The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener at Daytona Int’l Speedway didn’t disappoint on Friday night. The NextEra Energy Resources 250 at the 2.5-mile track went into NASCAR Overtime and won by Ben Rhodes in a last-lap pass around Corey Roper.
“I don’t even know. I’ve got to give such a big thank you to my team,” said a happy Ben Rhodes while celebrating. “This is so special. Biggest win of my career. I can’t even believe this. As a driver, you are always asked about what your biggest accomplishment is. This is it. This is hands down it. This is the place to be. I can’t even believe it. This is special.”
Jordan Anderson scored his second top-five finish by placing second in Friday’s event. Anderson, piloting the No. 3 Swann Security Chevrolet, placed second in last year’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona.
“Never give up. I need to go back to Chevrolet and see if we can make these Silverado’s a little bit longer. Two years in a row to finish second here. It’s a dream come true,” Anderson joked in his FOX Sports 1 interview after the race. “This is so much energy. So much emotion. To see what God has done in my life and my career … I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t be racing in a national series.”
Cory Roper finished third after being passed by eventual race winner Ben Rhodes coming to the checkered. Roper, 43, captured his first top-five and second career Truck Series top 10 finish.
As for Rhodes, leader of seven circuits in the season-opening event, scored his fourth career trip to victory lane. After the race, the Kentucky native attributed teammate Matt Crafton for the assist on the last lap
“That actually started out at the end of the second stage. I got setup with the same move, and I logged it in my memory bank,” said Rhodes regarding the last lap. “I came up short at that checkered flag, but I was going to make sure I didn’t come up short on this one. We just tried to time it right. Thank goodness I had my Menards teammate Matt Crafton behind me, because he’s a stud. He’s been around for a long time. He knows what he’s doing and you’ve seen the help he gives me there. This wouldn’t have been possible without Matt Crafton. I owe him a huge thank you.”
Ryan Truex and Carson Hocevar rounded out the top five.
Placing inside the top 10 were Sheldon Creed, John Hunter Nemechek, Codie Rohrbaugh, Chandler Smith, and Drew Dollar.
Several key drivers found themselves involved in accidents throughout the night. That list included drivers like Derek Kraus, Ryan Truex, Stewart Friesen, Jordan Anderson, Sheldon Creed, Todd Gilliland, Matt Crafton, Brett Moffitt, Tyler Ankrum, John Hunter Nemechek, Drew Dollar, Johnny Sauter, and Carson Hocevar.
25 of the 36 trucks finished the race while 20 of those finished on the lead lap. The chaos-filled event at Daytona had 10 cautions for 43 laps under yellow.
The next race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take place on the Daytona Road Course on February 19th at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can catch the event live on FS1 and MRN Radio.