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Article by Grant Sorrell – Sports View America NASCAR Correspondent ….
Photo – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JULY 4, 1984: Richard Petty recorded his 200th, and final, NASCAR Cup Series win at the 1984 Firecracker 400. (Photo by ISC Archives via Getty Images)
The old fans know the July race at Daytona as the Firecracker 400 but recently the name has changed to the Coke Sugar Free 400 as the Independence Day tradition in Daytona. It is a sign of the times with Corporate Sponsors.
Rain hampered the weekend racing and the race was moved from Saturday night to a Sunday afternoon. “The Big One” as come to be expected at Daytona came in the last stage. Many drivers said the wild not “lift” late in the race meaning they would not lift the gas if another driver moved in front of them to block them from advancing positions. #14 Ford driver, Clint Boyer and #3 driver, Austin Dillon tangled bringing out a crash that involved many of the field. Because rain came while race was red flagged, and with only 3 Monster Cup races behind him, the rookie Justin Haley grabbed the checkered flag in the #77 Spire Chevy. Justin was quoted saying “What a Blessing” after being declared the winner. #24 Hendrick Chevy William Byron finished second with teammate and former NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson #48 bringing home the third spot.