Lap 23 for the race's first caution. Menard had finished all 17 previous races this season before bowing out Saturday.
Johnson took the lead on Lap 33 and led for next 70 laps. Kahne stayed right behind him as drivers tried to figure out whether the low or high lines worked best. At that point, the bottom of the track seemed to work best.
"It was a big hit, but a bigger hit for us in points, more anything," said Logano, who started the race 10th in the standings.
The race's biggest wreck came on Lap 98, when Martin Truex Jr. got loose in Turn 4, sweeping along Kyle Busch, Hamlin and Juan Pablo Montoya. Truex hit the inside wall in Turn 4 hard.
"It's good to get a top 10, we've been working for that all year long," said Stenhouse. "Hopefully we can keep this going."