The first race of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season kicked-off this past Friday night at Daytona International Speedway. Of course, there were intense moments as always when racing at superspeedways with the possibility of an upset winner. However, it was a familiar foe back on top of the scoring pylon for his first win of the season. Here’s a look at the top five power rankings leaving Daytona.
- Johnny Sauter – The last time Sauter left Daytona as the winner was in 2016. Later on that year, he would clinch and collect his first ever NASCAR Truck Series championship. So could that be a sign for Sauter in 2018? Only time will tell, but expect him to run up front and be in contention for stage wins and race wins. Sauter started second, led for 39 laps and finished second, and first respectively in both stages. His season is off to the right start as he carries momentum to Atlanta this weekend. However, he will have to continue his strong runs for the next 22 races if he wants to be champion again.
- Justin Haley – Haley scored his career-best finish in the Truck Series since Kentucky of last year (third). This also carried a 1-2 finish for GMS Racing this past weekend. GMS Racing is off to a strong start in 2018 and will be tough to challenge for the championship as the season goes on.
- Ben Rhodes – Rhodes also earned a career-best at track finish of fourth. His best Daytona finish prior to the race was seventh in 2016. After starting 24th, he worked his way up and avoided all the melee to earn his first top-five finish of the year and his 10th of his career.
- Joe Nemechek – When in Daytona, you can expect a unique top five or top 10 finish. Nemechek did just that after the carnage was all said and done as he posted third on the scoring pylon. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, however, as he came in fifth in last year’s race. This was Nemechek’s fourth top-five finish of his career. Not bad for someone who doesn’t regularly compete.
- Spencer Davis – Davis competed in his first ever truck series race this past weekend at Daytona driving the famed No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Tundra. Stage 1 started off well for Davis as he would finish 11th. Just one spot outside the top 10 to earn playoff points. In Stage 2, he upped that position by finishing 10th. Davis was there at the end and if something had happened, he could have capitalized on it and possibly become the upset winner. However, he would end up sliding around across the finish line to earn a seventh-place finish.