JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Storylines to keep an eye on during this weekend's Coke Zero 400:
Denny Hamlin eyes the Daytona double: 2016 DAYTONA 500 champion Denny Hamlin will attempt to pull off the Daytona double by winning both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the same year. Drivers to previously sweep the DAYTONA 500 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola in the same season are Jimmie Johnson (2013), Bobby Allison (1982), Fireball Roberts (1962), Cale Yarborough (1968) and LeeRoy Yarbrough (1969).
The race to make the Chase: The race to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup continues. With a victory in the Coke Zero 400, drivers can secure a berth in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Stewart’s final Sprint Cup start at Daytona: Four-time Coke Zero 400 champion Tony Stewart is competing in his final full-time NASCAR season and will make his final Sprint Cup Series start at Daytona International Speedway in the Coke Zero 400. Stewart has 19 overall wins at DIS, second on the all-time wins list. Stewart enters Daytona riding high after his road course victory last weekend in Sonoma, which snapped an 84-race losing skid. In order to race for a fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup title in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Stewart needed to win a race this season and finish inside the top 30 points. Stewart currently sits nine points out of 30th.
Defending race champion: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the defending champion of the Coke Zero 400. Earnhardt Jr. will try to join the back-to-back club of Coke Zero 400 champions including Fireball Roberts (1962-63), A.J. Foyt (1964-65), Cale Yarborough (1967-68), David Pearson (1972-74) and Tony Stewart (2005-06).