DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kyle Busch won a Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway for the first time after beating Timothy Peters by the slimmest of margins on Friday night.
Peters, who won the truck race at Daytona in 2010, grabbed the lead from Busch with four laps to go, but Busch took command on the final lap, passing Peters on the outside coming out of the last turn and then nipping him at the finish line by only 0.016 seconds. It was the closest finish in a truck race at Daytona. The series has been competing here since 2000.
“I didn’t think I was going to be able to make that move,” Busch said. “I just threw it out there and see what would happen. I got to his outside, and I started to break the plane. That started to slow him down.”
It was also the eighth closest finish in the 20-year history of the Truck Series.
“Oh, so close,” Peters said. “I’m kind of kicking myself a little bit. I felt like I got out in the front a little too far, but you can’t back up too fast, because you know that you’ll get run over or lose what you feel like you can gain.”
Busch claimed his 36th career win in the series, and he gave Toyota its eighth straight victory in a truck race at Daytona.
This was Busch’s sixth truck start at Daytona. He finished second here in 2008, ‘09 and last year. Busch has now won a race in four different series at this famed 2.5-mile superspeedway — ARCA (2004), Nationwide Series (2007), Sprint Cup Series (2008) and Truck Series (2014).
“This now makes it where I’ve won four races [at Daytona],” he said. “This was the one that was eluding me. I was trying to get a truck win here, and I finally got one.”
Busch is competing in all three NASCAR national touring series races at Daytona this weekend. He will start fourth in Saturday’s season-opener for Nationwide and 37th in Sunday’s Daytona 500.
“Tomorrow is another day, so we’ll get down to business,” Busch said. “We started the trifecta already. You got to win the first one to be able to win all of them. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.”
Johnny Sauter, who won this race one year ago, finished third, while Ryan Truex and Ron Hornaday Jr. rounded out the top-five.
Ryan Blaney, Jeb Burton, Joe Nemechek, Jimmy Weller and German Quiroga finished sixth through 10th, respectively. Matt Crafton, the defending series champion, placed 13th.
The 250-mile race at Daytona featured a huge crash involving 16 drivers that occurred between turns 1 and 2 on lap 74. Ross Chastain triggered the melee when he got into the back of Parker Kligerman, who then bumped into Mason Mingus and caused Mingus to slam hard into the wall.
“It looked like somebody got into the back of the 58 [Kligerman], and he turned right into my right-rear quarter panel and put me into the wall,” Mingus said. “I don’t really think there was anywhere for me to go. It’s unfortunate.”
Darrell Wallace Jr., Joey Coulter and Brian Ickler were among those caught up in the wreck and had their night come to an end early.
The start of the race was delayed for more than one hour due to rain. A line of showers moved over the track throughout the day, forcing the cancellation of qualifying in the afternoon.
Ben Kennedy, the great grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., was awarded the pole since he was the fastest in practice. Kennedy led the first 52 laps in this 100-lap affair but had a mishap during a round of pit stops when he stalled while exiting his pits. He ended up finishing 15th.