The last time the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series visited a restrictor plate race track (Talladega Superspeedway), it was Ricky Stenhouse Jr who took home the win. Tonight, at a different restrictor plate race track, the results were no different.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. It was the second win of the 2017 season for him and his second restrictor-plate win as well.

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Clint Bowyer finishes second and Paul Menard rounds out the top three by finishing the third tonight.

Heading into the weekend, Stenhouse noted the car they brought to Daytona was a new car and not the same one the team brought to Talladega where he got his first win of the season back in May. However, the new car was good enough as he was to get the lead with only two laps left in the race and hold the lead until the checkered flag waved.

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Stenhouse admits the win tonight confirms the win he had at Talladega but also admitted he had been coming to Daytona since 2008 and was cool to finally be victory lane after all the years.

McDowell secures first career top 5 finish

In 229 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series starts, Michael McDowell had never finished inside the top 5. His best career finish was seventh back in 2014 at Daytona.

Heading into the weekend, nobody had predicted he and the Leavine Family Racing team would be contending for a top 5 finish let alone the win tonight. However, with some aggressive driving tonight by McDowell along with the team not losing any spots on pit road, he and the team were able to finish in the fourth position. It was McDowell’s first ever top 5 finish in 230 career starts.

Earnhardt crashes out early in Daytona

In what could be his final race at Daytona, Dale Earnhardt Jr was hoping he would end up in victory lane.

However, his night ended early due to multiple incidents.

Earnhardt started off the Daytona weekend on a high note when he won the pole for Saturday night’s race. For the first 54 laps, Earnhardt was in front of the lead pack and was contending for the lead. On lap 55, everything changed. He thought he had a tire going flat on him at the tri-oval. When he got into turn one, he was in the wall bringing out the caution.

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The team had to make lengthy repairs resulting in him being two laps down from the leader. However, he would get the two laps back due to receiving the lucky dog twice. Once he was back on the lead lap, Earnhardt was climbing his way up the field and was in the seventh position when things got worse for him.

Kevin Harvick was in front of Earnhardt when he had a tire go flat on him and spin out. With nowhere to go, Earnhardt went head on to Harvick thus resulting in more damage to the car.

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He took it down pit road once more but the team determined the damage was too much and had him drive the car straight to the garage thus ending his night.

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