Nascar Coke Zero 400 History
Curious about NASCAR Coke Zero 400 history? In 2008, Coca-Cola became the official soft drink provider of the International Speedway Corporation. However, the July race at Daytona International Speedway has been around since 1959.
The race now known as the NASCAR Coke Zero 400 started in 1959 as a fluke. Originally scheduled as an Indy car race, it was canceled because of a wreck-filled April event. Known as the Firecracker 250 until 1962, the NASCAR drivers only ran 100 laps, or 250 miles. The race was then extended to 400 miles and the name changed to the Firecracker 400, and it stayed that way for the next 21 years.
Pepsi entered the scene before Coke Zero in 1985. Pepsi became the primary sponsor, and so the race became the Pepsi Firecracker 400. Just three short years later the Firecracker name was dropped and the Daytona July race became known simply as the Pepsi 400.
To beat the Daytona heat, the NASCAR Coke Zero 400 originally started at ten in the morning. After Daytona International Speedway underwent a huge lighting project in 1997, the Coke Zero 400 was to become a night race. Unfortunately, the night race debut was pushed back from July to October because of the Florida wildfires.
No matter what the name is, fans will flock to the July race at Daytona just as they have in the past. The NASCAR Coke Zero 400 is one of the most popular races on the NASCAR circuit. The only official Sprint Cup winners for the NASCAR Coke Zero 400 so far are Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch.