Could be worse for Danica, Junior

Seth Livingstone - NASCAR Wire Service Monday, Jul 07 1353

Danica Patrick was running fourth 70 laps into the race but overshot her pit stall on a green-flag stop and slipped all the way back to 30th place. Able to avoid major damage during the wreck on Lap 98, Patrick clawed her way back into the top 10 and finished eighth.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s hopes for a season sweep at Daytona took a hit when he was caught up in the first major wreck of the Coke Zero 400. Earnhardt got his lap back during the race’s fourth caution and found himself back on the lead lap and 14th after dodging the 26-car chaos on Lap 98.

Finishing 14th, Earnhardt remained within 27 points of series leader Jeff Gordon (12th) and moved ahead of Jimmie Johnson, whose early exit and 42nd-place showing dropped him 55 points behind Gordon.

Matt Kenseth (20th after leading early), Ryan Newman (24th Sunday) and Paul Menard (16th) remain the only drivers in the top 10 in points but without a victory.