The season opener for the Truck Series saw plenty of wrecks, pack racing, and a surprise winner. Photo by Nickeeth Lopez / Flickr.com
By Dominic Aragon
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series got off to an interesting and dramatic start to the season, to say the least.
While Red Horse Racing’s John King was celebrating in victory lane, the caution filled race has already set the tone for various drivers. John King, who had never started a race at Daytona before tonight, had only eight prior starts in the Truck Series before tonight’s race with a best of 15th at Bristol. The Kingsport, Tennessee native led the field on the final lap when Joey Coulter’s truck went airborne and brushed the catch fence on the front stretch.
“I’m a rookie! I’m not supposed to be here!” said Daytona winner John King from victory lane. “I don’t know what to say, it’s a dream come true!” John King becomes the third driver to have their first Cup win come at Daytona in the Truck Series (Robert Pressley, 2002; Michael Waltrip, 2011).
2nd Place Timothy Peters
Running up front for most of the race, Peters starts off the season heading into Martinsville second in points, a place where he’s won at. A strong finish in Martinsville can solidify his chances at the Truck title.
Place Ward Burton
With sponsorship from State Water Heaters, Burton ran a conservative race, running towards the back most of the night. In this one race deal, Burton brought his truck home in eighth place, leaving the question if he will attempt more races after a strong run.
Place Joey Coulter
Coulter ran most of the race inside the top-10. On the last lap jockeying for position, Coulter was turned, got airborne, and hit the catch fence. Fans might be left with the fact this wreck looked eerie similar to Carl Edwards flip at Talladega in 2009.
Place Matt Crafton
Crafton ran most of the race in the back. With wrecks breaking out at the end of the race, he was taken out in the second to last caution. Crafton is sitting 21st in points heading into Martinsville next month.
Place Miguel Paludo
After sitting on pole and leading more than half of the race, Paludo would end up making hard contact with the inside wall off of turn four. Paludo now finds himself tied for 26th in points—not the way his season was supposed to start.
Place Jason Leffler
Jason Leffler was one of the fastest trucks this week in practice. Leffler would be caught up in another driver’s mess early on in the race. Leffler was regulated to last place, and now finds himself in a deep hole heading to the series’ next race at Martinsville.