Speedway Digest Staff
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Ryan Truex made his debut for Turner Scott Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday night at Daytona International Speedway in the No. 30 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Silverado. Bringing one previous NASCAR Nationwide Series start at the 2.5-mile track with him, Truex made his move from the ninth starting position and remained patient through the halfway point. After escaping the first on-track incident with reparable damage, Truex suffered a blown left-rear tire with less than 10 laps remaining and ended the night in 28th place.
Following the first few laps of racing, Truex radioed to his crew and spotter that he would feel more comfortable riding near the back of the pack to avoid contact with the lead trucks that were jostling for positions. After slowly moving his way out of the hornet's nest of the lead pack, a multi-truck incident on lap 55 blocked the track in front of the No. 30 Bass Pro Shops Silverado and left Truex with nowhere to go. Making contact with several competitors around him, Truex sustained moderate damage and came down pit road to the attention of his Turner Scott Motorsports crew and crew chief Chris Carrier. The team repaired the damage quickly and Truex returned to the track, reporting that his Silverado still felt the same and was still capable of contending for the win.
Linking up with teammate James Buescher with 10 laps remaining, Truex led the two-truck tandem towards the front of the field with a full head of steam. But as the two made their way to the backstretch ** laps later, the left rear tire of the Bass Pro Shops Chevy let go and sent Truex spinning into another competitor and into the outside wall. The damage sustained was irreparable, and Truex ended the night in the NCWTS garage with a 28th-place finish.
"I really can't thank Bass Pro Shops and Turner Scott Motorsports enough for this opportunity. We had this race won," Truex explained. "I thought I had the first accident cleared, but I was pushed into it by someone behind me. Chris Carrier and this whole team did a fantastic job repairing all of the damage and James Buescher and I had a great tandem working with 10 to go. I don't know what happened coming down the backstretch, maybe we ran something over, but the left-rear tire blew and I just couldn't hold onto it. It's a shame because this Bass Pro Shops Silverado was really fast. But hopefully we'll be back in Martinsville just as strong."
The focus of NASCAR is on Daytona International Speedway for the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday. And Michigan International Speedway's maintenance team will take on a significant role as part of the spectacle as proud members of the ServiceMaster Clean crew.
The ServiceMaster Clean crew works with NASCAR and helps ensure the track stays clean, dry and ready for racing, driving and maintaining trucks and other track cleaning equipment.
Four MIS team members and three of its ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers are at the Great American Race to assist.
MIS Senior Director of Facilities Craig Hatch is getting first-hand experience at operating the new Air Titan™ track drying system NASCAR developed this year. While he hopes to not see action on Sunday, Hatch will be ready if necessary.
Hatch will focus his efforts on operating the system to dry the track on the backstretch.
In the group of three Air Titans on the backstretch, Hatch will be in the middle truck using a high-pressure air system to dry the track. He will be traveling 3-5 mph while watching the equipment behind him on a video monitor inside his vehicle. He will have three different angles to monitor the progress of the drying and to adjust to the circumstances.
"It's been fun and a thrill to be a part of Speedweeks and to help our sister track, Daytona International Speedway," Hatch said. "While we hope we aren't called into action, it's an important part of the weekend to be ready and we don't take assisting lightly."
The three Air Titans operated by Hatch will be attached to three Ring Power CAT generators by a hose blowing compressed to air to the equipment. He will work in conjunction with a driver in semi hauling the generators to get the racing surface prepared.
Specially built trucks will circle the bottom of the track and sweep up the excess water that is blown off by the Air Titan. ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers will continue to follow the entire system to complete the drying process. The entire system is to aid in preparing the track and returning to racing quicker.
Hatch will not be the only member of the MIS Maintenance staff working on the ServiceMaster Clean crew. Tim Lamb, Ryan Clark and Gary Cox will each be operating ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers to aid in the clean-up process.
Being a part of the ServiceMaster Clean crew is an important and historical significance for MIS. The jet dryer was invented at MIS, initially used as a mechanism to melt snow off the racetrack in wintertime in the 70s.
Over time, MIS track officials began using the jet dryer to dry the track after rain delays during racing events.
But all technology must evolve.
The new Air Titan track drying system debuted during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. This innovative technology, steeped in science and created by the NASCAR Research & Development Center, will reduce track drying time, improve the racing product and enhance the fan experience.
"In a short amount of time, our talented team at the NASCAR R&D Center imagined, designed and built the Air Titan, an innovative device that will dramatically improve the race-viewing experience for our fans," NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said of the initiative's first phase. "With its far-reaching potential and impact, we believe the Air Titan is a big win for the motorsports industry, and eventually will enhance many surface cleaning and drying industries as well."
With the goal of reducing track-drying time by up to 80 percent, the NASCAR R&D team took an advanced scientific approach during the production of the Air Titan. Using compressed air, the Air Titan efficiently and reliably pushes water off of the racing surface and onto the apron where vacuum trucks will remove the remainder of the moisture. ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers will follow each Air Titan, drying any excess water that remains on the racing surface.
As part of the Air Titan's testing process, NASCAR enlisted the expertise of the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) in Auburn, Ala., International Speedway Corporation's track construction group, Racing Surface Technologies and QualPro Inc. Additionally, Elgin Sweeper Company, Sullair and Ring Power CAT also provided equipment during the testing, and will be part of the track-drying process at Daytona during Speedweeks.
ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers and vacuum trucks will continue to be used during track-drying efforts. Over time, the innovations of the Air Titan will lessen the carbon footprint of track drying, decreasing both emissions and noise pollution. The next evolution in the innovative technology will be to optimize the power source.
The MIS crew will also be following the progress of Brad Keselowski. In 2012 he became the first Michigan-born driver to win the NASCAR Sprint Series Championship and will start 15th in the Daytona 500 on Sunday. The race starts at 1 p.m. on FOX.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the fans and their loved ones who were affected by today’s incident,” said Matt Jauchius, chief marketing officer for Nationwide Insurance. We would like to commend NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway and the medical personnel involved for their quick response to the situation.
“We appreciate the updates on NASCAR driver Michael Annett, who was injured in an earlier accident today, and wish him a fast and full recovery.”
Nationwide Insurance PR
Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood provided the following statement Saturday evening:
First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with our race fans.
Following the incident, we responded appropriately according to our safety protocols and had emergency medical personnel at the incident immediately.
We transported 14 people off property and 14 were treated at our on-track care center.
We are in the process of repairing the facility, and we will be ready to go racing tomorrow.
Michael Annett is currently being treated at the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. after an accident during Saturday's Nationwide Series event. He will be kept for observartion.
Annett was transported to the hospital after complaining of pain in his chest and sternum.
Annett was treated for bruising on his chest and underwent a CT Scan.
More information will be sent once confirmed.
Coming off a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) championship in 2012, James Buescher and the entire Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) team came into Daytona looking to defend their NCWTS title. A solid qualifying effort by the No.31 Rheem Silverado set them up nicely to be a contender for the NextEra Energy Resources 250. When the race got going, however, The Rheem team overcame misfortune multiple times throughout the race to capture a solid 13th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway.
Buescher and the entire Rheem team spent most of the practice sessions close to the top of the leader board heading into Friday afternoon’s qualifying session. During the qualifying laps, Buescher convincingly backed up his practice times and placed the No.31 in the top three for the start of the100-lap event that came on Friday evening.
Once the green flag fell on the 36-truck field, Buescher wasted no time and made a move to the outside line to lead the change to the front in an effort to collect the valuable bonus points. On lap 18, Buescher lead the field to the stripe and collected one bonus point towards the season long point standings. It was just a couple laps later that the field would be slowed by its first yellow flag. Following the field down pit road, Buescher slid through his pit stall and came in slight contact with another competitor, and the Rheem TSM team took the extra time on pit road to repair the slight damage to the Chevrolet Silverado and take two tires and fuel.
Restarting at the tail end of the field, Buescher was forced to work his way back up through the pack. It was on lap 40 when Buescher radioed to the Rheem pit crew, “I am having an issue with my throttle, it feels like it is sticking when I let off the gas slightly, the truck won’t slow down.” Crew chief Michael Shelton took this into account and rallied his team to come up with a plan to fix the issue the next opportunity they had. That opportunity came just past the halfway mark when the “big one” took place in turns three and four, wiping out a number of competitors.
During what was sure to be a lengthy cleanup, Buescher ducked down to pit road to the attention of his Rheem pit crew, who performed a carburetor change, not wanting to lose a lap, Buescher would bring the No.31 back in multiple times during this yellow-flag period to complete the change. Once again starting at the rear of the field, Buescher was looking for a drafting partner to get him to the front of the field. Buescher eventually got teamed up with his TSM teammate, Ryan Truex. This partnership was turning some heads and was looking like the pair to beat as they quickly rocketed through the field. An unfortunate turn of events took place late in the race when the No.30 of Truex had a right-rear tire go flat and collected a couple competitors in an accident. With just a handful of laps remaining in the 100-lap event, Buescher was searching around for who could assist him from the 19th running spot to the lead. On the final restart, Buescher jumped out to the outside of a three-wide pack to pick up a couple positions and close out an up and down race in the 13th position.
“I’m really proud of the entire Rheem team for all the hard work building great race trucks,” said Buescher, driver of the No. 31 Rheem Chevrolet Silverado. “We had to battle back from changing a carburetors and I thought we had a chance tonight to get a win with our new sponsor Rheem on board, but we had a solid finish with the truck still in one piece. We learned some things from this race and we will come back stronger looking to capitalize at Martinsville where I had a strong second-place finish last year.”
After a long break, the No. 31 Rheem Chevrolet of James Buescher and Turner Scott Motorsports will return to the track on Saturday, April 6nd at Martinsville Speedway for the Kroger 250. Coverage will start at 1:00 pm ET live on SPEED.
Roush Fenway fans following the team on Twitter this season (www.twitter.com/roushfenway) are encouraged to use the new #RFRDRIVEN hashtag when tweeting about NASCAR’s winningest organization in 2013. The hashtag is a part of Roush Fenway’s 2013 ‘Driven’ marketing program, designed to showcase the team’s continued dedication and desire to be the best on and off the racetrack. The ‘Driven’ program will include new and increased fan interaction, as well as partner promotions and special events throughout the season.
“I am as driven to succeed today as any point in my 40 years of racing,” said team co-owner Jack Roush. “The passion for success on the racetrack is what continues to drive us every day. The competitive fire inside to run up front, win races and compete for Championships burns throughout our organization just as much today as when we first came to Daytona over 25 years ago.”
ARE YOU DRIVEN? CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ROUSH FENWAY DRIVEN TRAILER
Joey Coulter, driver of the No. 18 Gunbroker.com Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), was feeling really good about his "hotrod" for the majority of Friday's NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The 22-year-old ran inside the top 10 for the majority of the 100-lap race, advancing as high as the runner-up position, until he got caught up in a four-truck accident on the final lap and ended the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series opener with a disappointing 22nd-place finish.
Coulter, who started the race from the 10th position, had maneuvered his way into the sixth position by the time the first caution of the race occurred on lap 26. After pitting for four fresh tires and fuel, the GunBroker.com Tundra returned the track scored in the fourth position for the lap-29 restart.
With his owner and teammate Kyle Busch restarting from the fourth position, the boss developed a plan to allow Coulter to make his way into the inside lane after the restart and by the time the field returned to the start-finish line, the No. 18 Tundra was in the runner-up position, with Busch behind him in third.
The two KBM Tundras ran second and third for the next 24 laps, until a 13-truck accident slowed the field on lap 54. Veteran crew chief Harold Holly summoned his young driver down pit road for four fresh tires and a full load of fuel. An unusually long pit stop, resulted in Coulter losing several positions when the trucks returned to the track.
Coulter and Holly, were quiet on the radio most of the night, until Coulter finally keyed the radio and said, "I can't believe when and where these guys are pushing. It's really hard for me to stay on the top."
Holly and team were happy about the performance of the GunBroker.com Tundra across the night and it seemed eminent that an improvement over Coulter's 18th-place finish in last year's race would be produced as the race approached the final stages.
However, Coulter got caught in the outside lane, which was slow moving on a late restart, costing the 22-year-old driver several positions in the closing laps. On the final circuit of the 100-lap event, Coulter got caught up in a four-truck accident, which relegated the championship hopeful to a disappointing 22nd-place finish.
"Really bummed the race ended the way it did," said a dejected Coulter. "Our GunBroker.com Tundra was great -- best speedway truck I've ever had. I can't thank Kyle, Samantha, Rick Ren and everyone on the No. 18 at KBM enough for the opportunity this year. It's an honor to be running for their first driver championship."
Coulter's KBM teammates, Kyle Busch in the No. 51 Toyota Care Tundra and Darrell Wallace Jr. in the No. 54 Defy DiabetesTundra, finished second and 12th, respectively.
Johnny Sauter won the Nextera Energy Resources 250 and scored his seventh NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in 109 races. It was Toyota's 100th win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The No. 18 team owner Kyle Busch finished behind Sauter in the runner-up spot, while Ron Hornaday Jr., Justin Lofton and Jeb Burton rounded out the top-five. Ty Dillon, Miguel Paludo, Ryan Blaney, Matt Crafton and Ryan Sieg comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were six caution periods for 20 laps, with 11 lead changes among six drivers.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is short-track action April 6 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Kyle Busch had his No. 51 Toyota Care Tundra right where he wanted it as the field took the white flag in Friday night's NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. "Rowdy" was in the second position, tucked behind fellow Toyota driver Johnny Sauter, waiting to make his move on the final lap. Shortly after the two Toyota's crossed the start-finish line, a wreck ensued behind them, ending the race under caution and relegating Busch to a second-place finish - his third runner-up result in five Truck Series starts at "The World's Center of Racing."
"We would've had a really good day if it was a 100 lap race, but it was only 99 today," said Busch, who has finished in the top five in four of his five Truck Series starts at Daytona. "We didn't get a chance to bring it back. The Toyota Care Tundra was awesome. All the guys on this KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) team did a great job. Just phenomenal being able to build three trucks really quick to get us out here and I appreciate them being able to help us qualify up near the front -- top Toyota. To be able to come out here and race and run strong like that and be in position all night, I mean, shoot, I think the worst I fell was fourth, fifth or sixth -- something like that -- but wish we could pull off a win here in a Truck race. It's the only one I'm missing -- I've got ARCA, Nationwide and Cup at Daytona -- have yet to get a Truck win, so I'll try again next time."
Busch, who qualified in the sixth spot, advanced into the third position by the time the field had completed one lap, where he remained until the first caution of the race occurred on lap 26. When pit road opened, he brought his No. 51 Toyota Care Tundra to his over-the-wall crew, who administered a four-tire and fuel stop and returned their driver back in the third position.
Kyle Busch Motorsports' (KBM) owner-driver remained running in the third spot until a 13-truck incident on lap 54 brought out the race's second caution. Busch brought the Toyota Care Tundra down pit road once again, getting four more fresh tires - with an air pressure adjustment - and a full tank of fuel.
With several teams on varying pit strategies, the Las Vegas native took the lap-60 restart from the third position. Just three laps later, a single-car accident slowed the field again. Busch, as was the case with many teams, took the opportunity to come down pit road and top off with enough fuel to make it to the finish.
Busch restarted from the fourth position when the field went back to green-flag conditions on lap 67. He partnered up with fellow Toyota competitor Matt Crafton, who tried to push the No. 51 Toyota Care Tundra to the front of the field. The pairing was nearly successful, but just as the two trucks pulled even with the inside lane, Todd Bodine got a strong push and surged back to the front of the field before the No. 51 Tundra was able to complete the pass.
On lap 69, Toyota's winningest driver in all three National Touring series was finally able to put his No. 51 Tundra out front. The lead was short lived, as Bodine reclaimed the lead a lap later. Busch surged back to the front of the field on lap 74, where he remained until eventual-winner Johnny Sauter claimed the top spot on lap 85.
A five-truck mishap on lap 83 slowed the field for the fifth time. Already good to go to the finish on fuel, Busch remained on track as did the leader, Sauter. The No. 51 Toyota Care Tundra was able to find a hole in the bottom lane shortly after the final restart and tucked in behind Sauter. The 30-time winner in the Truck Series kept Sauter's No. 98 in close range, as he formulated a plan in his head and waited until the final lap to make his move.
The bumper of Busch's No. 51 Tundra was attached to the rear bumper of Sauter's No. 98 Tundra as the two crossed the start-finish line with one lap remaining. Shortly after, an accident occurred and the race ended under caution, leaving Busch with his 21st career runner-up finish in the Truck Series.
Sauter picked up his seventh career Truck Series victory, which was the 100th win for Toyota in NASCAR's third division. Busch finished in the runner-up position and veteran Ron Hornaday Jr. came home third. Justin Lofton and Jeb Burton rounded out the top-five finishers in the season-opening event.
Darrell Wallace, a 19-year-old rookie making his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut, overcame an early miscue on pit road to bring the KBM No. 54 DefyDiabetes.com Tundra home in the 12th position. After running inside the top 10 for the majority of the race, Joey Coulter's KBM No. 18 GunBroker.com Tundra got caught in the outside lane on the final two restarts and came home with a disappointing 22nd-place finish.
There were six caution periods for 20 laps. Six different drivers led, exchanging the lead 11 times, including Busch who led twice for 12 laps. Eleven drivers failed to finish the 100-lap race.
The next event on the Truck Series schedule is the Kroger 250 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Saturday, April 4 at 1:30 p.m. ET.