Daytona International Speedway hosted its 21st NASCAR Truck Series race Friday night on Valentine’s Day for its season opener. As always, the Truck Series does not disappoint wherever they race and one of those prime examples was Friday night. There were a lot of special stories in the field, while the normal front runners had their issues.
Here are this week’s Four Takeaways from the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona.
- Natalie Decker Is Highest Female Finisher in Series – One of the stories coming out of Friday’s Truck race was Natalie Decker, who finished fifth, the highest a female driver has finished in the Truck Series field since 2011. The previous top finish for a woman was accomplished by current series driver Jennifer Jo Cobb, who finished sixth in 2011. Decker patiently took her time and avoided most of the wrecks to end up with an outstanding finish. Despite running a part-time series schedule, this will certainly be a momentum booster for Decker after a rough 2019 season.
- Ty Majeski Flips – There hasn’t been a Truck that has flipped at Daytona since 2017 when, now Cup Series driver, Christopher Bell, flipped on another Friday night. Majeski, just 17 laps into the race, was the victim of a bump draft gone wrong when Todd Gilliland made contact with Austin Wayne Self and others. The incident collected Majeski who was sent flipping upside down going into Turn 1, eventually landing upside down on his Truck hood. Thankfully, the Wisconsin native was able to get out and walk away from the accident with no injuries. It was a frustrating finish for sure, but the flip will be a highlight for years to come.
- Stewart Friesen Has Rough Outing – The first race of the season was looking bright for Canada native Stewart Friesen. He finished sixth and seventh in both stages but was caught up in a couple of wrecks that eventually ended a good run. He was still able to finish the race but wound up 21st after running up front most of the night. The No. 52 team will hope for better circumstances at Las Vegas this Friday night.
- Strong Field For Daytona – The last couple of years have been so-so for the Truck Series in terms of how many trucks come to the races. There have been times when there were only 28 trucks and other times 32 to 34 trucks. However, at Daytona this weekend, there were 39 trucks on the preliminary entry list which meant seven trucks were sent home. While it’s certainly not ideal for the ones who went home and did not qualify, it just goes to show how competitive the Truck Series can be when a full field comes to qualify. Just for reference, the first Truck Series race at Daytona saw 52 rucks entered and only 36 made the race.