Timothy Peters looked to be en route to a second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win on Friday night, coming to the checkered flag of the 100-lap NextEra Energy Resources 250 season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. But with the checkered flag in sight, Kyle Busch moved up beside Peters on the outside and got the nose of his truck out in front to claim his first Truck Series win at Daytona by a margin of 0.017 seconds. While it was Busch's first truck win at the track, it was an eighth-straight Daytona victory for Toyota.
"He knew what he wanted to do," Busch's crew chief Eric Phillips said. "I'd rather be in second there than leading the race."
Toyota finished one-two-three, with Peters taking second and last year's race winner, Johnny Sauter finishing third.
"If you can't win it, you want to finish it, and that's a solid start to our season," Sauter said.
Ryan Truex finished fourth, and Ron Hornaday rounded out the top-five.
Ben Kennedy, the great-grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., started the race on the pole after rain cancelled qualifying and delayed the start of the race by more than an hour. He dominated the first half of the race, leading every lap with Hornaday and Busch mainstays right behind him in second and third until the second caution of the race came out on lap 51.
Kennedy had trouble getting off pit road, resulting in the loss of several spots. As he restarted 10th, Busch restarted with the lead and Hornaday in second. Busch and Hornaday continued to run one and two until Peters pulled up beside Busch on the outside. Peters and Busch then ran side-by-side, with Busch leading the inside line and Peters the outside, until Peters was able to pull out in front of Busch and down to the bottom in front of him with 37 laps to go.
Peters gave up that lead, though, opting to stay on pit road for a full tank of fuel while others took only a splash during a caution that came out for a multi-truck wreck on lap 74. Ross Chastain, Parker Kligerman and Mason Mingus made contact that wound up also collecting John King, John Wes Townley and Darrell Wallace Jr., among others, to bring out the caution.
Busch restarted with the lead, with Hornaday alongside in second. Peters, once again, used the outside lane to move toward the front, getting back up beside Busch with five laps to go. A lap later, he pulled out ahead of Busch and got back down in front of him with the race lead.
"I think we were the only truck that could make the outside work tonight," Peters said.
Peters remained up front until Busch got the nose out in front at the checkered flag.
"I didn't think I was going to be able to make that move," Busch said.
Ryan Blaney finished sixth, Jeb Burton was seventh, and Joe Nemechek was eighth. Jimmy Weller slid sideways across the start/finish line to finish ninth, and German Quiroga rounded out the top-10.