WATCH: Chaos Descends During the 2020 Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway

Published 08/25/2021, 12:52 PM EDT
Feb 14, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Dillion (3) lead the restart of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Last year, the Daytona International Speedway played host to the NASCAR regular season finale. It is interesting to note that it was the first time the Coke Zero Sugar 400 held the regular season finale. In that race, William Byron and Chase Elliott snatched a Hendrick Motorsports 1-2. They finished ahead of the Joe Gibbs Racing duo of Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr, with Bubba Wallace in 5th place.

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However, the real drama occurred when a wreck took place. In all honesty, it isn’t a NASCAR race if there isn’t a multi-car crash, and this race did not disappoint. Tyler Reddick attempted a move on Kyle Busch, but got it royally wrong. Both drivers brushed the fence, while Erik Jones also got pitched into the wall.

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Other Coke Zero Sugar 400 victims included Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Michael McDowell, Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon and many more. In a separate incident, the #22 of Joey Logano spun around. Apparently, that triggered another massive pile-up. This time, the big instigator was Bubba Wallace, who bumped into Logano. The out-of-control Penske driver then barreled into Matt Kenseth, who went up and bumped into Jimmie Johnson.

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What else happened at the 2020 Coke Zero Sugar 400?

Despite all that, Byron and Elliott were able to navigate through the madness and take a 1-2 finish. However, neither of them were able to cruise home, because Byron led a nine-car train to the finish line. Behind the Top 5 were Ryan Blaney in the lead Penske, Alex Bowman, Brendan Gaughan, Chris Buescher and Brad Keselowski.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – AUGUST 29: Jimmie Johnson drives the #48 Ally Chevrolet down pit road following an on-track incident during the NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on August 29, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

As a result of this, he and Matt DiBenedetto advanced to the Playoffs that year. DiBenedetto could only muster 15th, but it was enough to see him through to the Playoffs. This time around, Byron is already in the Playoffs, but DiBenedetto is once again in the hunt for a berth. Unfortunately, it looks like his battle is a lot tougher compared to last year.

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DIVE DEEPER

‘Mixed Feelings’ After William Byron Secures a Playoff Seat with Coke Zero Sugar 400 Win at Daytona

about 1 year ago

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Dhruv George

11995 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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