In honor of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s final race at DAYTONA set for July 1 in the 2017 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, we take a look at the proud Earnhardt legacy in at DAYTONA in July.
1990 Coke Zero 400 Although he won both the Advance Auto Parts Clash and Can-Am Duel in February of 1990, Earnhardt suffered a heartbreaking finish in the DAYTONA 500, cutting a tire on debris. However, true to his ultra-competitive nature, Earnhardt delivered a definitive statement upon his return to DAYTONA. The Intimidator captured his first July victory at DAYTONA in dominant fashion, leading 127 of the 160 laps, including the final 17 laps. In fact, he led for two 30+ laps stretches throughout the race. His 1.45-second margin of victory is the second-largest in the last three decades.
1993 Coke Zero 400 Just two years later, Earnhardt was back to his old tricks at DAYTONA, leading nearly 70 percent of the 160 laps and edging out Sterling Marlin and Ken Schrader. Once again, Earnhardt controlled the end of the race, staying out front with the lead for the final 29 laps. The win allowed him to recapture the points lead from 8th place finish Dale Jarrett and, as with 1990, the 1993 victory led to a series championship for the legendary driver.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2001 Coke Zero 400 At the time, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in his second full-time season in the NASCAR's top series at just 26 years old, arriving in DAYTONA looking to snap a 39-race winless streak. The race’s sentimental favorite, the budding star led 116 laps in the 160-lap race to claim his first career DAYTONA win. The win came 11 years to the day that his father got his first Cup Series win at DIS.
2015 Coke Zero 400 Earnhardt Jr., driving the No. 88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, nicknamed “Amelia, was in top form throughout the entire race. He not only led 40 of the race’s first 80 laps, but a race-high 96 total laps en route to the 16th DAYTONA victory of his career. The victory solidified himself as one of the most prolific drivers ever at DAYTONA, with his second Coke Zero 400 victory, to go along with his two DAYTONA 500 victories and the third most overall wins in DIS history.
2000 Coke Zero 400 While neither Earnhardt went to Gatorade Victory Lane following this race, it did mark the very first time the two competed against each other in the Coke Zero 400. Joining the Allisons and Pettys, the two became just the third father-son duo to run the Independence Day weekend classic together. Just a year prior to winning the race, Dale Jr. learned valuable lessons on his way to a 35th place finish, while his father moved from a starting position of 18th to a final finish of 8th – his ninth straight top 10 finish in the event.
Join us for the race where all-American meets absolutely amazing. To guarantee your seats now for the 2017 Coke Zero 400, go online or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
What’s your favorite Coke Zero 400 memory of the Earnhardt’s at Daytona? What did we miss on the list? Let us know by leaving us a comment below!