Tyler Reddick wins Truck Series season opener at Daytona

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Tyler Reddick held on in a late sprint to the checkered flag tonight to win his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Reddick and Brad Keselowski Racing teammate Austin Theriault were in position to secure a 1-2 finish at the white flag, but Theriault was shuffled back in the final yards and ended up fourth unofficially behind Reddick, Erik Jones in second, and Scott Lagasse, Jr. in third.

A caution with 10 laps to go set the stage for a final restart with six laps left. But the front-runners ran largely single file until the very end, when Theriault, Jones, and Lagasse went three-wide in the tri-oval in a battle for second.

Ahead of it all was Reddick, who secured win No. 1 in his 18th Truck Series start after leading 46 laps.

“Honestly, there wasn’t a lot going on behind me, so I was pretty ‘rest assured,'” Reddick told Fox Sports. “I had my teammate behind me … He would’ve done just about anything to keep anyone from getting to me, and he sure did all he could so I’ve really got to thank him for that.”

It’s a great start to 2015 for Reddick, who joins BKR full-time this season in the No. 19 Ford. Theriault is part of a driver rotation in the team’s other Ford, the No. 29.

“I’m really excited for Tyler – he’s running for a championship and I think this will be pretty good momentum for [the No. 19 team],” said Theriault, who is scheduled to run the No. 29 in 13 races this year. “[And] the [No. 29] is running for an owner’s championship. A solid finish leaving Daytona and a little bit of damage, but we’ll bring it back and go from here.”

Reddick will take a six-point lead in the championship over Jones to Atlanta Motor Speedway next week.

The first half of the race featured several cautions, including one for a 12-car melee in Turn 3 just before the Lap 50 mark. It started when drivers on the inside appeared to slow down after Ben Kennedy was riding up on the outside wall due to a tire failure. As the inside line stacked up, contact between James Buescher and John Wes Townley sent them spinning and those directly behind them were collected.

Pole sitter Ty Dillon had been the strongest driver up to that point, but needed to pit for fuel under the subsequent caution. He was never able to return to the front and finished 11th after pacing 37 early laps.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona
Unofficial Results
1. Tyler Reddick … 100 laps
2. Erik Jones … 100 laps
3. Scott Lagasse, Jr. … 100 laps
4. Austin Theriault … 100 laps
5. Ray Black Jr. … 100 laps
6. David Gilliland … 100 laps
7. Bryan Silas … 100 laps
8. Matt Crafton … 100 laps
9. Daniel Suarez … 100 laps
10. Johnny Sauter … 100 laps
11. Ty Dillon … 100 laps
12. Korbin Forrester … 100 laps
13. Tyler Young … 100 laps
14. Norm Benning … 100 laps
15. Travis Kvapil … 93 laps
16. Ryan Ellis … 87 laps
17. James Buescher … 85 laps
18. Jennifer Jo Cobb … 77 laps
19. Matt Tifft … 64 laps
20. Joe Nemechek … 62 laps
21. Spencer Gallagher … 61 laps
22. John Wes Townley … 48 laps
23. Cameron Hayley … 48 laps
24. Timothy Peters … 48 laps
25. Chris Fontaine … 48 laps
26. Daniel Hemric … 48 laps
27. Todd Peck … 48 laps
28. Ben Kennedy … 20 laps
29. Justin Boston … 18 laps
30. Austin Hill … 13 laps
31. Donnie Neuenberger … 13 laps
32. Justin Marks … 12 laps

Time of race: 1 hour, 56 minutes, 45 seconds
Margin of victory: 0.173 seconds
Cautions: 6 for 28 laps
Lead Changes: 14 among 7 drivers
Laps Led: Reddick 46, Dillon 37, Theriault 9, Suarez 5, Gilliland 1, Crafton 1, Young 1