Tony Stewart made a last-lap charge to win the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday night, but says he would trade all his success at the Daytona International Speedway in July “for just one Sunday race in February.”
The race was marred by incidents, including a massive wreck as cars raced to take the white flag signaling the final lap of the Coke Zero 400. Stewart admits luck may have been on his side on Saturday night.
“We just survived wrecks,” Stewart said. “I mean, you look at where we were when they happened, they happened right behind us each time.”
Stewart was in the right place at the right time at the end of the race and charged past Matt Kenseth as the field played bumper cars behind him. Jeff Burton finished the race in second place and Kenseth, who led the race for 89 laps, was third.
The latest win was the third of the season for Stewart and his 18th alltime at the fabled Florida race track. And, while that is an impressive career statistic, the NASCAR driver says he is still craving a victory that would make it that much more meaningful.
“This is 18 wins at Daytona – we just haven’t got the right one yet. All of ‘em are special, and it’s cool to do this,” Stewart said. “I don’t know, but I’ll trade ‘em all in for just one Daytona 500.”
Eighteen wins at Daytona puts Stewart second on the all-time victories list at the Florida race track behind Dale Earnhardt, who won 43 races there but never the Daytona 500.
Kenseth leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings at the halfway point of the season. With 18 of 36 races remaining, he has a 25-point lead on Dale Earnhardt Jr. and is 44 points ahead of Greg Biffle.
The Sprint Cup schedule goes to New Hampshire for the LENOX Industrial Tools 301, on July 15.