Timothy Peters won an accident-marred NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway, as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series opened its season on a wild note.
Peters muscled his No. 17 K&N-sponsored Toyota Tundra into Todd Bodine on the backstretch of the last lap, forcing Bodine's Germain Racing Toyota high, as Peters took the lead. From there, Peters held on to beat Bodine to the line by 0.069 seconds, with Dennis Setzer third, followed by Jason White and Matt Crafton.
It was the second career NCWTS victory for Peters, as the top 10 trucks all finished within half a second of the winner.
The finish was a dramatic conclusion to a messy race.
White's GunBroker.com-sponsored SS Green Light Racing Ford F-150 started the race from the pole, flanked by the Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet of Elliott Sadler. But on the opening lap of the race, there was a massive backstretch pileup that snared the trucks of Kyle Busch, Ted Musgrave, Austin Dillon, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Landon Cassill, Justin Lofton, Dennis Setzer, David Starr and Johnny Sauter.
The incident started when 19-year-old Dillon went three-wide in the backstretch, got loose and made contact with Aric Almirola in the low lane. Dillon then turned hard right and went up into the outside wall, leaving a bunch of trucks wadded up in his wake behind him. It was not a good way to start the season for Dillon and the black No. 3 owned by his grandfather, Richard Childress.
“It's very dejecting,” said Dillon. “We wanted to go out there and run well … not a good start to the season for the Bass Pro Shops Chevy.”
Nor was it a good start for Busch in his first race as a Truck Series owner. Busch, who had a one-race sponsor deal with Heluva Good! For Daytona, saw the front suspension of his Toyota Tundra heavily damaged, forcing him to the garage.
The race restarted on Lap 9, with Sadler out front ahead of Ricky Carmichael, Ron Hornaday Jr., White and Tayler Malsam.
The leaders pitted after the second caution, which flew on Lap 20, when Bryan Silas crashed on the backstretch.
The race restarted on Lap 25, Sadler leading White, Hornaday, Bodine and Carmichael. On Lap 32, there was another huge backstretch pileup, as Sadler, Carmichael, Musgrave, Donny Lia, Hornaday, Malsam, Rick Crawford and others crashed after Hornaday was tapped from behind by Carmichael.
“Ricky got a good run and he run into me,” said Hornaday. “ … You can't bump draft in these things. Ricky'll learn that.”
“Definitely, I bumped him from behind,” said Carmichael. “ … We just had a lot of momentum. … I feel horrible for those guys and horrible for our team.”
When the race restarted on Lap 40, the order was Max Papis, Johnny Benson, Nelson Piquet Jr., Stacy Compton and White.
Norm Benning blew a right-front tire to bring out the next caution on Lap 52. White took fuel only and won the race off pit road over Peters, Skinner, Bodine and Papis.
The green flew on Lap 55, and four laps later, Bodine had a flat tire and was forced to duck down pit road, just as 2008 Truck Series champ Benson moved to the point for the first time.
Skinner than crashed on the backstretch on Lap 62, after Peters got him sideways with an overly optimistic bump draft.
The green waved on Lap 67, Benson leading Piquet, Compton, Matt Crafton and Setzer. But eight laps later, Gosselin had hard contact with the backstretch wall after contact with Piquet. That brought out yet another yellow and another round of pit stops.
Next to wreck on Lap 84 was Papis, another bump-draft victim, this time the culprit being Piquet, who put him into the wall.
The restart came on Lap 88, Bodine leading Compton, Peters, Setzer, Benson and White. The track stayed green, even after Ryan Sieg hit the wall hard on Lap 95.
As the laps wound down, Bodine led Peters and White, the three out ahead of the pack.
On the last lap, Peters shoved Bodine into the backstretch wall, allowing Peters to win, as Bodine crossed the line in second place, only to crash into the infield.
Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief for SPEEDtv.com, the former Executive Editor of NASCAR Scene and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. He is the author of "Cheating: The Bad Things Good NASCAR Nextel Cup Racers Do In Pursuit of SPEED," and has appeared on television and radio shows to discuss NASCAR racing. Jensen is the past President of the National Motorsports Press Association. Jensen is the 1997 National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year and has won numerous national and state awards for news reporting, columns and feature writing. The Answer Man is back at SPEEDtv.com. Tom Jensen answers your questions during every race week and looks forward to hearing from you - please e-mail it to