Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series began their season at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night with the NextEra Energy Resources 250 race. Qualifying was held in the afternoon with the Brazilians, 32 Miguel Paludo and 30 Nelson Piquet, Jr. on the front row. Turner Motor Sports held the top three positions with 31 James Buescher starting third. Brad Keselowski was the only Sprint Cup driver in the field in his own #19 truck. It was a battle of the Truck drivers. And what a battle it was!
32 leads from the pole with 30 getting stuck in the middle and falling back. 13 Johnny Sauter made it three wide. 11 Todd Bodine pushes 23 Jason White, but is overheating and cannot continue to push. The first caution comes out when 5 Paulie Harraka gets loose avoiding a lapped truck, up into 18 Jason Leffler. Both along with 98 Dakoda Armstrong get into the wall. Many drivers take their trucks down pit road to avoid the crashing. 93 Chris Cockrum gets back onto the lead lap.
The race is restarted on lap 24. 27 Ward Burton gets lapped, but the second caution comes out for debris, giving him his lap back. 32 and 31 are on the front row for the restart and 31 takes the lead. The third caution is also for debris, perhaps from 98 who made repairs. Several trucks come back in to top off the fuel. 33 Cale Gale and 3 Ty Dillon come in for four tires. They go back to Green on lap 55.
32 leads. The fourth caution comes out when 7 John King moves up into 33, sending 33 into 8 Mike Skinner and 07 T. J. Duke and into the wall. 88 Matt Crafton goes to the apron and into the cone. The pace car leads them through pit road so they can clean up the dog leg. 5 Paulie Harraka gets one of his laps back. 68 Clay Greenfield misses his pit to come out first, but must head back in for service. 22 Joey Coulter comes out of his pit stall too far to the left and gets into 23 coming out of his pit.
31 leads. 30 leads the outside line to take the lead. 3 pulls out to the outside lane, but no one follows him. 13 moves behind 23 sending 11 to the outside and back. They are two by two for the lead. The fifth caution comes out with 16 laps to go. 32 slams hard into the inside wall. He is off the ground and on fire. It is unclear as to why he went racing off into the wall. Too close to the leader 32? 30 got loose? 93 gets hit with flying debris. They have to fix the wall before the race can continue.
They restart with ten laps to go and 23 leading and 30 on the outside. 30 gets hung out. They race two by two with 31 leading the outside lane. The middle pack is three wide, many deep. The sixth caution comes out with seven laps to go. 15 Dusty Davis got down into 29 Parker Kligerman and 81 David Starr, collecting 99 Brian Silas and 08 Ross Chastaine. 3 manages to get by the whole mess with his spotter telling him where to go. Great job avoiding it all. 5 Paulie Harraka gets another lap back.
The restart will be the first attempt at a Green White Checker Finish. 23 and 13 are on the front row. 9 Ron Hornaday pushes 13 into the lead. He moves down in front of 23. Before the White Flag can be thrown, the seventh caution comes out. 73 Rick Crawford is down the middle and 19 is spinning. 13 and 23 are on the front row for the second attempt at a Green White Checker Finish. 23 falls back and 7 is in second.
Again, before the White Flag comes out, the eighth caution comes out. 11 pushes 7 into 13 causing a big crash involving fifteen trucks. 11 takes the lead before the caution comes out, but it goes back to the last scoring loop on the track and 7 leads. There is a Red Flag for cleanup.
This will be the final attempt at a Green White Checker Finish. If caution comes out before the White Flag, the race will end under caution. (Matt Kenseth Tweets that it is a good thing there are only three attempts for GWC, as there would not be any trucks left running!)
7 and 11 are on the front row for the restart. 17 Timothy Peters pushes 7 and 11 falls back. There is a spectacular crash with 22 Coulter flying into the catch fence and 9 driving under him! 22 falls down onto 31. And Rookie 7 John King wins the NextEra Energy Resources 250 under caution. 17 Timothy Peters finished second, followed by 6 Justin Lofton, 09 Travis Kvapil, 23 Jason White, 11Todd Bodine, 84 Chris Fontaine, 27 Ward Burton, 3 Ty Dillon and 68 Clay Greenfield for the top ten.
A wild and crazy night. But I have to ask if the crashing was worth the three Green White Checkers. Rookie Ty Dillon did a great job avoiding the crashing. But a lot of mistakes were made to cause all the crashing. So, was the race exciting because of the three Green White Checkers, or not very good racing because they were needed? I’ll leave that up to you. I prefer racing to crashing.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR racing.