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Trucks get 2010 season underway

Just as the other two NASCAR national touring series are getting their 2010 seasons underway this weekend, so is the Camping World Truck Series. Friday night's NextEra Energy Resources 250 will contain a few new features for the series. For one, it will usher in the era of double-file restarts for the trucks, something the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series went to during the 2009 season.


This weekend's race will also see the return of the ability to take tires and fuel on the same stop. The Camping World Truck Series raced under a rule that prevented teams from taking tires and fuel on the same stop in 2009, but that's out the window for 2010. While tires and fuel can be taken on the same stop, just as they could prior to 2009, service won't be completed quite the same way, though. Through the use of a new self-ventilating gas can, the need for a catch can person has been eliminated, reducing the size of pit crews to six personnel from the seven used prior tp last season.


While some aspects of the racing have changed, faces of the drivers who will probably be vying for the championship have not. Returning will be reigning champion Ron Hornaday and former series champions Mike Skinner and Todd Bodine. After an almost season-long absence, former champion Johnny Benson also returns. He'll be piloting an effort from new team owned by Nashville's Danny Gill. Benson isn't the only former Truck Series champion returning to action after an absence. Ted Musgrave also returns to the series to drive a Billy Ballew-owned race truck.


Speaking of Bodine, he'll be hoping to make Truck Series history this weekend by becoming the first truck driver to ever put together a string of three-consecutive Daytona wins. That accomplishment may not be such a good thing, though, if past statistics are any indication. No Daytona winner has ever gone on to win the Camping World Truck Series title in the same season. Bodine is surely hoping that he can change that.


He and his Germain Racing team are hoping a strong run at Daytona will help them a long way in the sponsorship game.


"If we go there and do what we know how to do and run will, hopefully the pieces of the sponsor puzzle will fall into place, and we'll have some companies sign up to come on board," Bodine said.


If Bodine's Daytona performance doesn't continue, there's a good chance someone could be visiting the Daytona International Speedway victory lane for the first time. Bodine and Rick Crawford are the only two former Truck Series Daytona race winners who will be on the starting grid Friday.


If there's a first-time winner celebrating in victory lane on Friday night it very well could be Kyle Busch. If so, he'd have reason to double up on his celebration.


Busch is venturing into the ownership arena in 2010. His Kyle Busch Motorsports will field two entries in Friday night's race. Busch, himself, will be behind the wheel of one and Tayler Malsam will pilot the other.


The NextEra Engergy Resources 250 can be seen live on SPEED. Coverage is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday.


To be notified when new articles are posted, follow me on Twitter at Twitter.com/nascarexaminer or become a fan of NASCAR Examiner on Facebook.

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