NCWTS: One Rowdy Night; Kyle Busch Scores Thrilling Daytona Truck Victory

Jacob Seelman Featured, NASCAR, Southeast 0 Comments

February 22, 2014 — race report by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Race Chaser Online — photo courtesy Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images — DAYTONA BEACH, FL — After coming oh-so-close three times at the World Center of Racing, ‘Rowdy’ can finally take his bow.

Kyle Busch used a thrilling last gasp maneuver coming into the tri-oval on the outside to snatch victory from Timothy Peters’ fingers in Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season-opener at the Daytona International Speedway. At the stripe, the official margin of victory was 17 one-thousandths of a second (0.017), the closest finish in Daytona NCWTS history and the eighth-straight Toyota victory in the Truck Series at the World Center of Racing.

“It sounds good,” Busch said of what it felt to finally be a Truck Series winner at DIS after finishing second three times, including a year ago to Johnny Sauter. “I’d much rather it would be Daytona 500 winner though.”

When asked about his move to get the win, a still-stunned Busch shook his head slightly.

“I didn’t think I would be able to make that move (the outside pass on Peters). I said I was going to throw it out there and see what happens. I got kind of to his outside and I started to break the plain and then that started to slow him down and then as soon as I did (break the plain) it just drug him back.”

Peters said following the event he did everything he could, but wasn’t going to look at the ‘What ifs’.

“It’s always easy to sit here and be a Monday morning quarterback,” Peters said. “Kyle caught the right push at the right time from Johnny (Sauter). I went up to try to block him but then went right back down to the bottom so I wouldn’t lose second.”

Behind Busch and Peters, Sauter finished third in his efforts to repeat at Daytona, with Turner-Scott Motorsports teammates Ryan Truex and Ron Hornaday completing the top five.

Ryan Blaney, Jeb Burton, Joe Nemechek, Jimmy Weller and three-time NASCAR Toyota Series champion German Quiroga were the rest of the top ten. Defending series champion Matt Crafton finished 13th.

The win is Busch’s 36th career Truck Series triumph, and he has now won in the ARCA Racing Series, Truck Series, Nationwide Series, and Sprint Cup Series at Daytona.

“Now I’ve won four (races) here, one in ARCA, Nationwide, Cup and now Trucks,” Busch said of being the first driver in American motorsports history to earn wins in all four series at Daytona. “I’ve been trying to get that fourth one and finally got it.”

Ben Kennedy put on a Daytona clinic during the first half of the event, leading 52 consecutive laps from the pole after qualifying was cancelled due to rain showers. The race itself was originally moved up to a 7 PM Eastern start time before ultimately taking the green flag at 8:30 PM, half an hour after the originally-scheduled start.

The Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate finally lost the lead after stalling his car coming off of a lap 53 pit stop. Kennedy was relegated to 8th by NASCAR rule even though he came off pit road first; he did not maintain minimum speed after pit exit. From there, the No. 31 team was never a factor for the win. Kennedy ultimately came home in 15th.

Once the field resumed green flag action with 44 laps to go, Peters fought up the outside lane and staged a side-by-side war with Busch before taking the top spot outright with 37 laps remaining.

The Big One struck on Lap 74 after Parker Kligerman’s No. 58 Toyota got loose in the draft and hooked Win-Tron Racing rookie Mason Mingus. Mingus then sailed headlong into the outside wall and set off a chain reaction crash that collected 15 trucks.

Among the trucks involved were Tyler Young, John Wes Townley, Brian Ickler, John King, Joey Coulter, Ryan Blaney, Darrell Wallace Jr., polesitter Kennedy, Mingus, Kligerman, Chris Cockrum, Sean Corr, Chris Fontaine and Ross Chastain.

After a long cleanup period and inspection of the SAFER Barrier, the field returned to racing with 18 laps to go and Kyle Busch reasserted his dominance at the front of the field until a fourth caution flew with 11 to go for fluid dropped from the 50 truck of Travis Kvapil.

When the final green flag came out, most of the field shot to the bottom and hung Turner Scott Motorsports teammates Ryan Truex and Ron Hornaday out to dry up top. Busch held the lead down low but Truex and Hornaday slowly began to mount the final charge for the outside lane. Peters jumped up high from sixth in front of Truex with seven to go and was alongside Busch two laps later, taking the lead again with four laps remaining.

Truex and Hornaday tried to mount a similar charge on the high lane but could never get close enough to challenge, leaving Busch and Peters alone out front.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to action March 29 at Martinsville Speedway for the Kroger 250.

 

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