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MENCS: Coke Zero 400 Preview

Thursday, Jun 29 3301

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.— The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Daytona International Speedway for the second time of 2017 for the Coke Zero 400. Stage lengths for the race will be 40, 40, and 80 on Saturday night.


40 drivers are schedule to arrive at Daytona International Speedway. No cars will be going home in single car qualifying on Friday afternoon. Names that are usually not on the entry list include Brendan Gaughan, Elliott Sadler, and Ryan Sieg.


Teams will have two sets of tires for practice, one set for qualifying, and six sets for the race. Goodyear is bringing a new tire set-up to Daytona. The setup is based on the tire test conducted in the spring. The tires will add grip to help increase stability of the car.


Returning to Daytona in July unofficially kicks off the second half of the 2017 season. Drivers are excited about the return to Daytona, as well as the second half of the season.


“I can’t believe we are already heading back to Daytona this weekend. The first half of the season has really flown by and I’m really looking forward to making my second cup start at Daytona on Saturday night,” said Daniel Suarez. “We’ve had two restrictor-plate races so far this season, and I’ve learned a lot in both of them that I think we can carry over to this weekend. We always have fast Camry’s when we unload at Daytona, so hopefully we can qualify well, start up front and be there at the end with a chance to win in our Subway Camry.”


"I'm really excited to get back into the No. 43 Smithfield Ford this weekend. The team was successful in both superspeedway races this year, so I hope we can build on that this weekend. Roush Yates Engines always bring a fast engine, and the RPM has shown they can bring a good car for the draft,” said Darrell Wallace, Jr.  Superspeedway races are a bit of a crapshoot from there. We'll work to put ourselves in position to be there and fight for it at the end. It's Richard's 80th birthday this weekend, so hopefully we can get him a good finish for his birthday."


"Daytona is a good bit narrower. It seems like it usually gets tight off Turn 2 but it's super-fast and super smooth. You can go wide open, no problem. It's usually hot for the July race so it's super-hot inside the race cars and eventually the cars start sliding around a little bit. Daytona is simply Daytona,” said Ryan Newman.


Teams will have two practice sessions on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. EDT and 5:00 p.m. EDT. Teams will qualify on Friday at 4:00 p.m. EDT. Practice and qualifying will be broadcasted on NBCSN and Motor Racing Network. Coverage for the Coke Zero 400 kicks off at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday on NBC and Motor Racing Network.

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Caleb Whisler

I am 19 years old from Atlanta, GA. I have been following motorsports since I was born. Motorsports has been "passed down" in my family. I am named after NASCAR Hall of Famer, William Caleb Yarborough, also known as Cale. Growing up in the southeast, racing was something that was a Sunday tradition after church. What an honor it is to share that passion with others.

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