This weekend will go down in history, as one of the more unique weekends kicking off the NASCAR season.
On Friday night, 18 year old Kaz Grala won the season-opening Truck series race, that was marred by a huge wreck that saw Matt Crafton flip over, collecting Stage 1 & 2 winner Johnny Sauter, Grant Enfinger, and others.
Representing for the underdogs was Austin Wayne Self in second, Chase Briscoe in third, Joe Nemechek in fifth, Scott Lagasse Jr. in seventh, and Myatt Snider (son of Marty Snider) rounding out the top ten.
The five-minute rule in regards to fixing up trucks to run at minimum speed did not really affect a lot of drivers, as John Hunter Nemechek came in 4th, Regan Smith (despite wrecking on the last lap) finished in 6th, and Christopher Bell (who nearly turned over) finished in 8th.
The very next day, Ryan Reed won a race that saw two different big wrecks and two different red-flags. He picked up his second career win.
Representing for the underdogs was Scott Lagasse Jr. for the second day in a row, this time with a sixth-place finish, Joey Gase in seventh, Garrett Smithley in eighth, and Harrison Rhodes rounding out the top ten.
Despite having some engine issues in the second segment, upcoming phenom William Byron came from two laps down and finished in ninth place. Segment one and two winner Elliott Sadler seemed to have the car to beat before ending up in a late wreck. Nevertheless, it was a good points day for him.
Sunday’s Daytona 500 featured some clean racing throughout the first two segments, with only a couple of cautions. Kyle Busch won the first segment and Kevin Harvick won the second one. Danica Patrick finished in tenth and fifth in both segments (in fact, all four Stewart-Haas cars finished in the top seven in segment two). But all three drivers would later get caught up in a big wreck in the final segment.
It appeared that Chase Elliott would win the race just like his father did many years ago, but lost the lead to Kyle Larson, who in turn ran out of fuel on the final lap, giving the win to the driver sponsored by Monster, Kurt Busch.
All in all, the racing was still exciting in parts, but the format still doesn’t really make any sense in my opinion.
Let’s just see what happens in a few days at Atlanta.