NASCAR: Trucks Kick Off Daytona Weekend

In the first of a triple header weekend, the Camping World Truck Series takes to the track at Daytona International Speedway for the NextEra Energy Resources 250.

NASCAR has a new racing format this season with stage racing. He caution clock is gone as each stage will count and earn the top 10 drivers points toward the championship.

Daytona_International_Speedway_(air)(1)

For this 100 lap race, stages one and two will be 20 laps each with stage three lasting the remaining 60 laps.

In a Nemechek first father Joe and son John Hunter will be racing together; but Dad is showing no favours when he said that he would move anybody out of the way…including his son…for the win.

The starting lineup for the NextEra 250:
Kaz Grala
Johnny Sauter – reigning CWTS Champion
Spencer Gallagher
Christopher Bell
Brett Moffitt
Timothy Peters
Matt Crafton
Ben Rhodes
Joe Nemechek
Korbin Forrister
Grant Enfinger
Noah Gragson
Myatt Snider
Scott Lagasse Jr
Clay Greenfield
Chase Briscoe
Cody Coughlin
Austin Cindric
John Hunter Nemechek
Ryan Truex
Bobby Gerhart
Austin Wayne Self
Tyler Young
Terry Jones
Regan Smith
Ross Chastain
JJ Yeley
Wendell Chavous
Stewart Friesen
Tommy Joe Martins
Todd Peck
Travis Kvapil

Kaz Grala brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and takes the lead. The drivers quickly get spread out.

On lap two Chase Briscoe makes contact with Noah Gragson and causes a big chain reaction bringing out the first caution flag of the race. Chase Briscoe, Terry Jones, Austin Cindric, Tyler Young, John Hunter Nemechek, JJ Yeley, Myatt Snider, Cody Coughlin, Scott Lagasse Jr, Ryan Truex, and Noah Gragson were all involved in the crash. Several of the drivers are on the five minute clock.

Also new for this year is the teams are no longer allowed to work on their vehicles in the garage. The teams have five minutes on pit road to make any repairs and get the driver up to minimum race speed. If proper repairs cannot be made a drivers is listed as out of the race.

Noah Gragson Ryan Truex, Austin Cindric, Clay Greenfield, Ross Chastain, Stewart Friesen, Tommy Joe Martins, and Terry Jones are off the track and out of the race.

Kaz Grala brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap eleven with Grala and Christoper Bell fighting for the lead. Grala takes the lead.

On lap 12 the top 15 trucks are separated by less than a second.

On lap 15 Christoper Bell challenges Grala for the lead of the race and eventually Bell takes the lead away from Grala.

On lap 16 Spencer Gallagher takes over the lead of the race.

On lap 18 Brett Moffitt takes over the lead of the race.

At the end of lap 18 NASCAR closed pit road.

On lap 20 Christopher Bell takes over the lead. Christoper Bell and Brett Moffitt make contact and brings out the second caution flag of the race just before the end of the first stage. Johnny Sauter is the leader of the race and is the winner of stage one. Sauter gets 10 championship points plus one playoff point.

Johnny_Sauter_interacting_with_fans_at_Wisconsin_International_Raceway_2014

Top 10 at the end of stage one – drivers who receive championship points:
Johnny Sauter
Timothy Peters
Ben Rhodes
Kaz Grala
Spencer Gallagher
Korbin Forrister
Chase Briscoe
Scott Lagasse Jr
Joe Nemechek
John Hunter Nemechek

Pit road is open but several of the drivers stay out; others who come down pit road take only fuel.

Bret Moffitt is out of the race – five minute clock expired.

Matt Crafton was caught speeding on pit road.

Johnny Sauter brings the field down for the green flag restart and the start of stage two on lap 27.

There are already eleven trucks out of the race.

Lap 31 Johnny Sauter leads Kaz Grala by less than a tenth of a second.

John Hunter Nemechek comes down pit road with an issue even though NASCAR has closed pit road. He will have to serve a penalty for coming down pit road while it is closed.

At the end of stage two Johnny Sauter is the leader and wins the stage to earn another 10 championship points and another playoff point.

NASCAR has a new flag this year – a green and white checkered flag – that is used to signify the end of a stage.

The top 10 drivers at the end of stage two:
Johnny Sauter
Kaz Grala
Spencer Gallagher
Scott Lagasse Jr
Timothy Peters
Ben Rhodes
Christopher Bell
Myatt Snider
Joe Nemechek
JJ Yeley

Once pit road opens all of the drivers come down pit road for service. After taking only two tires, Timothy Peters is the first driver off of pit road and is in the lead.

Timothy Peters brings the fireld down for the green flag restart on lap 47. Christoper Bell challenges Peters for the lead with the two swapping the lead before Bell takes over the lead.

Grant Enfinger takes the lead for a short time and then is passed by Johnny Sauter who takes the lead.

At the halfway point of the race, Johnny Sauter is in the lead with 19 trucks on the lead lap and 20 trucks still on the track – John Hunter Nemechek is one lap down after making an unscheduled stop on pit road.

On lap 52 Ben Rhodes passes Johnny Sauter for the lead and brings Scott Lagasse Jr with him putting Sauter in third.

On lap 60 Ben Rhodes still leads the race with a tenth of a second over second place driver Johnny Sauter.

Lap 65 Rhodes still holds on to the lead of the race.

Lap 67 some trucks come down pit road for their final stop with a number of them taking fel only

On lap 69 Christoper Bell takes over the lead of the race.

Spencer Gallagher and Scott Lagase Jr were caught speeding on pit road and will have to serve a penalty.

On lap 70 Ben Rhodes retakes the lead of the race.

Timothy Peter and Christoper Bell make contact bringing out the caution flag on lap 71. Bell has significant damage to his truck. Korbin Forrister was also involved in the wreck. John Hunter Nemechek is the “lucky dog” and gets his lap back

Once pit road is open, the drivers bring their trucks down for service.

Johnny Sauter is in the lead and will bring the field to green.

Christopher Bell is again on the five minute clock. Once a driver reaches minimum speed, the five minute clock is reset.

Johnny Sater brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 77 and holds on to the lead. There are only 19 of the original 32 trucks still in the race.

After spending much of the race in the back of the field, Matt Crafton has moved up to fourth place.

Lap 83 Johnny Sauter holds a tenth of a second lead over Kaz Grala.

Ten to go, Johnny Sauter holds on to the lead of the race by less than a tenth of a second over Kaz Grala.

With six laps to go John Hunter Nemechek brings out the caution flag when he spins out.

With only two laps to go, Johnny Sauter brings the field down for the green flag restart and golds on to the lead of the race.

Matt Crafton challenges Sauter for the lead and takes it the lead.

Matt Crafton takes the white flag. Big crash on the final lap bringing out the caution flag. The race ends as it began with “the big one”.

Kaz Grala is named the winner of the race. At age 18 he is the youngest NASCAR driver to win a race at Daytona.

Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters, Scott Lagasse Jr, Myatt Snider, and Grant Enfinger are all involved in the wreck. Matt Crafton got air born and flips the truck.

Kaz-Grala-Headshot-800

Kaz Grala said that his radio cord came out on lap 79 and finished the race with no radio. He admitted that he didn’t know what to do or how to do a doughnut.

The unofficial results of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 are:
Kaz Grala
Austin Wayne Self
Chase Briscoe
John Hunter Nemechek
Joe Nemechek
Regan Smith
Scott Lagasse Jr
Christoper Bell
JJ Yeley
Myatt Snider
Cody Coughlin
Ben Rhodes
Spencer Gallagher
Matt Crafton
Johnny Sauter
Grant Enfinger
Timothy Peters
Todd Peck
Wendell Chavous
Korbin Forrister
Bobby Gerhart
Brett Moffitt
Tyler Young
Travis Kvapil
Terry Jones
Noah Gragson
Austin Cindric
Ryan Truyex
Clay Greenfield
Ross Chastain
Stewart Friesen
Tommy Joe Martins

photos courtesy of By ImperialAssassin – Me, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46940488

By Royalbroil – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34657905

By Kazgrala – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48420093


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