The Nextra Energy Resources 250 saw six total cautions throughout the 100-lap, 250-mile event at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. The event provided a first-hand look at some of the new rules for 2017. One of those being the new damaged vehicle policy that NASCAR put into place this last offseason.
NASCAR rules state that teams must be able to repair damage on pit road in a five-minute period once the car crosses the yellow line at the entrance of pit road. When the car crosses the yellow line at pit road exit – their time will stop. If they fail to repair the damaged machine in the cumulated five-minute time or do not reach the minimum race speed – they will not be able to return to the race. However, a driver can return if they go behind the wall for a part failure that does not bring out a caution.
It wasn’t long before the Camping World Truck Series saw their first crash of the season. The crash on the first lap involved 14 trucks and ending the night early for Tommy Joe Martins, Stewart Friesen, Ross Chastain, Clay Greenfield, Ryan Truex, Austin Cindric and Noah Gragson. Terry Jones tried to continue but went to the garage on lap three. The field would go back green on lap 10.
The next crash occurred upfront as the first stage of the race ended. It involved Christopher Bell, Brett Moffitt and Spencer Gallagher on lap 21. Moffitt’s night ended due to the crash on the frontstretch while Bell and Gallagher continued. It would give Johnny Sauter a stage win as the field would go back green on lap 26 of 100.
It would be clean and green all the way to the end of the second stage. The No. 63 of Bobby Gerhart, who was one of the 14 drivers involved in the lap one accident on the frontstretch, was awarded the free pass. Sauter, who won the first stage of the Nextra Energy Resources 250, also won the second stage of the race. The field would go back green five laps later on lap 46.
A four-truck accident on the frontstretch would draw the yellow on lap 72. This would impact Christopher Bell, Korbin Forrister, Joe Nemechek and Timothy Peters. This would end the night for Forrister behind the wheel of his No. 5 Advance Medical Laboratories Toyota. Bell, Peters, and Nemechek would all continue. Nemechek’s son John Hunter Nemechek would be the beneficiary under the fourth yellow of the night.
With four laps remaining, John Hunter Nemechek would bring out the fifth caution of the evening over in turn two. No other driver would miraculously be involved in this incident on lap 96. Gallgher, involved in the second caution of the evening, received the free pass in his No. 23 truck. The field went back green with two laps left.
The field would stay green until the final lap over on the backstretch. The leaders would be three-wide coming out of turn two as they raced their way into the back straightaway. That’s when things would turn hectic when a 12-truck crash would happen involving some of the leaders. Matt Crafton would do a complete flip in the air and land on all four wheels in his No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra. Sauter, who won both stages of the race, also fell a victim in the crash. Ben Rhodes, Austin Wayne Self, Regan Smith, Christopher Bell, JJ Yeley, Myatt Snider, Cody Coughlin, Timothy Peters, Spencer Gallagher and Grant Enfinger were the other drivers involved. NASCAR would throw the caution and freeze the field.
After checking some things, it wasn’t long before NASCAR declared Kaz Grala as the race winner. Austin Wayne Self, who received a piece of the action in the final caution, finished the event in second. Chase Briscoe, John Hunter Nemechek and Joe Nemechek rounded out the top-five finishers of the night.