Tyler Reddick got his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory Friday night in a most high-profile manner, winning the series’ season-opening race, the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
Reddick, a 19-year-old driving the No. 19 DrawTite Ford, started third and led five times for 46 laps – including the last 33 – while avoiding the incidents that caused six caution periods. One of those came mid-race, the third caution of the night involving 12 trucks in Turn 3. That ruined the chances for a number of contenders, including James Buescher and Ben Kennedy, who started fifth and sixth, respectively.
Series rookie Erik Jones finished second in the No. 4 Toyota, with St. Augustine native Scott Lagasse Jr. third in the No. 20 Alert Today Florida/Boy Scouts of America Chevrolet.
Reddick became the fourth driver to get their first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Daytona. He was making his 18th series start, his second at Daytona.
“It really hasn’t [sunk in yet],” said Reddick, who drivers for owner Brad Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. “It’s probably going to take a few days.”
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There were two practice sessions Friday for the DAYTONA 500, which will be run for the 57th time Sunday, with three-time champion Jeff Gordon starting on the pole – in his final Daytona 500.
Gordon topped the first session with a speed of 193.079 mph; his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will start third, led the second session with a speed of 194.405. Final practice for the DAYTONA 500 is set for Saturday from 10:30-11:55 a.m.
There also were two practices Friday for the Alert Today Florida 300, Saturday’s season-opening race for the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Kyle Busch (191.681) and Mike Wallace (187.009) led the respective sessions. Qualifying for the event is set for Saturday at 12:15 p.m. with the race at 3:30 p.m.
Tickets for the Alert Today Florida 300 and Sunday’s 57th annual DAYTONA 500 can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.