Coming down to the checkers at Daytona International Speedway, everybody knows to expect an exciting finish for the Camping World Truck Series season opener. This year’s edition of the race didn’t fail as Busch pulled out from behind Peters off of turn four and passed Peters, making it to the line only 17-one thousandths of a second ahead.
“It’s awesome,” Busch commented. “Can’t say enough about everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports; this whole team. This is the first win for the new truck so it’s nice to see it in victory lane.”
It marks Busch’s first win at Daytona in a truck after having to settle for the runner-up spot three times.
“I didn’t think I was going to be able to make that move,” Busch added. “I just came down on him and once I dragged him down, it pulled him back. We appreciate the fans sticking around. It’s a late Friday night but man we’re in victory lane.”
For Toyota, it allows them to kick off their 10th season in the truck series in victory lane.
“(The move) was pretty cool,” crew chief Eric Phillips said. “He knew what he wanted to do. I kind of rather been in second than leader there. we had something wrong with the truck halfway through the race there but Kyle kept it up there the last couple of laps.”
Busch wasn’t sure if he would be able to make the move after an alluminum piece in the cal flap flew out mid-race.
Timothy Peters would finish second as he is looking for his first truck title in his 10th year of competition in the series.
“You always sit here and say that you could do this, you could do that – but Kyle caught the right run at the right time from Johnny,” Peters commented on the final lap. “I went up to block him, but came back down so I wouldn’t lose second. This truck was strong tonight. I believe we were the only truck that could really run the outside like that.”
Last year’s race winner Johnny Sauter, who pushed Busch to allow him to get the run, finished third.
“I just wasn’t in the position to give Kyle the run that I wanted to so I could push him out there and get him away from the field and maybe pass him,” Sauter said. “But if you can’t win it, you want to finish solid and this is a good start to the season.”
Ryan Truex, making his fourth truck start, would finish fourth after contending for the win late in the race.
“When I dropped back on that restart, I thought we were done,” Truex said, speaking of a restart with 11 to go due to Travis Kvapil going up in smoke. “I side drafted everybody as much as I could and Ron Hornaday was an awesome teammate there pushing the crap out of me.”
Truex’s Turner-Scott Motorsports teammate Ron Hornaday rounded out the top five while Ryan Blaney started off his sophomore season with Brad Keselowski Racing in sixth.
“The top line didn’t work that well all night and only worked when Timothy was out there,” Blaney commented. “I ran into someone on pit road and had a big hole in there so I knew I couldn’t lead. I saw Timothy coming and was 80% going up but saw a big head of steam and didn’t due to chance of wrecking all of us. All in all, it was a good solid night and great way to start the year.”
Jeb Burton finished seventh, followed by Joe Nemechek, Jimmy Weller III and German Quiroga. Ryan Sieg finished 11th, followed by rookie Tyler Reddick who overcame stalling on pit road twice. 2013 Champion Matt Crafton finished 13th, followed by John Wes Townley and pole sitter Ben Kennedy.
The race would not go without a big wreck as the big one would occur on lap 72 of 100 when Ross Chastain bumped Parker Kligerman, which caused Kligerman to turn Mason Mingus head-on into the wall.
“We got that second restart and we were shuffled back to ninth. The outside line got up there and they were kept coming down – side drafting closer and closer so I thought if I could get to the top, I could ride there. I got to the top and thought I was fine. then I got bumped…bumped again and I tried to save it but couldn’t as it came around,” Kligermann recapped his race.
“I was working with Timothy really well there – I could run better behind someone instead of infront of someone. I was going in there and everything was fine till he (Kligerman) pulled up in front of me,” Chastain commented. “I bumped into him and he just lost it there. Some people shouldn’t be out there as they don’t know what they’re doing. I don’t know. This is second time this has happened to me. Maybe he has his shocks bound down too much. Maybe it’s me and how I work with people.”
“It was a pretty frustrating night for us,” Mingus said. “The guys did a great job putting together a strong truck. I felt like I had something for them. it looks like someone got into the back of the 58 and turned him right into the back of our quarter panel. It’s real unfortunate.”
There were a total of 13 drivers involved in the wreck. Beyond those listed involved, the wreck also caught up Darrell Wallace Jr., Joey Coulter, Townley, Tyler Young, Brian Ickler, Chris Fontaine, Reddick, Brennan Newberry, Sean Corr and Chris Cockrum.
“The 58 – Parker I think – had a good run going on the outside and Ross and I were just trying to side draft and I guess Parker got clear and came up. I seen Parker get loose and tied to go to the bottom but couldn’t dodge it,” Wallace Jr. commented. “I’m just pissed off for my guys. They work their tails off day in and day out and it sucks.”
The first DNF of race was Jason White when his engine blew up on lap 45.