NASCAR Truck Series: Only nine finishers at Daytona
The 2019 NASCAR season kicks-off this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. The first race of the season was the NextEra Energy 250 in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
The race was marked by just nine finishers from thirty-two drivers that started the race and by the maiden Truck Series victory of Austin Hill in Hattori Racing’s #16 Toyota Tundra, the same car that Brett Moffitt took the championship title last year. The race saw a record 11 cautions with 55 caution laps. Austin Hill took the checkered flag on the 11th lap of overtime.
“That whole last lap, my heart was pounding. I thought there were going to get to the outside and we were going to have a drag race. But I was able to protect it. I can’t believe my first win came at Daytona. It’s surreal. I can’t wait to party with these guys,” Hill said.
Grant Enfinger (#98 ThorSport Ford) crossed the finish line in the second place, 0.278 seconds behind Hill. Ross Chastain ran third in his first run in the #45 Chevrolet of Niece Motorsports. Spencer Boyd was fourth, followed by Matt Crafton, Josh Reaume, Timothy Peters, Angela Ruch and Austin Wayne Self.
Racing in the Truck Series for the first time since 2010, and for only the second time in her career, Angela Ruch posted her best finish in a national series event. Her eighth-place result was the second highest by a female driver in NASCAR Truck Series history. The record holder is Jennifer Jo Cobb with a sixth-place finish at Daytona in 2011.
The biggest loser of the race was Ben Rhodes, who was leading on Lap 99 in the 100-lap race but a 10-car crash knocked him out of the race. That wreck forced overtime. On the first attempt, Austin Wayne Self and Bobby Gerhart crashed on the backstretch to necessitate the second attempt.
The next race on the Truck Series calendar is the Active Pest Control 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 23.