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UPS Game-Changing Moments: Daytona

July 06, 2013, Staff report,

Moments that changed the course of the race at the World Center of Racing

After a red flag of eight minutes, 53 seconds while track workers picked up debris, Jimmie Johnson led the field to a restart on Lap 154, and he moved to the high line to race side-by-side with his Hendrick Motorsports teammate. 


Two laps later, Marcos Ambrose, running third, pinballed off Johnson's No. 48 car and knocked Kahne into the inside backstretch wall to cause the race's sixth caution. It set up a green-white-checkered finish that took the race one lap past its scheduled distance of 160 laps and found Johnson leading at the end of the race, the first driver to sweep both points races in a season at Daytona since Bobby Allison in 1982.

“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,” Johnson said. “I don't know if I really made a bad move tonight, so I'm pretty proud of that.”

Joey Logano, who blew a tire in Turn 2 on Lap 70 and slammed into the outside wall, fell back to 15th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings one week after working his way into the 10th spot and a provisional spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Logano was credited with a 40th-place result, and he vowed to make his way back into Chase contention.

“It’s just a bummer,” Logano said. “The Shell/Pennzoil team has done a great job all year gaining up some points. We’ll lose a lot here, but we’re not out of it by any means.”

Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart used strategy to get a runner-up finish in the Coke Zero 400.

“I wanted to go to lap 110 and then try to start working our way forward and the caution ended up come out that set us up for that,” Stewart said. “We restarted behind Kevin I think at that point and got ourselves in the top 10 there and kind of kept working on it from there. 

“This is a 195 mile‑an‑hour chess match and the lap that pays is lap 160.  A lot is said about guys that lag back like that, but we're in the most competitive series in the country, and when you're running in the most competitive series in the country you have to do what you think is in the best interest of you, your car, your team and your situation to get to the end, and part of winning races is knowing to be where at what times.”

NASCAR Wire Service contributed to this report.