Auto Racing / Sports

Almirola, No. 43 win rain-shortened Daytona race

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- After the weather had put its final soggy stamp on the weekend at Daytona International Speedway, one of NASCAR's iconic cars ended up the winner of the Coke Zero 400.

Aric Almirola, driver of Richard Petty Motorsports' No. 43 Ford, was declared the winner after rain stopped the race after 112 of a scheduled 160 laps.

It was the 30th anniversary of Richard Petty's victory in the 1984 Firecracker 400 at Daytona, the 200th and final triumph of his career that was witnessed by President Ronald Reagan.

The race was marred by two huge accidents, the first claiming 16 cars on Lap 21, the other collecting 26 cars on Lap 98.

The race was also red-flagged for 25 minutes on Lap 10 because of rain. But when the rain returned on Lap 112, the race was eventually called at 2:55 p.m.

Brian Vickers finished second, with Kurt Busch third and Casey Mears fourth.

The victory assures Almirola a spot in the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup. Points leader Jeff Gordon finished 12th.

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