Daytona Beach, Fla – We’re already to the summer portion of the NASCAR schedule, as the second half of the season begins Saturday night at the Daytona International Speedway. The Coke Zero 400 (7:30 p.m. ET/NBC/MRN) will likely feature fireworks as usual, with one trend showing, this race will likely end in overtime.
Since 2008, six of the nine Coke Zero 400’s have ended past the scheduled 160 Lap cut off. In fact, it’s happened the last two years and five of the last seven. The only years since 2008 that we ended on Lap 160 was 2009, 2012 and 2014.
In 2011, there were actually 10 overtime laps before David Ragan took the checkered flag first. The last three trips to overtime only extended the race by just one lap.
So, with how wild things were back in February, mixed with the past few years here, on top of how crazy the playoff standings are shaping up to be, expect a late race caution to put this race in overtime too.
Also, expect the winner to come from a top 10 starting spot as well.
76-percent of the previous 58 Coke Zero 400’s, have all been won by a driver coming from the top 10 at the start of the race. That’s 44 winners. 16 of those 44 have come from the front row, while 29 of them (50-percent) from a top five starting spot.
Just four of the 58 (6.8-percent) have started outside the top 20 even (Tony Stewart-2012, Greg Biffle-2003, Bill Elliott-1988 and Bobby Isaac-1971). As you can see, it’s only happened twice over the last 29 years.
So, pay attention to qualifying on Friday evening, the top 10 drivers will be the favorites despite being a restrictor plate race. Then, bet on this race being extended into overtime.