NASCAR at Daytona: The Big Ones, Winners, Losers and Memorable Moments

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IJuly 3, 2011

NASCAR at Daytona: The Big Ones, Winners, Losers and Memorable Moments

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    Dragging your brakes and tuning the radio were the two key factors that could get you pushed to a win or sent skyrocketing into harms way on the high banks of Daytona with restrictor plate racing.

    The two-car tandem was the only way to race in both the Subway Jalapeno 250 NASCAR Nationwide race and the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race. If you were alone, you were going backwards.

    The big one was expected and certainly did not disappoint in either race. You never know who will trigger it or when it will happen, but it is part of racing at Daytona International Speedway.

    Both races had some key moments and fascinating happenings. Let's take a look at some of them in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races on two hot summer nights in Daytona.

1. Kevin Harvick and Company Looked Strong

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    Kevin Harvick was on the pole in his No. 4 Chevrolet and his three teammates Elliott Sadler, Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer all captured the first four starting positions for the NASCAR Nationwide Subway Jalapeno 250.

2. Interesting Front Row for Coke Zero 400

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    Young Trevor Bayne, 20, who won the last Daytona 500 thought he had the pole for the Coke Zero 400. The wily veteran Mark Martin, 52, knocked him out of position one and captured the pole with a speed of 182.065 (49.433 seconds).

    It was the first pole for Martin this year and the 50th of his career. It was youth and experience on the front row leading the field.

3. Danica Patrick Performs Well

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    Danica Patrick was running her sixth race of the twelve she will run this year in the NASCAR Nationwide series.

    Patrick started seventh and by the 25th lap she was leading the race with Tony Stewart working as her pusher.

    She led some 13 laps in total and looked to be contending for a win until she lost her dance partner in the final laps who had then become Aric Almirola.

    Almirola, her teammate, was Patrick's dance partner for most of the race after Stewart had a slow pit stop.

4. Fireworks at Daytona

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    On the final lap, this mayhem looked to be a fiery disaster after the big one. It wasn't as bad as it looked and everyone was safe.

    Patrick was an innocent victim and her car sustained front end damage. She still was able to finish 10th and everyone was safe after the incident.

5. The Big One No. 1

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    The big one for the NASCAR Nationwide race was on the last lap when Mike Wallace who was running alone got loose and hit Danica Patrick.

    More than a dozen cars went spinning and crashing with the usual smoke and debris filling the track in an a breath-taking moment.

6. The Winner

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    Joey Logano started at the back and was leading the race only one time and that was on the final lap with help from fellow Joe Gibbs Racing driver, Kyle Busch.

7. A Pit Stop Essential

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    It may seem odd, but with the two-car tandem, a crucial job with each pit stop was smearing petroleum jelly on the front and rear ends of the cars to reduce friction.

8. Bad Day for Daytona Winner

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    It only took five laps and suddenly the 2011 Daytona 500 winner, Trevor Bayne, went careening into the wall when contact was made by the Blue Deuce to the rear of his car.

    Brad Keselowski was pushing him but moved to the left at the wrong spot on the track and the Wood Brothers No. 21 sustained significant damage that ended Bayne's day of racing.

9. Points Leader in Trouble

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    Carl Edwards, the current points leader, was running third in the Coke Zero 400 when he got turned with Greg Biffle to his rear.

    The No. 99 went spinning down the track and made contact with the inside wall. The car did get back on the track after some repairs.

    The repairs did not include fixing the crush panel that was damaged. On lap 48, Edwards became ill in the car from the exhaust fumes and pulled into the pits.

    The car was shut off and repairs began on the right rear crush panel. The incident will have an impact on his standing in the points.

    He was shown as finishing 37th and lost the points lead unofficially to Kevin Harvick.

10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Not a Contender

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    Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his dance partner, Jimmie Johnson were loyal to each other until late in the race when Johnson made a pit stop for a tire change.

    Earnhardt Jr. was on his own. They had run mid-pack most of the race and at the end he got up near the top 10, but a second big one under green-white-checkers sent him spinning.

    His winless streak hits 110 and he was shown with a 19th place finish, but he was able to remain seventh in the point standings.

11. The Finale

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    David Ragan was the surprise winner after a chaotic ending under the second green-white-checker finish due to two consecutive "big ones" that took out a lot of good cars.

    It was a badly needed win for the Roush Fenway Racing driver and his sponsor UPS.

    Matt Kenseth was pushing Ragan at the end. Finishing third was Joey Logano followed by Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch.

    Kevin Harvick did take the lead in the points over Carl Edwards.

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