Weather: Night race was warm and humid
Winner: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet from Joe Gibbs Racing
Top-five finishers: Stewart, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Boris Said and Matt Kenseth
Race recap: It was repeat Pepsi 400 race winner Tony Stewart's night at Daytona as he claimed the checkered flag after leading the race six times for 86 laps, The thrill was apparent as Stewart climbed the flag stand then dove into the crowd of fans below as his team and NASCAR officials arrived.
The race finished under a yellow caution that froze the field on the final lap after a debris caution was called. The Busch brothers were on his tail, followed by part-time Nextel Cup driver and road course specialist Boris Said, who grabbed his second Nextel Cup pole with a qualifying run of 186.143 mph. He led laps 149 through 157 until Stewart took over for the finale.
Overall, there were six cautions for 19 laps and a busy 29 lead changes among 15 drivers, as Stewart averaged 153.143 mph through the race that lasted just under two hours and 37 minutes.
Jimmie Johnson, who finished 32nd, remains the points leader, with Matt Kenseth behind by eight, followed by Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Stewart.
Goodyear quote by Stu Grant, general manager of global race tires: "The race went trouble free from a tire standpoint. Performance was great, including through a long green-flag run in mid race where the cars cycled through two green flag, full-fuel stops in a row. The Goodyear Eagle tires used for the race were the same codes as those successfully used in the February Daytona 500."
Goodyear quote by Rick Heinrich, product manager, stock car racing: "The Busch and Nextel Cup series ran different tire combinations of Goodyear Eagles this weekend in Daytona. After our February events, we wanted to bring something more wear resistant for the Busch cars, which run larger fuel cells. Our tires performed well in both events this weekend and we had two good races as we concluded the first half of the NASCAR season."
NASCAR's Busch Series Winn-Dixie 250 race on Friday night was won by Dale Earnhardt Jr., who crossed the line 0.154 seconds ahead of Brian Vickers in an overtime effort. Also in the top five were Kevin Harvick, J.J. Yeley and Carl Edwards.
It was Earnhardt's 21st series win, and he averaged 133.343 mph through five cautions for 20 laps including a 12-minute red flag stop for cleanup and gate repair from an accident. Just three drivers led in the race with polesitter Yeley heading the first eight laps and Denny Hamlin on the point from lap nine through 15, then the night belonged to Earnhardt from lap 16 to the conclusion at lap 103.
Goodyear's engineers specified a new tire setup with a tougher tread compound for this Busch Series race and accomplished their goal of providing improved wear over what they saw in the February Busch race at Daytona.
Harvick remains the Busch points leader, trailed by Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Hamlin and Yeley.
The International Race of Champions that runs exclusively on Goodyear Racing Eagles rolled out on Daytona's 3.56-mile road course track on Thursday night. The 20-lap event had just two leaders. Open wheel star Max Papis led through lap three and then eventual winner Tony Stewart permanently took over. Stewart heads the IROC points after three of four races in 2006. The finale is set for Oct. 28 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Other NASCAR racing:
The Craftsman Truck Series ran at Kansas Speedway on Saturday on Goodyear Wrangler race tires, and Terry Cook took the win after getting the lead with 40 laps to go, ending a drought that extended back 94 races. Rick Crawford was second and Marcos Ambrose was third.