Rain, snow or shine, a win is a win, and for Monster Energy Cup Series rookie Justin Haley, that phrase could never be more true.
Making just his third career Cup Series start, Haley was declared the winner of Sunday’s postponed Coke Zero Sugar 400 after an extensive rain and lightning delay ended the race 33 laps early. The 20-year-old was also the runner-up in Friday’s Xfinity Series race.
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A huge wreck early in Stage 3 left Haley second behind Kurt Busch under a yellow caution. Busch, however, pitted under the impression that the race was about to return to green, just seconds before lightning struck nearby triggering the red flag. Haley led just one lap under caution.
William Byron and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top three at the time of the red flag thanks to the huge wreck a few laps before that knocked out almost the entire top-half of the order. Clint Bowyer clipped the rear of Austin Dillon to trigger the wreck.
Joey Logano and Dillon won Stage 1 and 2 respectively, in a race highlighted by car manufacturers teaming up with one another. Driving became much more aggressive as Stage 2 went on, with drivers thinking the race may end due to approaching storms.
Sunday’s race was a result of a postponement from the scheduled Saturday night start time. The Monster Energy Cup Series returns on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway for the Quaker State 400.
Sporting News tracked live lap-by-lap updates and highlights from the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Follow along below.
NASCAR at Daytona: Live updates, highlights from the Coke Zero Sugar 400
(All times Eastern.)
Caution flags: 6
Lead changes: 24
Lap leaders: Justin Haley (1), Austin Dillon (45), Joey Logano (39), Kevin Harvick (12), Kurt Busch (8), Denny Hamlin (4), Kyle Busch (3), Chase Elliott (3), Clint Bowyer (3), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2), Ryan Blaney (1)
Coke Zero Sugar 400: 2019 winner, top 20 order of finish
|Finish||Driver||Team (Car No.)||Laps led|
|1.||Justin Haley||Spire Motorsports (77)||1|
|2.||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports (24)|
|3.||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports (48)|
|4.||Ty Dillon||Germain Racing (13)|
|5.||Ryan Newman||Richard Childress Racing (6)|
|6.||Corey LaJoie||TriStar Motorsports (32)|
|7.||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas (10)|
|8.||Matt DiBenedetto||Leavine Family Racing (95)||1|
|9.||Matt Tifft||Front Row Motorsports (36)|
|10.||Kurt Busch||Chip Ganassi Racing (1)||8|
|11.||Landon Cassill||StarCom Racing (00)|
|12.||JJ Yeley||Rick Ware Racing (52)|
|13.||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports (34)|
|14.||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing (18)||3|
|15.||Bubba Wallace||Richard Petty Motorsports (43)|
|16.||Paul Menard||Wood Brothers Racing (21)||1|
|17.||Chris Buescher||JTG Daugherty Racing (37)||1|
|18.||Daniel Hemric||Richard Childress Racing (8)|
|19.||Brendan Gaughan||Beard Motorsports (62)|
|20.||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing (42)|
5:31 p.m.: That’s it! NASCAR has called the race. Justin Haley is your winner.
5:00 p.m.: NASCAR has declard the track “lost,” meaning it will be at least two hours before the track is dry.
4:43 p.m.: A return to racing is not looking promising.
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4:36 p.m.: Another lightning strike. Rain has intensified.
4:24 p.m.: Bad news. Lightning. At least 30 minutes until they can start again.
4:23 p.m.: So many of these cars are being held together by tape and bags.
4:22 p.m.: Raining everywhere but Daytona International Speedway.
4:17 p.m.: Drivers have been sent back to their cars.
4:03 p.m.: The earliest they can restart is 30 minutes after lightning, so that would be at 4:10.
3:50 p.m.: A few drops of rain have begun to fall.
3:40 p.m.: There hasn’t been any rain, so the track is still dry. Just waiting on lightning to clear the radius.
3:35 p.m.: This is just Haley’s third career Cup Series start. He is currently eighth in the Xfiinity Series standings.
3:20 p.m.: Red flag for lightning with 33 laps to go.. Haley is in first. Teams are told to cover the cars.
3:18 p.m.: Interesting development. Kurt Busch just opted to pit under caution, sending Justin Haley to first. He was runner-up in Friday’s Xfinity race. Busch is furious. He was under the impression the race was about to go green.
3:14 p.m.: Clint Bowyer is also finished. He is not happy with Dillon.
3:11 p.m.: No surprise, but Austin Dillon’s day is over.
3:08 p.m.: 38 laps to go and several cars hit pit road with storms approaching.
3:02 p.m.: Kurt Busch and Ty Dillon somehow made it through unscathed. Busch is the new leader. All four Joe Gibbs Racing cars were involved.
2:59 p.m.: HUGE wreck. Yellow flag. Maybe 15 cars involved, all in the front. Started when Clint Bowyer clipped Austin Dillon.
2:55 p.m.: There are five rows of three-wide racing! Looks like Denny Hamlin emerges from the pack as the leader.
2:53 p.m.: Erik Jones, the winner of this race last year, has quietly made his way to second.
2:50 p.m.: Wow. Austin Dillon wastes no time in retaking the lead.
2:49 p.m.: Stage 3 is under green. Joey Logano and Ryan Newman are the front row.
2:43 p.m.: Weather update:
Stage 2 winner: Austin Dillon
2:38 p.m.: Austin Dillon hangs on for the stage win and potentially the race win. Fellow Chevy drivers Alex Bowman and William Byron round out the top three. This race is officially official.
2:37 p.m.: Two to go! Austin Dillon moves back in front.
2:36 p.m.: Austin Dillon fails to block a charging Bowyer. Bowyer takes the lead.
2:35 p.m.: Alex Bowman and William Byron are on Dillon’s tail with five laps left in Stage 2.
2:32 p.m.: With 10 laps to go, only two drivers in the top 10 have wins this season. Drivers have been told lightning is moving into the area.
2:29 p.m.: 14 laps to go. Bad weather is approaching. Chevrolet makes up the entire top five.
2:23 p.m.: David Ragan was also damaged. Keseloski’s car is heading back to the garage. No. 2’s day is over.
2:21 p.m.: Big wreck…or rather multiple small wrecks. Fourth caution is out. Harvick hit Keselowski into the wall. Daniel Suarez and Daniel Hemric both go spinning through the infield.
2:20 p.m.: Plenty of tight, three-wide racing on this restart.
2:18 p.m.: Back under green with 22 laps to go in Stage 2.
2:13 p.m.: Caution is out as Kurt Busch just loses control and hits the wall. He bounced down and clipped Brendan Gaughan.
2:11 p.m.: Stenhouse is flying by drivers like they’re in slow motion. He’s up to seventh already after the wreck.
2:09 p.m.: William Byron has moved up to third for the first time today.
2:04 p.m.: Ryan Blaney and Austin Dillon both quickly pass Bowyer.
2:02 p.m.: Back under green with Clint Bowyer in first. 30 laps left in Stage 2.
1:55 p.m.: Caution is out. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. goes spinning through the infield after Kurt Busch clips his tail.
1:54 p.m.: It’s a race to finish Stage 2 before the rain comes.
1:53 p.m.: Green flag for Stage 2.
1:49 p.m.: Paul Menard and Brad Keselowski both make some heavy side contact, but avoid any catastrophe.
Stage 1 winner: Joey Logano
1:43 p.m.: Joey Logano passes Harvick in the final stretch to win Stage 1. Harvick was passed by several on the final lap.
1:39 p.m.: Ford has decided to align on the outside line along the the wall.
1:35 p.m.: So many cars pitted simultaneously that Aric Almirola couldn’t fit into his pit box. He dropped to 33rd.
1:33 p.m.: The pit cycle has started, led by Joey Logano. Most drivers are just taking fuel. Kevin Harvick beat Logano off pit road.
1:31 p.m.: 35 laps in, and Ford is dominating this race.
1:26 p.m.: Crew cheifs are opting to pit later in the stage today than they would have had the race been run last night. The hot temperature is a big factor.
1:24 p.m.: Halfway through Stage 1, it sounds like drivers will begin pitting in about 10 laps.
1:20 p.m.: Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch are arguing about drafting with each other in their Toyotas. Hamlin breaks off.
1:14 p.m.: Chris Buescher’s decal is literally falling apart. That is going to need to be addressed. He is currently ninth.
1:09 p.m.: Car manufacturers are going with some clear team strategy today. Fords make up the top four, followed by a pair of Chevrolets.
1:05 p.m.: Here we go. Green flag! Need 100 laps to make this race count.
1:03 p.m.: Also important.
12:47 p.m.: A breakdown of today’s race.
Sunday 12:20 p.m.: They’re at least going to start on time.
Saturday 8:17 p.m.: That’s a wrap for tonight. Race postponed to Sunday at 1 p.m..
7:40 p.m.: How soon may fans find out if there will be racing on Saturday? Sunday’s forecast doesn’t look much better.
7:21 p.m.: For the second race in a row, we are in a weather delay.