As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series officially kicked off its 2014 season, Kyle Busch started his year by making his way back to victory lane.
Busch captured the win at the NextEra Energy Resources 250 after battling with Timothy Peters within the final laps of the race. As both drivers traded the lead down to the finish, Busch took the win in the first race of the season. Busch’s win at Daytona was one of the Trucks Series’ closest margins of victory as he won by 0.017 seconds ahead of second-place Peters.
The Trucks Series win at Daytona makes Busch the only driver to have won at Daytona in the ARCA Series, Trucks, Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series. Johnny Sauter, Ryan Truex and Ron Hornaday Jr. went on to finish in the top five. Meanwhile, current Trucks Series champion Matt Crafton began his championship defense with a 13th-place finish.
The race at Daytona began a little later than scheduled due to rain in the area. Qualifying earlier in the day was cancelled due to weather, and the field was set by practice speeds. With the cancellation of qualifying, the trucks did not get to try out the new knockout qualifying format, something that many were waiting to see.
As is the case with races at Daytona, the big one was expected and it occurred around lap 74 with at least 14 trucks getting caught in it. Although the trucks did not disappoint, current champion Crafton did not get off to the fast start he did in 2013. He will be starting the year with a finish outside the top 10, unlike last year. Rookie Ben Kennedy got off to a great start by starting the race from the pole and adding a feel-good story to his rookie debut.
The trucks will be off until the end of March and will leave fans waiting. They have definitely set the tone for the season-opening weekend.