Sunday, Oct 01
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Timothy Peters and the Valvoline/Express Oil Change team came within 0.016 seconds of victory in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway, finishing second in the narrowest margin in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history at the 2.5-mile facility. Inclement weather throughout the afternoon forced the cancellation of qualifying and the introduction of the new time trials format. The field was instead set by practice speeds, which placed the No. 17 Valvoline/Express Oil Change Toyota Tundra in the 18th position for the green flag. In the opening laps, Peters reported to new crew chief and high school best friend Marcus Richmond that the red and white machine was free and in need of rear stability. A competition caution on lap 20 gave the No. 17 team the opportunity to work on the Tundra's handling, providing Peters a full tank of fuel, and track bar and rear shock adjustments. Armed with a neutral-handling truck, the veteran driver drove to the front and first took the lead on lap 58. He returned to the lead on lap 63 and remained there until the "Big One" occurred. Richmond called his driver to pit road for Sunoco fuel and sacrificed the point position. Restarting inside the top 10, Peters powered forward and took the lead once again with five laps remaining in the 100-lap event. He battled side-by-side down the front stretch on the final lap and was narrowly edged out at the checkered flag, finishing second to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Kyle Busch in the Camping World Truck Series season opener. Peters leads the driver championship point standings by two points as the series takes a five-week hiatus before returning to action at Martinsville Speedway on March 29.


Start - 18     Finish - 2      Driver Points Position - 1       Laps Led - 20  


Timothy Peters Quotes:

"What a great effort by this whole Valvoline/Express Oil Change Toyota Tundra team.  All of these guys are just amazing. My old buddy Marcus Richmond (crew chief) is back with me and this is a great way to start off the season. You never want to be the bridesmaid when you have been to Victory Lane here before, but second-place at Daytona International Speedway isn't too bad. The last time we did this (in 2012) we stayed in the thick of the battle for the championship all year. Hopefully we'll do that again."

"What made this truck so fast in the outside line was honestly Toyota, Red Horse Racing, the guys back at the fab shop, and Marcus Richmond (crew chief). It is a group effort.  We come down here and I'm just a small percentage of the deal. Running up front and the exciting finish is a testament to those guys for building me an awesome Toyota Tundra -- a good looking Toyota Tundra on top of that. I truly think this is our year. After all, it is the year of the horse."


Joey Coulter arrived at Daytona International Speedway ready to start the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season with a new team, a new crew chief, and a return to a familiar manufacturer. Entering his fourth consecutive full-time Truck season, Coulter joined GMS Racing to drive the No. 21 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet Silverado and compete for the championship.


After a successful practice session on Wednesday afternoon saw Coulter fourth fastest on the speed chart, the GMS Racing team knew their Chevrolet was in good shape for Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250. Crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz decided to make one run during Thursday’s practice and start preparing the Allegiant Travel Silverado for qualifying.


Rain moved into the Daytona area on Friday afternoon, washing out qualifying and delaying the start of the 100-lap event. Once track officials completed the drying process, Coulter started the race from the fifth position, based on overall practice speeds.


As soon as the green flag flew, the leaders ran single-file on the bottom and clicked off laps until the competition caution slowed the pace on lap 20. Coulter radioed to his team that the Allegiant Travel Chevrolet was “all good so far” and Stankiewicz called his driver to pit road for fuel and a track bar adjustment. As Coulter was exiting pit road, the veteran narrowly avoided a fellow competitor, causing the GMS Racing entry to restart from sixth place on lap 25.


With being scored in the sixth position, Coulter lined up on the outside groove behind NCWTS defending champion Matt Crafton. Crafton and Coulter continued to make the outside line work and stay door to door with the preferred inside line.


Stankiewicz told Coulter he would need to pit in two laps, just as the second caution slowed the pace on lap 52. Coulter returned to pit road for right side tires and fuel. With varying strategies on pit road, the No. 21 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet restarted from the 24th position. Within two laps, Coulter quickly maneuvered his way back into the top-15.


Still running in the outside line, Coulter moved into the 13th position by lap 60 as the competition started to pick up with 40 laps remaining. Thirteen laps later, disaster struck as a 16-truck accident occurred and destroyed the Allegiant Travel Chevrolet. Coulter almost had the wreck missed, before another truck came back onto the racetrack sending the 23-year-old into the wall.


The damage sustained was too much to repair and Coulter’s night ended prematurely. The No. 21 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet team finished in the 32nd position.


“It’s very unfortunate to end the first race of the season this way,” said Coulter after being evaluated and released from the infield care center. “I could feel business picking up and knew something was getting ready to happen. It’s a shame because the GMS Racing guys built a really fast Allegiant Travel Chevrolet and I thought we had a truck to contend for the win. It felt great to be in a Silverado again and we will go back to the shop, get ready for Martinsville and be ready to go.”


The next NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race will be at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Saturday, March 29, 2014.


GMS Racing PR

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) began its 2014 season on Friday night at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). The weekend began with three practice sessions, one on Wednesday afternoon and the final two on Thursday. Hornaday and the No. 30 Rheem Comfort Products Chevy Silverado completed the first practice session in the second position, something that would prove worthwhile come raceday due to unfortunate weather. With qualifying was rained out for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday afternoon, NASCAR set the field based on the trucks with the best practice times throughout the race weekend, placing Hornaday in the second position for the night's race. After running in and around the top five for most of the event, Hornaday finished the night in the fifth position for Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM).


The green flag flew for the first race of the NCWTS season at DIS on Friday evening. After starting in the second position, the 55-year-old veteran quickly settled into the second position, following behind as his rookie TSM teammate Ben Kennedy paced the field around the World Center of Racing. Hornaday remained in the second position throughout two separate pit stops, the first coming when NASCAR threw the competition caution on lap 20 due to the amount of rainfall that occurred at the speedway during the day. After making a fuel-only stop, Hornaday moved back into the second position after green-flag racing resumed on lap 25, following behind Kennedy once again. The second caution came on lap 52. Hornaday was still cruising, holding strong in the second position throughout the team's second green-flag run. During the second caution, crew chief Shane Huffman brought Hornaday to the attention of the crew, and they put two cans of Sunoco racing fuel in the truck while changing right-side tires. Following a quick stop, Hornaday came out of the pits in second position.


Green-flag racing resumed on lap 57 and Hornaday was able to remain inside the top five after getting down to the inside line of the racetrack and working with TSM teammate Ryan Truex. This was one of the first portions of the event where the outside line challenged Hornaday and the other competitors who were working the bottom of the racetrack. However, by lap 65, Hornaday settled into the third position with Truex directly behind him. The TSM teammates were content to ride on the bottom line, trying to continue to log laps and waiting to make their final pit stop of the race. This continued until the third caution of the night waved on lap 75 and Huffman immediately told Hornaday to save fuel inside his No. 30 Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. The team made their final pit stop on lap 77, taking only fuel to maintain crucial position on the track. When green-flag racing resumed, Hornaday lost a couple positions trying to make the top line work. He continued working the top line until the final caution of the race came out on lap 87. This was a quick yellow flag, and when racing resumed, Hornaday restarted in the sixth position, which at the time was the furthest back in the field the No. 30 truck had been. Hornaday and his TSM teammate Ben Kennedy looked to make the high line work, however, there weren't enough trucks directly behind the two machines. By lap 90, Hornaday had fallen to the 14th position and decided to go to work to make up the positions lost. The final 10 laps saw Hornaday pushing Truex as they worked the outside line, and the two were able to gain some great momentum. By lap 96, Hornaday was back into the top five and looked to challenge for the race win. When the checkered flag flew, Hornaday came home with a fifth-place finish. This was his second top-five finish with TSM in two starts. Hornaday currently sits third in the NCWTS Driver Point standings following Daytona.


"Overall, it was a good night at Daytona. I can't thank Turner Scott Motorsports and Rheem Comfort Products enough for all their support and allowing me to come out and race here tonight," said Hornaday. "I think we had a great plan in place, and I really enjoyed working with my Turner Scott Motorsports teammates Ryan Truex and Ben Kennedy. I have to thank Shane Huffman and the whole No. 30 Rheem Comfort Products Chevy Silverado team; they gave me a great truck that allowed me compete for the win."



NASCAR drivers Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon have signed an agreement with internationally-known Police branded eyewear for the 2014 season. Their exclusive agreement calls for the brothers to wear the brand, which is a division of De Rigo Vision, during their respective Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series seasons.

Created in 1983, Police Eyewear has been one of the most famous examples of a lifestyle brand since the '80s, influencing everything surrounding it with its urban spirit.


Austin Dillon, the defending Nationwide Series champion, is a Rookie of the Year contender for the Sprint Cup Series in 2014. His brother, Ty, is coming off a second-place finish in the Camping World Truck Series ranks last year and is a Rookie of the Year contender in the Nationwide Series.


"Having two up-and-coming stars of the Dillon brothers' magnitude represent our Police brand of eyewear is a great move by the De Rigo Group," said Guillaume Pottecher,   President of De Rigo, USA. "We couldn't have asked for two better representations of our product off and on the race track."



Tyler Young, driver of the No. 02 AKL Insurance Group/Young's Building System's Chevrolet Silverado, made his Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (DIS) debut in Friday night's 15th-annual NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) NextEra Energy Resources 250. Following three practice sessions over a two day period, Young posted the 17th-fastest time in all three combined sessions. When qualifying was cancelled on Friday afternoon due to rain, this time allowed the rookie driver to start on the inside of row nine for the 100-lap event.

Young held the bottom line throughout most of the NextEra Energy Resources 250, just learning the draft and "trying to read the air." The Midland, Texas-native came down pit road on Lap 22 during the competition caution for two right-side tires and fuel. When racing resumed on Lap 24, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender was scored 27th. Working his way back through the field, Young made his way into the 13th position before coming down pit road on Lap 52 under caution, for fuel only. Working with his spotter to find the right line, Young was hung out by the No. 39 machine and lost multiple spots. As Young was making another attempt to bring his Silverado back up the score board, the "Big One" occurred out of Turn 2 on Lap 73. The accident caused extensive damage to the Young's Motorsports machine, relegating the Texas native to a 34th-place finish.



Quote - Tyler Young:


"I learned a lot tonight and ultimately tried to avoid the 'Big One', but it didn't work out in my favor - I guess that's what you have to expect when you come to a superspeedway. I can't thank everyone enough for working hard and getting this truck here; it was fast and we had a really good run tonight. This is the first new chassis from this Young's Motorsports team so it's a true testament of what we are capable of. We will regroup and head to Martinsville where we can hopefully redeem ourselves."


Edgehill Management PR


Kyle Busch entered Friday night's NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway with wins in the ARCA Racing Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but had been unable to collect a win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. As the field took the white flag in the 2014 season-opening event, it appeared that Busch was going to have to settle for his fourth runner-up finish in the Truck Series at the 2.5-mile tri-oval, but the talented wheelman made a miraculous pass on the outside lane coming down the  frontstretch and nudged fellow Toyota competitor Timothy Peters by .016-seconds at the stripe to pick up the victory. With the win, the Las Vegas native became the first driver to win in four different series at the "World Center of Racing."


"All in all, can't say enough about everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), this whole team," Busch said after earning the first win in the newest generation of trucks. "Everyone from ToyotaCare and TRD (Toyota Racing Development) -- building this truck and helping us and doing all the research and development with us.  This is the first win for the new truck, so it's pretty exciting to see Toyota back in victory lane again here in Daytona, but also for KBM.  This now makes it to where I've won four.  I've won the ARCA race here.  I've won the Truck race here. I've won the Nationwide and Cup -- that's the one (Truck Series) that was eluding me.  I was trying to get a Truck win here and finally got one."



Busch started from the seventh position and by lap five had advanced into the top five. He was able to gain one more position before the competition caution slowed the field on lap 20. After a two-tire and fuel stop, the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra returned to the track scored in the third spot for the lap-24 restart. Tucked in the inside lane during the next green-flag run, Busch remained third until the second caution of the night occurred on lap 51.




Crew chief Eric Phillips once again summoned his driver down pit road for another set of right side tires and a full tank of fuel. Busch returned to the track scored in the second spot, but when leader Ben Kennedy failed to maintain minimum speed and had to surrender several spots per NASCAR rules, Busch grabbed the lead for the first time in the 100-lap event.




Busch and Timothy Peters would race side-by-side after the ensuing restart, exchanging the lead four times before Peters merged into the inside lane ahead of the No. 51 Tundra on lap 63, and would remain out front for the next 14 circuits.  KBM's owner-driver tucked into the second position, where he remained until a 16-truck fracas slowed the field for the third time.




This time Phillips ordered up a fuel-only stop, putting his boss out front for the lap-87 restart. Busch remained on point until lap 85, when once again a Peters-led outside lane went charging by. Peters remained out front until the field came off Turn 4 for the final time, when "Rowdy" made a last ditch effort for the win and darted to the outside lane coming down the frontstretch.




Peters moved up the track to try and block the momentum of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra, but Busch would not be denied his first Truck Series victory at Daytona. The win was Busch's 36th career victory in NASCAR's third division and the eighth straight for a Tundra at the "World Center of Racing." The victory was the 28th of Phillips' Truck Series career, moving him into a tie with Rick Ren for most in series history by a crew chief.




"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) four 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."




In his debut race with the Ricky Benton Racing No. 92 BTS Tire & Wheel team, Ross Chastain had his sights set on a solid finish to kick off the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season. Comfortable and fast in the draft during all three NCWTS practice sessions; Chastain posted the eighth-fastest time in combined practice speeds. The performance put him on the outside of the fourth row to start the NextEra Energy Resources 250 after qualifying was canceled due to rain.


Maintaining an average running position of eighth throughout the first half of the race, Chastain reported to crew chief Trip Bruce that his Ford F-150 was just a tick tight off of the corners, but was way too loose when pushed by another truck. Working with his spotter to get lined up in format to push another truck, Chastain was helping the top lane move forward to compete with the low lane. After he gave a bump to the rear bumper of the competitor in front of him, he backed off to head into the corner. Unfortunately, he was caught up in the "Big One" just seconds later as the truck in front of him lost control and spun in front of the field. The No. 92 BTS Tire & Wheel Ford was damaged beyond repair and ended the night in the garage, serving Chastain with a 30th-place finish.



"We had a strong night going up front and I was trying to get back to the bottom because our truck worked much better down there. We were racing hard and trying to get the high line to move again. I gave the truck in front of me a bump to get ahead, and then backed off to stay close to him into the corner; but he just went around.

I hate it for our BTS Tire & Wheel team and for everyone else involved in the incident. I should've been less aggressive with the bump drafting in hindsight because I know how loose these trucks can get. But we'll learn from it and rebound for Martinsville."


Edgehill Management PR

Attitude, drive and passion are critical for success at NASCAR. That was the overarching theme that echoed throughout the seventh-annual Diversity Luncheon Friday, at Daytona International Speedway.

Kyle Larson received the Ignition Award for battling his way into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year after making his NASCAR Nationwide debut at Daytona last February. Larson, a NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) graduate and last year’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year, was among eight recipients honored at the luncheon.

“Award recipients acknowledged today help us embrace the unprecedented opportunities women and diverse individuals are presented with across all disciplines in our industry,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “We are grateful for the contributions that these individuals and partners are making to our sport.”

Toyota was awarded the Partner Award for its commitment to align its racing program to the overall diversity efforts of NASCAR. In 2014, Toyota is continuing its sponsorship of Rev Racing and the NASCAR D4D program as well as the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series.

Chevrolet Racing's Program Manager for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Alba Colon, became the first female to lead a racing program for an original equipment manufacturer in NASCAR in 2001.  Friday, Colon was awarded the Industry Ambassador Award for her support of diversity initiatives and willingness to share her inspiring story with NASCAR fans and newcomers alike.

“My NASCAR family embraces diversity as different thoughts and different ways of thinking,” said Colon. “Diversity is only an asset when it’s combined with will to win, with getting to the track early and doing whatever it takes, and Team Chevy has given me that opportunity.”

Daniel Suarez, a NASCAR D4D and NASCAR Next driver, received the Diverse Driver Award for his success in both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series.  With more of a strategic approach to racing, the Monterrey, Mexico, driver won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East opener at New Smyrna Speedway on Feb. 16 and the UNOH Battle at the Beach on Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.

Eleven-year-old Austin Geer, the Young Driver Award recipient, hopes to follow in Suarez and Larson’s footsteps. Geer recently participated in the 10th annual D4D Combine in October 2013. He currently has 25 victories and more than 60 top-five finishes across four seasons of racing in the series. 

While drivers are on the frontline on the race track, pit crew members are teams’ backbone. Dion “Rocko” Williams from Hendrick Motorsports received the Diverse Crew Member Award. Rocko, a former football player at Wake Forest University and in the NFL, enters his 10th season with NASCAR and will continue pitting for Jeff Gordon. 

When it comes to sports business curriculums, the University of Central Florida’s DeVos Sports Management program led by Dr. Richard Lapchick ranks among the country’s best. The program was honored with the Institution Award for leading graduates to discover how the power of sport can help create a more diverse and inclusive society, and its responsibility to use that power to make a difference. 

A recent graduate of Southeastern University, Victoria Garcia received the NASCAR Internship Participant Award for serving as lead producer on several high-profile projects while interning for NASCAR Productions in the summer of 2013.


It's February!  Images of hard-charging stock cars drafting down the backstretch and slamming into the turns at nearly 200 MPH come to mind as we approach the highly anticipated Daytona 500.


But before the green flag falls on Sunday, fans will enjoy a pre-race concert performed from the infield by Luke Bryan one of country's biggest superstars.  For the past eight years, Sam Bass - The First Officially Licensed Artist of NASCAR - has had the honor of designing and presenting a one-of-a-kind guitar to the pre-race entertainers -- some of the biggest celebrities in the music industry.


"I am such a huge fan of live concerts," says Bass, "and The Daytona 500 pre-race concert is always spectacular.  I am so proud to present one of my custom-painted guitars to Luke Bryan and am very thankful to Daytona for the honor once again."


This year's presentation is a Paul Reed Smith S2 Custom 24 electric guitar displaying one of Sam's most brilliant designs yet.  A beautiful All-American theme adorns a flamed maple wood body with a red finish and a red and silver metal flake clear coat.


"We're delighted to be a part of the pre-race festivities celebrating the 56th Annual Daytona 500" said Jack Higginbotham, PRS Guitars president.  "We respect the impact that Sam's art has had on NASCAR fans.  His graphics truly capture the excitement of the event."


To read more about Sam's guitar originals created over the years for the Daytona 500, the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards ceremonies, and trophies awaiting race winners in Victory Circle, visit  Also follow posts on Facebooand Twitter.


PRS Guitars was founded by guitarist Paul Reed Smith in 1985 and is one of the premier guitar makers around the world.  Located in Stevensville, MD, the company has a reputation for creating high quality instruments and amplifiers that are both reliable and beautiful.


Sam Bass PR


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