The NASCAR Truck Series race at Daytona ended as expected — with a thrilling finish and multiple multi-car crashes. Ben Rhodes won the race with a last-lap pass, while his Thorsport teammates were left crashing behind him.
Rhodes, part of a three-car Thorsport Racing team, got a late push from teammate Matt Crafton to edge underdog Cory Roper in the season-opener for the Camping World NASCAR Truck Series. Crafton and teammate Grant Enfinger were one of several drivers caught up in a wild last-lap crash coming to the checkered flag.
Jordan Anderson barely avoided the last-lap crash and charged from 11th to finish second in the NASCAR Truck Series race. Roper finished third followed by Ryan Truex and Carson Hocevar. Defending series champion Sheldon Creed missed the wreck to finish sixth.
"I don't even know. This is so special," Rhodes said. "This is the biggest win of my career. This is it, this is the place to be. This is special, the best night of my life."
Big wrecks in NASCAR Truck Series race
As usual, a big crash marred the finish of the NASCAR Truck Series race at Daytona, taking out several contenders. Rookie Chandler Smith, 18, was battling for the lead when he spun at the front of the field with six laps remaining. Seconds later, Timothy Peters got into Drew Dollar, igniting a multicar crash. Johnny Sauter, Austin Hill and John Hunter Nemechek were also involved.
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Raphael Lessard won Stage 1 of the NASCAR Truck Series race while John Hunter Nemechek claimed Stage 2.
There were several minor wrecks early in the NASCAR Truck Series race, and then a big one with 28 laps remaining. Todd Gilliland, who had raced at the front most of the race and pushed his father David into the lead, got caught in the middle of a four-wide draft and spun after getting hit by Matt Crafton. Stewart Friesen and Tate Fogleman were also taken out in the crash.
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Female star Hailie Deegan, 19, was also the victim of a late wreck, spinning and sliding off the track and hitting the inside wall with 19 laps to go.
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