| The Daytona Beach News-Journal
10:15 p.m. update
There was another major wreck involving 11 stock cars, this time in Turn 2, that brought out a second red flag.
Joey Logano, who won Stages 1 and 2, was making a pass for the lead when his No. 22 Ford was turned around.
The wreck sent William Byron to the top of the field. Byron needs a win or enough points to claim one of the two remaining playoff positions.
Jimmie Johnson, who is in a fight for a playoff position, suffered sheet-metal damage in the crash. Johnson got to pit road before the red flag was displayed.
9:59 p.m. update
Rookie driver Tyler Reddick passed race leader Kyle Busch, who went high to block but ended up in the wall, sparking the “Big One” wreck in Turn 4 on Lap 151.
Denny Hamlin got through the mayhem and was scored as the leader as NASCAR tossed the red flag to clean up the mess.
Ten cars were involved in the wreck, including Ryan Newman, who crashed hard in the Daytona 500. This time he walked away from his mangled No. 6 Ford.
9:45 p.m. update
James Davison’s No. 51 Ford dropped debris on the track, bringing out the first caution of the race for an incident on Lap 142.
Kyle Busch was posted as the leader in his No. 18 Toyota followed by his Joe Gibbs Raicng teammate Denny Hamlin in the No. 11. Hamlin won the season-opening Daytona 500.
They were followed by Chevrolet drivers Kurt Busch, Kyle’s older brother, and Austin Dillon, who won the Daytona 500 three years ago.
The green flag was displayed on Lap 148.
9:30 p.m. update
The Chevrolets pitted as a group on Lap 125 and were followed to pit road on the next lap by Team Toyota.
When the Toyota cars came to pit road, the top 13 positions belonged to the Fords. The Fords pitted as a group on Lap 132.
There have been no yellow flags for wrecks with 30 laps to go.
After the green flag pit stops were done, Michael McDowell was scored as the leader in the No. 34 Ford, then Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and William Byron went to the front of the pack.
9:05 p.m. update
Joey Logano, driving the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, won Stage 2 on Lap 100 of the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
The lead cars were battling for positions like it was the checkered flag.
Following Logano across the finish line was Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson.
During Stage 2 Bowyer clinched a playoff position based on points, officially leaving only two postseason positions left to fill. Jimmie Johnson has collected the second-most playoff points tonight, and is currently 10 points to the good with one stage to go. William Byron is currently on the outside of the playoff window, trailing Matt DiBenedetto by nine points.
There were no incidents during Stage 2.
After the lead pack pitted for fuel and tires, Denny Hamlin came out with the lead followed by Kevin Harvick and Logano.
8:15 p.m. update
Joey Logano captured Stage 1 of the Coke Zero Sugar 400, earning valuable championship points.
Erik Jones finished second followed by rookie Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney and seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.
Jones and Reddick need a win to make the Cup Series playoffs. Johnson was the top driver among those fighting to make the postseason on points. He now trails William Byron by just two points.
8 p.m. update
The race has gone back to green on Lap 25.
Most of the field came to pit road for service during the first caution.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman are the head of the field.
7:50 p.m. update
The race has seen its first yellow flag, for a competition caution on Lap 20.
This caution period was built into the race program.
Hendrick Motorsports drivers William Byron and Alex Bowman were leading the race when the yellow was flashed.
7:30 p.m. update
The green flag has been waved to start the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
NASCAR’s season-finale is less than an hour away.
The green flag for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway is set to wave at 7:30 p.m., with Kevin Harvick, the regular season champion, leading the field into Turn 1.
Jimmie Johnson, in what could be his final Daytona start, will start seventh. Johnson is set to retire from full-time racing at season’s end, and trails teammate William Byron by four points for the 16th and final playoff spot. Byron will start sixth.
The weather forecast tonight calls for a 50% chance of rain. There were cloudy conditions at the Speedway as of 6:30 p.m., but no rain has fallen. The hourly forecast calls for a 25% chance of rain at 7 p.m. and 35% chance at 8 p.m.
Fans are currently making their way into the grandstands for the second time this month. The Speedway allowed a limited number of spectators for the Daytona Road Course race two weeks ago and an expected crowd of 20,000 will be in attendance tonight.
The race will be televised on NBC.