With a last-lap pass of superspeedway ace Todd Bodine, Timothy Peters won Saturday night's NextEra Energy 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway.
With a push from pole-sitter Jason White, Peters passed Bodine on the backstretch and won the race to the finish line. Bodine, who had won the previous two season openers at Daytona, crossed the stripe in second place but spun into the infield grass after taking the chequered flag.
"I can't believe it - this thing drove like a Lexus tonight," Peters said of his #17 Toyota Tundra. "We just won Daytona! I was just content where I was at, but the 23 (White) came up and gave me a great run.
"I can't believe it -- I'm going to Disney World!"
Peters' only previous win in the series came at 0.526-mile Martinsville Speedway.
Dennis Setzer, White and Matt Crafton rounded out the top five, as Bodine took solace from his second-place run - magnified by wrecks that ruined the nights of defending series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. and Mike Skinner, perennial contenders for the truck series title.
"You're a sitting duck leading," Bodine said ruefully. "I saw the replay when I was sitting down there in the mud (after spinning). Timmy did what he had to do.
"We're disappointed. There's no doubt about it. But second's nothing to sneeze at."
Two separate crashes on the pace laps - before the race had started - promised an action-filled evening, and, indeed, before the race was a lap old, Aric Almirola took the field three-wide in turn 3. Austin Dillon, making his first superspeedway start, broke loose between trucks and ignited a nine-truck collision that damaged the trucks of Kyle Busch and Landon Cassill, among others.
"I really don't know what was happening," Dillon said after exiting the infield care centre. "I was sucking up to Jason White, and someone got under me. Just looked like they weren't being very patient there to start. Just caught in the middle and got banged around there a few times and tried to save it - just nothing I could do there."
Hornaday was the victim of a 10-truck wreck after a bump from Ricky Carmichael turned him into the outside wall at the end of the backstretch on lap 32. The same wreck ruined the winning chances of front-row starter Elliott Sadler. Skinner's race ended early after a tap from Peters launched him into the turn 3 wall on lap 62.
by Reid Spencer / Sporting News