DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kyle Busch finally made his way to Gatorade Victory Lane in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway, nipping Timothy Peters at the line by a race-record .016 seconds in another thrilling finish by the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Busch collected three second-place finishes in his five previous starts in the season opener for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. With the win, he becomes the first driver to win in four different series at the “World Center of Racing”. His win also extends Toyota’s dominance in the 100-lap, 250-mile race, giving them their eighth-straight victory.
Busch, who led four times for 25 laps, was in second place on the last lap, the spot where he exactly wanted to be. Exiting Turn 4, Busch made a run at Peters on the outside lane and they drag raced to the checkered flag for a photo finish.
“I didn’t know that I had enough to get it done,” Busch said. “Timothy (Peters) was really fast -- he could make that outside lane go. He got up to the lead there and then pulled down in front of me and the outside was still trying to get going with the 32 (Ryan Truex), but Timothy was so fast leading the top that he could get to the lead and then he was so fast leading the bottom that he could pretty much keep those guys at bay behind us.
“Coming out of (Turn) 4 I just thought, ‘Hey, I’m by myself and the 98 (Johnny Sauter) is far enough back and I think if my truck is faster than his truck then I think I can suck up on him a little bit, pull out and then see if I couldn’t get alongside of him enough to pull him back with the side draft.’ Kind of do like an old school sling shot. It didn’t really look like one, it just kind of looked like a slow motion sling shot at real speed, but it happened and got alongside of him and drug him back -- and then him and the 98 had to get nose-to-tail and we already had the momentum.”
Said Peters of the finish: “He had a good run on me coming off of (Turn 4). He’s Kyle Busch. I should have done a better job of backing up to him because I knew I had a strong truck. That’s the thing that stings; I got too far out.”
Qualifying for Friday night’s race was canceled due to rain and the field was set according to their speeds in the final practice. Ben Kennedy, the great-grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., took the pole position in his first race on the 2.5-mile tri-oval and led the first 53 laps.
DRIVE4COPD 300 Qualifying: In the debut of the new group qualifying format, Turner Scott Motorsports swept the top three spots during qualifying for Saturday’s DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, with rookie driver Dylan Kwasniewski landing the No. 31 Rockstar/FOE Chevrolet on the pole with a run of 192.07 mph, only .001 seconds faster than Kyle Larson and .011 seconds faster than Danica Patrick.
Kwasniewski is the first rookie to win the pole at the "World Center of Racing" in their NASCAR Nationwide Series debut since Rusty Wallace in 1985 and the first driver to qualify on the pole in their first race in the series since Scott Speed in 2009.
“It is surreal to be here after winning the pole. For my first time at Daytona and getting a pole, it is an unexplainable feeling,” said Kwasniewski. "I was nervous the entire time. I was nervous before I went out. I was nervous while we were running and I was nervous after we ran a lap sitting there waiting to know where we were out. To be a part of this historical new qualifying format is crazy, for lack of a better word; I have no idea how to say what the feeling of this is.”
Tickets for NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race – the 56th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23 – start at $65 and are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
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