DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Audio and recap by Race Chaser Online Mid-Atlantic Correspondent Marshall Gabell – Cody Byus Racing photo –
With just a week before the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series (NPAS) season opener at Daytona International Speedway, the drivers took to the high banks for the Snowcone Productions Shootout, a 40-lap non-points event.
Trey Eidson triumphed in the race after a late-race caution brought him under the checkered flag as the winner in the unofficial beginning to the 2015 PEAK Antifreeze Series season.
“It was crazy,” Eidson explained about the final laps. “I had all my teammates up front, but with the tandems these cars have I was sorta the lone ranger as the fifth car. So I found Ray (Alfalla) and he had a heck of a lot of steam coming so I jumped up to the outside and he pushed the crap out of me and then the timely caution at the end never hurts.”
After the checkered flag dropped, Eidson, who led just the final two laps under caution, called this the paramount of his career on the service after beating out an extremely competitive field.
“It is probably biggest win as far as the level of competition goes for me, even though it was not a point’s race,” Eidson said. “These races are hard to win – no matter if it is points or not. And I mean, it’s Daytona, which adds to (the prestige).”
Eidson led a Cody Byus Racing sweep of the top five positions, with Adam Gilliland, team owner Cody Byus, Justin Bolton and Brad Mahar finishing second through fifth, respectively.
There were just three cautions during the event, including the last one that would subsequently end the race, but nothing that resembled the ‘big one’ that Daytona is known for producing.
Michael J Johnson, Danny Hansen, and Matt Bussa were involved in a crash that brought out the first caution on the night after colliding together on the backstretch.
After the initial caution, the field went green for almost 20 laps and the leaders battled almost three-wide before Patrick Crabtree and Brandon Schmidt wrecked on the frontstretch to draw the yellow for the second time.
Once the carnage was cleaned up, racing resumed and teammates Gilliland and Byus paced the lead group around the racetrack, running side-by-side before Eidson and Alfalla teamed up, drafting right up against the outside wall.
Within two laps of the checkered flag, Eidson powered to the race lead and brought Alfalla with him; however, before reaching the stripe for the white flag, Alfalla’s engine burst into smoke which stacked up the field and caused the race-ending caution.
“I saw he (Alfalla) blew up,” Eidson said. “But I did not see an immediate caution. So I had both my teammates, Cody Byus and Adam Gilliland, there and I felt like a sitting duck. It felt like as soon as they got to (my bumper) the caution came out (ending the race).”
Eidson says the win gives him confidence over the field heading into Round One of the 2015 championship at Daytona next Tuesday night – something that could be bad news for the other competitors.
Audio with race winner Trey Eidson:
RESULTS: Snowcone Productions Shootout; Daytona International Speedway; February 17, 2014
- Trey Eidson
- Adam Gilliland
- Cody Byus
- Justin Bolton
- Brad Mahar
- Andrew Fayash
- P.J. Stergios
- Alex Warren
- Bryan Blackford
- Brian Day
- Chris Overland
- Rob Ackley
- David Rattler
- Byron Daley
- Ray Alfalla
- Jake Stergios
- Steven Gilbert
- Corey Vincent
- Nick Ottinger
- Brandon Schmidt
- Patrick Crabtree
- Tyler D. Hudson
- Matt Bussa
- Danny Hansen
- Michael Conti (started the race late)
- Michael J. Johnson