July 4, 1974

David Pearson won a record third straight Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. On the last lap, Pearson was leading Richard Petty when he suddenly backed off the throttle and ducked to the low side of the rack on the straightaway entering turn 1. Petty had to take evasive action and pass him. Pearson gained enough steam and made up the two-second deficit and pulled of a sling shot pass in turn 4. Petty, who had yet to win a 400 at the time and finished second for the fourth straight year, was furious about Pearson’s last lap tricks.


pearson

July 4, 1984

President Ronald Reagan served as Grand Marshal for the Coke Zero 400 and gave the starting command “Gentlemen, start your engines” aboard Air Force One. Reagan arrived mid-race, called the race with MRN Radio’s Ned Jarrett and witnessed Richard Petty’s historic 200th NASCAR win. It was the first time in NASCAR history that a sitting President attended a race.


reagan

July 4, 1985

Greg Sacks, in an unsponsored, research and development Chevrolet with a walk-on pit crew, took the lead from Bill Elliott with nine laps remaining and scored a 23.5-second upset victory in the Independence Day holiday classic. Sacks’ victory is among the greatest upsets in NASCAR history.


sacks

July 7, 2001

After the passing of Dale Earnhardt Sr. in the final lap of the 2001 DAYTONA 500, many wondered what would happen when the sport returned to Daytona that summer for the Coke Zero 400 as an emotional scene was sure to unfold. At the time, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 26 years old and in his second full-time season in the sport's top series. He came to Daytona that summer on a 39-race winless streak. After experiencing the loss of his father, he came into Daytona the sentimental and emotional favorite. Dale Jr. led 116 laps in the 160-lap race en route to his third career premier series win and his first at Daytona. In Gatorade Victory Lane, an emotional Dale Jr. said, "I dedicate this win to him. There ain't nobody else I could dedicate this win to that it would mean more to me." The win came 11 years to the day that his father got his first then-Winston Cup win at DIS.


 Dale Earnhardt

July 6, 2006

Vice President Dick Cheney attended the 400-mile July race. Cheney led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance then viewed the race from the DAYTONA 500 Club. Tony Stewart provided the highlight of the day by scaling the fences to the top of the flag stand after winning his second consecutive July race.


stewart 

July 7, 2007

The 250-mile NASCAR XFINITY Series race was postponed by rain the previous night and was held Saturday morning. The postponement created the first-ever doubleheader as DIS with the 400-mile Sprint Cup Series schedule for Saturday night. Kyle Busch captured the NASCAR XFINITY Series race but Jamie McMurray nosed Busch out for the 400-mile Sprint Cup Series victory by a margin of .005 seconds, the second-closest Sprint Cup Series finish in history since the advent of computer scoring.


mcmurray 
 

July 3, 2010

Richard Childress Racing’s Kevin Harvick outdueled Kasey Kahne to the line by .092 seconds to capture a nail-biting green-white-checkered finish in the 52nd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Harvick’s win gave him the distinction of being the last driver to win on the original asphalt.


harvick

July 6, 2013

In the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, Jimmie Johnson became the first driver since 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 Lee Roy Yarborough (1969).


johnson