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 track on the straightaway entering Turn 1. Petty had to take evasive action and passed 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 Coke Zero 400 at the time and finished second for the fourth straight year, was furious about Pearson’s last lap tricks.
July 4, 1984
President Ronald Reagan served as Grand Marshal for the Coke Zero 400 and gave the 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.
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.
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 night by scaling the fences to the top of the flag stand after winning his second consecutive Coke Zero 400.
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 DAYTONA 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 electronic timing and scoring.
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 before the latest repave.
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 accomplish the sweep are Fireball Roberts (1962), Cale Yarborough (1968) and Lee Roy Yarbrough (1969).
What moment did we miss on the list? What are your favorite Coke Zero 400 moments? Let us know by leaving us a comment below! Be a part of the next chapter of history by attending the 2016 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola -- the first in the new motorsports stadium. Tickets are going fast! Buy now or call 1-800-PITSHOP for tickets and information.
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