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Austin Hill wins Truck Series opener at Daytona in overtime finish

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Austin Hill won Friday’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series season opener at Daytona in an overtime finish, claiming his first career Truck Series win.

The win comes in Hill’s 52nd series start and his first with Hattori Racing Enterprises. Hill, a former member of the NASCAR Next driver program, took over for defending champion Brett Moffitt in the No. 16 Toyota.

Hill, 24, beat Grant Enfinger, Ross Chastain, Spencer Boyd and Matt Crafton in the second attempt at an overtime finish.

Hill, who is from Winston, Georgia, led 39 laps and survived a race that saw 11 cautions and 26 of 32 trucks involved in accidents.

“Man, this truck was fast,” Hill told Fox Sports 1. “I knew we had a truck that could compete. Got a little scared there at the end. I thought (Enfinger) was going to get me, he got a big run. We were able to protect it. I can’t believe my first win came at Daytona. It’s so surreal, I can’t wait to party with these guys.”

Hill’s win is the third in a row for Hattori after Moffitt won the last two races of 2018.

The overtime period was created by a wreck with two laps left in the scheduled 100-lap distance that involved 10 trucks and nearly every remaining frontrunner. The final restart was setup by a two-car incident on the first overtime attempt.

Only nine of the field’s 32 trucks took the final green flag.

“It was a crazy night … carnage everywhere,” Enfinger said. “We tore up a lot of crap tonight.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed

STAGE 2 WINNER: Johnny Sauter

Click here for the race results.

Click here for the point standings.

NOTABLE: Billy Rock, the jackman on the No. 28 of Bryan Dauzat, was awake and alert after he was hit on pit road early in the race by Dauzat, who had lost his brakes. Rock was transported to a local hospital … Angela Ruch, the niece of Derrike Cope, placed eighth in NEMCO Motorsports No. 8 truck. She is just the second woman to earn a top 10 in the Truck Series. Jennifer Jo Cobb placed sixth at Daytona in 2011.

NEXT: Active Pest Control 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway at 4:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 23 on Fox Sports 1

Christian Eckes wins Truck Series pole at Daytona

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Christian Eckes won the pole for tonight’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series season opener at Daytona.

Driving the No. 51 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, Eckes posted a top speed of 182.604 mph.

It is the first career pole for 18-year-old Eckes in his fifth career start.

“I felt way more confident in our car in the draft yesterday,” Eckes told Fox Sports 1. “I really wasn’t sure where we would qualify but here we are on the pole.”

He will be joined on the front row by David Gilliland (182.556 mph).

The top five is completed by Todd Gilliland (181.686), Harrison Burton (181.357) and Grant Enfinger (181.349).

Burton will start from the rear after an engine change was made on his No. 18 Toyota on Thursday.

The race is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Friday’s schedule at Daytona, including Truck season opener

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The Gander Outdoors Truck Series opens it season tonight to complete a busy day at Daytona International Speedway.

The day features two afternoon practice sessions each for the Cup and Xfinity Series.

Then it’s on to NextEra Energy Resources 250 race for the Trucks at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Here is today’s schedule:

(All times Eastern)

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Cup garage open

9:30 a.m. – Truck garage open

10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

12:05 p.m. – 12:55 p.m. – Xfinity first practice (Fox Sports 1)

1:05 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. – Cup practice (FS1, Motor Racing Network)

2:05 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. – Xfinity final practice (FS1)

3:05 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. – Cup practice (FS1, MRN)

4:40 p.m. – Truck qualifying (single vehicle/two rounds)

6:15 p.m. – Truck driver/crew chief meeting

7 p.m. – Truck driver introductions

7:30 p.m. – NextEra Energy Resources 250 Truck race (100 laps/250 miles) (Stages 20/40/100) (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Austin Hill fastest in final Truck Series practice at Daytona

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Austin Hill was fastest in Thursday’s final Gander Outdoors Truck Series practice session for Friday’s season opener at Daytona.

Hill, in his first race weekend driving the No. 16 for Hattori Racing Enterprises, posted a top speed of 192.943 mph.

He was followed by Christian Eckes (192.938 mph), Todd Gilliland (192.901), David Gilliland (192.860) and Gus Dean (191.959).

Rookie Harrison Burton had limited on-track time due to an engine change.

There was one caution for debris.

David Gilliland had the best 10-lap average at 190.580 mph.

Click here for the practice report.

First practice

Clay Greenfield (191.432 mph) was fastest in the first practice session.

Codie Rohrbaugh (190.634) was second followed by Austin Theriault (190.613), Johnny Sauter (190.565 in his return to ThorSport Racing) and Sauter’s teammate, Matt Crafton (190.492).

The second and final Truck practice will be today at 4:35 p.m. ET. The Truck Series’ season-opening race, the NextEra Energy 250, is Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Click here for results from the first Truck Series practice.

Truck Series drivers could win up to $500,000 with ‘Triple Truck Challenge’

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A three-race stretch in June will now pay big for winners in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

NASCAR announced the “Triple Truck Challenge” on Monday, a new bonus program that could pay up to $500,000.

The three races – at Texas Motor Speedway (June 7), Iowa Speedway (June 15) and Gateway Motorsports Park (June 22) – are standalone events for the Truck Series.

If a driver wins one of the three races, they’ll be awarded a $50,000 bonus.

If a driver wins two out of three, they earn another $150,000.

A sweep of all three races delivers $500,000.

Only drivers who are earning Truck Series points can enter into the events.

NASCAR also confirmed that the four races that make up the Xfinity Series’ Dash 4 Cash remain the same, with the program being held at Texas Motor Speedway (March 30), Richmond Raceway (April 12), Talladega Superspeedway (April 27) and Dover International Speedway (May 4).