Robby Lyons looking to guide Chad Finley Racing through Daytona season opener
For Robby Lyons (@RLRacing2) and his Chad Finley Racing (CFR) team, the wait is nearly over.
After an aggressive offseason of building race trucks and preparing for their first race of the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) season, Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 provides an opportunity for CFR to strut their stuff at the historic Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Flashback to last October at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Seminole, Fla.-based driver Lyons forced his way into the spotlight after qualifying 26th and contending for the race lead before being shuffled in the waning laps and scooping a 14th place finish.
The effort steered by CFR crew chief Bruce Cook gives the team a mission for the 100-lap race on Friday night with the support of partners Sunwest Construction LLC. of Indian Rocks Beach, Fla.
Sunwest Construction was founded in 1986 and has grown into the premier construction and development company on the west coast of Florida. Over the past 30 years, they have built and developed over 1,700 condominium units and now specialize in mid-high-rise developments as well as commercial buildings and hotels alongside Marriott and Hampton Inn.
Lyons will make his second NGOTS start at the “World Center of Racing” after qualifying 25th and finishing 13th last February for Premium Motorsports.
“Looking forward to Daytona this week for sure,” said Lyons. “It’s been a very busy offseason for us, but we feel like we’re coming to Daytona with a fast Chevrolet Silverado and that should give us the opportunity to finish what we started last year at Talladega.”
With one of the most competitive fields at Daytona in recent years expected this week, Lyons says his team has a plan and will try to execute it accordingly.
“It’s going to be a strong field this week, there’s no hiding behind that,” Lyons said. “We knew there would be. We’ve taken the steps to make sure we’re a little faster by ourselves – since that’s how we will qualify on Friday.
“The draft is so important – but you gotta be in the show first – before you switch that mindset and start focusing on the race. There are two short practices on Thursday and I’m pretty sure we’ll focus on qualifying runs. We might draft too. It’s all up to Bruce (Cook).”
Racing in front of his friends and family is a big deal to the 30-year-old Lyons and with running a split schedule at CFR this season, Lyons knows it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity behind the wheel.
“I feel incredibly blessed to have the chance to race at Daytona,” added Lyons who will attempt to make his 12th career NGOTS start. “Daytona and Homestead are two very important tracks for me – simply because our partners have a presence and I always have a lot of friends and family around.
“That’s what keeps you going. Support. I’ve been through highs and lows in my racing career – but man, what a moment it would be if we were able to bring home the checkered flag on Friday. That would be awesome.”
In 11 career Truck Series races, Lyons has earned a best-finish of 12th at ISM Raceway (Phoenix) in Nov. 2017, while also qualifying a career-best 20th in the same event. In 2018, he finished a season-high 13th at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Follow Robby Lyons on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates throughout the weekend.
For more on Chad Finley Racing, please visit ChadFinleyRacing.com.
The NextEra Energy Resources 250 (100 laps | 250 miles) is the first of 23 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Thurs, Feb. 14 from 2:35 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. A final practice session is set for 4:35 p.m. – 5:25 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Fri., Feb. 15 beginning at 4:40 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90).
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