2001 Pepsi 400

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This is about the Summer 2001 race at Daytona. For the race at Michigan, see 2001 Pepsi 400 Presented by Meijer.

2001 Pepsi 400
Race details
Race 17 of 36 in the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
2001 Pepsi 400 program cover
2001 Pepsi 400 program cover
Date July 7, 2001 (2001-07-07)
Location Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.02 km)
Distance 160 laps, 400 mi (643.27 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 89.1 °F (31.7 °C); wind speeds approaching 11.10 miles per hour (17.86 km/h)[1]
Average speed 157.601 mph (253.634 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Chip Ganassi Racing
Most laps led
Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
Laps 116
No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
Television in the United States
Network NBC
Announcers Allen Bestwick, Benny Parsons, Wally Dallenbach Jr.[2]
Nielsen Ratings 6.1/13
(25 million viewers)[3]
Radio in the United States
Radio MRN
Booth Announcers Joe Moore, Barney Hall
Turn Announcers Kurt Becker (1 & 2), Dave Moody (Backstretch) and Kevin O'Neal (3 & 4)

The 2001 Pepsi 400 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series stock car race held on July 7, 2001, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida as the 17th of the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. It was the first race held at Daytona since the 2001 Daytona 500, in which Dale Earnhardt was killed on the final lap. Sterling Marlin of Chip Ganassi Racing won the pole position. Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. won the race, while DEI teammate Michael Waltrip and Elliott Sadler finished second and third, respectively.

Entry List[edit]

(R) denotes rookie driver

No. Driver Team Manufacturer
01 Jason Leffler (R) Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Dodge
1 Steve Park Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet
2 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing Ford
4 Kevin Lepage Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet
5 Terry Labonte Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
6 Mark Martin Roush Racing Ford
7 Mike Wallace Ultra Motorsports Ford
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet
9 Bill Elliott Evernham Motorsports Dodge
10 Johnny Benson MBV Motorsports Pontiac
11 Brett Bodine Brett Bodine Racing Ford
12 Jeremy Mayfield Penske Racing Ford
14 Ron Hornaday Jr. (R) A. J. Foyt Racing Pontiac
15 Michael Waltrip Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet
17 Matt Kenseth Roush Racing Ford
18 Bobby Labonte Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac
19 Casey Atwood (R) Evernham Motorsports Dodge
20 Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac
21 Elliott Sadler Wood Brothers Racing Ford
22 Ward Burton Bill Davis Racing Dodge
24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
25 Jerry Nadeau Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
26 Jimmy Spencer Haas-Carter Motorsports Ford
27 Mike Bliss Eel River Racing Pontiac
28 Ricky Rudd Robert Yates Racing Ford
29 Kevin Harvick (R) Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
31 Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
32 Ricky Craven PPI Motorsports Ford
33 Joe Nemechek Andy Petree Racing Chevrolet
36 Ken Schrader MBV Motorsports Pontiac
40 Sterling Marlin Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Dodge
43 John Andretti Petty Enterprises Dodge
44 Buckshot Jones Petty Enterprises Dodge
45 Kyle Petty Petty Enterprises Dodge
49 Andy Hillenburg BAM Racing Pontiac
50 Rick Mast Midwest Transit Racing Chevrolet
51 Jeff Purvis Phoenix Racing Ford
55 Bobby Hamilton Andy Petree Racing Chevrolet
66 Todd Bodine Haas-Carter Motorsports Ford
71 Dave Marcis Marcis Auto Racing Chevrolet
77 Robert Pressley Jasper Motorsports Ford
88 Dale Jarrett Robert Yates Racing Ford
90 Hut Stricklin Donlavey Racing Ford
92 Stacy Compton Melling Racing Dodge
93 Dave Blaney Bill Davis Racing Dodge
96 Andy Houston (R) PPI Motorsports Ford
97 Kurt Busch (R) Roush Racing Ford
99 Jeff Burton Roush Racing Ford


Qualifying was scheduled for July 5,[2] but was rained out; rain also delayed the start of qualifying the next day.[4] On the ten-year anniversary of his first career pole position, Sterling Marlin clinched the pole with a lap speed of 183.778 miles per hour (295.762 km/h). Dodge drivers claimed the first four spots, with Ward Burton (183.597 mph (295.471 km/h)), Stacy Compton (182.678 mph (293.992 km/h)) and Casey Atwood (182.597 mph (293.861 km/h)). Chevrolet driver and Cup points leader Jeff Gordon qualified fifth at 182.312 mph (293.403 km/h).[5] Buckshot Jones, Ron Hornaday Jr., Hut Stricklin, Mike Bliss and Andy Hillenburg failed to qualify.[6]


The Rev. Hal Marchman gave the traditional invocation, Edwin McCain sang the National Anthem, and Pop singer Britney Spears gave the command to start the engines.[2] Ward Burton took the lead from Sterling Marlin on lap one, but relinquished it to Marlin on lap three. After Kevin Harvick, Marlin and Michael Waltrip shared the lead from laps 10 to 26,[6] Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead on lap 27, leading 22 laps.[7] Matt Kenseth and Todd Bodine would lead for a combined seven laps, before Earnhardt reclaimed the lead and led 33 more laps. The first caution of the race flew on lap 89, when Andy Houston crashed in turn 4. Robert Pressley took the lead on lap 90, which Earnhardt reclaimed the following lap.[6] With 18 laps to go, cars entered pit road for final stops, but ten cars (Mike Skinner, Pressley, Sterling Marlin, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Terry Labonte, Bobby Hamilton, Kevin Harvick, John Andretti, Mark Martin, Dave Marcis, Jason Leffler) were involved in a crash in turn 4.[6] Earnhardt would surrender the lead again to Johnny Benson Jr., who had made a late-race gamble to pull ahead. Dale Jr had to deal with lap traffic on the restart, but the Caution flew for the final time when Jeff Gordon's oil line cut. The race restarted with six laps to go with Johnny Benson still leading. But with five laps remaining, Earnhardt took back the lead,[7] and with drafting assistance from Waltrip, claimed the victory.[8] Elliott Sadler, Ward Burton and Bobby Labonte finished in the top five.[6] Tony Stewart crossed the line in sixth, but officially classified in 26th,[9] had his finishing spot taken by Jerry Nadeau; Rusty Wallace, Jeff Burton, Brett Bodine and Mike Wallace rounded out the top ten.[6]


To celebrate, Earnhardt climbed onto his car's roof, and shared an embrace with Waltrip (who had been unable to celebrate his victory in the 500 that February because of Dale Earnhardt's fatal crash) before diving into his pit crew.[8]

After the race, Tony Stewart, who ignored orders to return to pit road due to passing Dave Blaney[10] below the track's yellow line, knocked a tape recorder away from a Winston-Salem Journal reporter[11] and kicked it under a hauler, and attempted to confront Cup director Gary Nelson, but was restrained by owner Joe Gibbs and crew chief Greg Zipadelli.[9] Stewart argued that he had been forced below the yellow line by Johnny Benson, Bobby Labonte and Jeremy Mayfield. Stewart was later fined $10,000, had his probation (dating back to spinning out Jeff Gordon at Bristol Motor Speedway) extended and was penalized 65 points.[12]

Race Results[edit]

Pos. Car # Driver Make Team
1 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Dale Earnhardt Inc.
2 15 Michael Waltrip Chevrolet Dale Earnhardt Inc.
3 21 Elliott Sadler Ford Wood Brothers Racing
4 22 Ward Burton Dodge Bill Davis Racing
5 18 Bobby Labonte Pontiac Joe Gibbs Racing
6 25 Jerry Nadeau Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
7 2 Rusty Wallace Ford Penske Racing
8 99 Jeff Burton Ford Roush Racing
9 11 Brett Bodine Ford Brett Bodine Racing
10 7 Mike Wallace Ford Ultra Motorsports
11 88 Dale Jarrett Ford Robert Yates Racing
12 66 Todd Bodine Ford Haas-Carter Motorsports
13 10 Johnny Benson Pontiac MBV Motorsports
14 28 Ricky Rudd Ford Robert Yates Racing
15 36 Ken Schrader Pontiac MBV Motorsports
16 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Roush Racing
17 12 Jeremy Mayfield Ford Penske Racing
18 6 Mark Martin Ford Roush Racing
19 26 Jimmy Spencer Ford Haas-Carter Motorsports
20 1 Steve Park Chevrolet Dale Earnhardt Inc.
21 93 Dave Blaney Dodge Bill Davis Racing
22 43 John Andretti Dodge Petty Enterprises
23 77 Robert Pressley Ford Jasper Motorsports
24 01 Jason Leffler (R) Dodge Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
25 29 Kevin Harvick (R) Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing
26 20 Tony Stewart Pontiac Joe Gibbs Racing
27 33 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Andy Petree Racing
28 19 Casey Atwood (R) Dodge Evernham Motorsports
29 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Petty Enterprises
30 97 Kurt Busch (R) Ford Roush Racing
31 4 Kevin Lepage Chevrolet Morgan-McClure Motorsports
32 92 Stacy Compton Dodge Melling Racing
33 32 Ricky Craven Ford PPI Motorsports
34 50 Rick Mast Chevrolet Midwest Transit Racing
35 9 Bill Elliott Dodge Evernham Motorsports
36 71 Dave Marcis Chevrolet Marcis Auto Racing
37 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
38 55 Bobby Hamilton Chevrolet Andy Petree Racing
39 40 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
40 5 Terry Labonte Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
41 31 Mike Skinner Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing
42 51 Jeff Purvis Ford Phoenix Racing
43 96 Andy Houston (R) Ford PPI Motorsports

Failed to Qualify[edit]

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points
1 Jeff Gordon 2403
2 Dale Jarrett 2355
3 Ricky Rudd 2327
4 Tony Stewart 2207
5 Rusty Wallace 2184
6 Sterling Marlin 2159
7 Bobby Labonte 2061
8 Johnny Benson Jr. 2051
9 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2010
10 Kevin Harvick 1987


The 2001 Pepsi 400 was broadcast by NBC,[7] as the first race broadcast by the network under a new centralized NASCAR contract which gave a consortium of NBC Sports and Turner Sports rights to broadcast the second half of the season.[13]

25 million viewers watched the race, setting a viewership record for night races.[14]


  1. ^ Weather information at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ a b c "THE RACE: Pepsi 400". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "TV RATINGS 2001". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  4. ^ Coble, Don (July 7, 2001). "Marlin starts on pole for rain-cleansed Pepsi 400". Athens Banner-Herald. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  5. ^ Associated Press (July 7, 2001). "Marlin Wins the Pole for Pepsi 400 at Daytona". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "2001 Pepsi 400". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "From Tragedy To Triumph: Junior Exorcises The Demons of Daytona in 2001". Bleacher Report. July 1, 2009. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Thomas, Stephan (July 7, 2001). "Junior achievement". CNN Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Stewart's grandfather died before race". CNN Sports Illustrated. July 9, 2001. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  10. ^ Lipsyte, Robert (July 9, 2001). "AUTO RACING; 'The Call' Is Answered in Earnhardt's Pepsi 400 Victory". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  11. ^ "PLUS: AUTO RACING; Further Probation For Irate Stewart". The New York Times. July 12, 2001. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  12. ^ "Severe punishment". CNN Sports Illustrated. July 7, 2001. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  13. ^ Sherman, Ed. "New TV Contracts Place NASCAR In Driver's Seat". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  14. ^ Madden, Mark (July 14, 2001). "Madden: Earnhardt win a quick-fix". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 2, 2014.

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