DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jimmie Johnson put on a clinic Saturday night at Daytona Int’l Speedway, dominating the Coke Zero 400 en route to his fourth victory of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
There was no doubt that Johnson had the best car throughout Saturday’s race, but having the best car at Daytona rarely translates into a trip to victory lane. A pair of late-race caution flags set up the dash to the finish and forced Johnson to battle for the victory.
Johnson was out front when the caution flag flew with 11 laps left as a result of a large crash coming into the front stretch tri-oval. Several contenders, including Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon were caught up in the accident.
After a brief red flag period to clean up the track, the field returned to racing with seven laps left. Johnson held on to the lead comfortably during the restart, but with six laps left Johnson moved up the track to block a run from the top lane.
That opened the door for his teammate Kasey Kahne, who managed to get below Johnson and briefly take the lead. The two stayed side by side for another lap, but coming out of turn two things changed dramatically.