- The race originally scheduled for Friday night was postponed until the following evening to proceed the Nationwide race. Apparently, the delay added a considerable amount of anxiety and anticipation because 22 of 36 trucks were involved in an accident. The crashes didn't knock out all of the race's ?field fillers?, however. At the end of the race, two unlikely contenders were challenging for their first truck win. After being blacklisted from Formula One last year due to a ?race-fixing? scandal along with Renault boss Flavio Briatore, Nelson Piquet Jr., who made his ARCA debut at Daytona last week, came home seventh in a one-shot ride from Red Horse Racing. This impressive finish could place Piquet in more races later this year. Also, Donnie Neuenberger, a perennial back of the pack driver, came home ninth after contending for a top five during the last portion of the race. Neuenberger, known for his survival of cancer in 2005 and for twice flipping in the Nationwide series, was driving the #6 EZ Sliders Chevy, a familiar sponsor for Donnie, owned by longtime friend Rick Ware. In his first race in the Truck series since 2002, Carlos Contreras finished 14th. Mario Gosselin was in place for a top ten finish before an unfortunate crash on lap 73. Norm Benning flattened a tire and pancaked the wall on lap 51.
NNS DRIVE4COPD 300:
- Like the Truck race late Saturday, the Nationwide Series was a spectacle of bandaged and damaged cars. Around three quarters of the field was at one time a victim of the many accidents. Mike Wallace himself was involved in three accidents, one was a single car mishap. After making his way through the field after his first two accidents, Wallace's #01 Kendrick Meek for US Senate Chevy was totaled on lap 32, yielding a 28th place finish for the eldest of three Wallaces in the race. The highest finishing ?field-filler? in the 300-mile NNS season opening was Brian Keselowski, the older brother of the popular Sprint Cup rookie Brad Keselowski. The older Keselowski drove his self-owned unscathed #26 Dodge to an 11th place showing, one spot shy of his career best 10th at Memphis in 2007. Bobby Gerhart, racing in his third Nationwide race in two years, backed-up his reputation as a dangerous restrictor-plate racer, and placed 20th in one of his sporadic NASCAR starts. After failing to make it on the track for the first two laps due to a mechanical issue, Morgan Shepherd, the resilient 68-year old, fought his way to a respectable 22nd, keeping out of trouble and earning valuable owner points. The other 60+ driver in the field, Brad Teague wasn't as fortunate. The 62-year old Tennessee native placed 42nd after being involved in a first lap crash with Mike Wallace's daughter Chrissy. In his own #87 Chevy, Joe Nemechek placed 31st after becoming an innocent bystander in the lap 93 ?Big One?. ?Front Row Joe? had raced his way near the top twenty after starting 31st.
NSCS Daytona 500:
- The Daytona 500 was not kind to dark horse drivers in the 52nd running of the ?Great American Race?. Joe Nemechek ended his day the same way he ended his run in Saturday's NNS feature. Driver-owner Nemechek finished last after a single car crash on lap 64 after he announced finding a sponsor for the 500 early Sunday morning. Mike Bliss finished one spot better in 42nd in Tommy Baldwin's #36 Wave Energy Drink Chevy after two crashes. Max Papis, the extremely likable Italian, was also involved in a crash, which place him and his #13 Geico/Germain Racing Toyota in 40th. Regan Smith, driving for Furniture Row for the second year, came home 39th after an early accident, and John Andretti placed 38th after bursting a tire and smacking the wall in his #34 Window World/Front Row Motorsports Chevy. Robert Richardson Jr. was an innocent victim of a crash on the second of three ?Green-White-Checkered? attempts after staying out of trouble all day long. His teammate Travis Kvapil finished 29th. After clocking in fast speeds during Speedweeks, Bill Elliot crashed and finished 27th. The highest placing underdog was the ever popular Boris Said who nursed his damaged #26 Window World/Lattitude 43 Ford to a high-paying ($282,470) 25th spot.
This Week's DNQs:
- NCWTS: Shane Seig (#93), Justin Hobgood (#53), LW Miller (#28), Derrike Cope (#73), Brent Raymer (#85), Wayne Edwards (#89)
- NNS: Jeremy Clements (#0), Kevin Lepage (#56), Johnny Borneman, III (#83), Brett Rowe (#75), Derrike Cope (#73), Johnny Chapman (#92), Jason Keller (#35), Shelby Howard (#70), Jeff Fuller (#97), Donnie Neuenberger (#52), Dennis Setzer (#96), Mark Green (#49), Parker Kligerman (#42), Chase Austin (#58)
- NSCS: Casey Mears (#90), Todd Bodine (#27), David Gilliland (#49), Terry Cook (#46), Derrike Cope (#75), Aric Almirola (#09), Dave Blaney (#66), Reed Sorenson (#32), Mike Wallace (#92), Norm Benning (#57), Jeff Fuller (#97)
Check in again next week for the latest performances of the drivers you didn't know you liked.
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