Friday night’s NextEra 250 race preview

43 Trucks enter the World Center of Racing hoping to gain a spot into the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season opener at Daytona. That would send 7 home. Friday night’s NextEra 250 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN) always puts on a show under the lights on the high banks of the Florida superspeedway.

The last three race winners of this race are on the entry-list. So are Daytona 500 drivers Chase Elliott, Corey LaJoie, Zane Smith and Travis Pastrana.

In total 20 different drivers have won a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway, led by Johnny Sauter with three victories (2013, 2016, 2018). Just four former series Daytona winners are entered this weekend – Sauter (three wins), Grant Enfinger (2020), Ben Rhodes (2021) and Zane Smith (2022) each have one. The youngest Camping World Truck Series race winner at Daytona is Kaz Grala (02/24/2017 – 18 years, 1 months, 26 days) and the oldest is Joe Ruttman (02/16/2001 – 56 years, 3 months, 19 days).

Six different NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers scored their first series career win at Daytona – Austin Hill (2019), Kaz Grala (2017), Tyler Reddick (2015), John King (2012), Michael Waltrip (2011), Robert Pressley (2002).

  • We’ve seen 6 straight years with a different winner – Kaz Grala, Johnny Sauter, Austin Hill, Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes and Zane Smith
  • The season champion has won this race in each of the last two years.
  • Todd Bodine is the only driver in series history to have won back-to-back at Daytona (2008-2009).
  • Only 4 drivers in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history have won the pole award as well as the race at Daytona International Speedway. Joe Ruttman (2001), Mark Martin (2006), Jack Sprague (2007) and Kaz Grala (2017) are it.
  • 13 of the 23 year history of this race has seen the winner come from a top 10 starting spot. In fact, only eight times has someone started outside of Row 7 on back including Rhodes’ win in 2021 from the 23rd starting position and Zane Smith (20th) last year.
  • 2 of the last 4 years have seen at least 10 cautions.
  • The last 4 years have gone into overtime.
  • Margins of victory: 2022 (Under Caution), 2021 (.036), 2020 (.010), 2019 (.278), 2018 (.098), 2017/2016 (under caution)
  • Time of the races: The last five have all been over 2-hours in length – 2022 (2:03:07), 2021 (2:20:33), 2020 (2:04:53), 2019 (2:39:20), 2018 (2:04:36). 2017 and 2016 were under two hours.

This race has some major changes between last year and this in terms of driver/manufacturer lineups. Kyle Busch Motorsports goes from the flagship Toyota team to the top team in the Chevrolet camp. In turn, TRICON Garage elevates up to take KBM’s equipment with Toyota while ThorSport also left Toyota to become the top team at Ford.

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