For a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, the 2022 NextEra Energy 250 was rather a tame event all up until about five feet before the White Flag dropped, then chaos erupted.
Front Row Motorsport’s Zane Smith was holding off a hard charging field advancing to the start/finish line when just before crossing to take the White Flag the caution came out forcing the 100 lap race into overtime. Smith would eventually hold on and win the first race of the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season at Daytona. It was his first victory at the historic track and the first with his new organization Front Row Motorsports and the No. 38 Ford team.
The win catapulted Zane Smith to the top of the Truck Series driver standings two points ahead of second place Ben Rhodes.
Smith victory also made Front Row Motorsports just the second team in series history to win the season-opening NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race (Zane Smith, 2022) and the Daytona 500 (Michael McDowell, 2021); joining Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.
Next week the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ competitors will battle it out at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Victoria’s Voice “200” presented by Westgate Resorts on Friday, March 4 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Make sure to tune-in to all the action next weekend when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series gets back on track for practice at 4:30 p.m. ET with qualifying following right after at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, March 4.
Defending champion Ben Rhodes is off to a hot start in 2022
Back-to-back titles in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has only been accomplished once (Matt Crafton: 2013-2014) since the inception of the series in 1995, but that isn’t slowing ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes in 2022. The 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champ jumped right back into contention for another title with his runner-up finish in the season-opening Truck race at Daytona International Speedway last weekend. Now the Louisville, Kentucky native is second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver standings a mere two points back from standings leader Zane Smith.
Heading to Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend, Rhodes will be looking to continue his hot start to 2022. The 24-year-old, Rhodes, has made 10 series starts at Las Vegas posting one win (2017), four top fives and seven top 10s. In his most recent start at the 1.5-mile track, last season’s Playoff race, he finished runner-up.
Sunoco Rookie Class learned a lot in Daytona
It was tough outing for the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year class in the season-opener at Daytona, none of the five rookies that made the event finished the race.
Lawless Alan had the best finish of the 2022 rookie class with a 25th-place finish after being involved in an incident in overtime. Alan is now tied in the rookie standings with Corey Heim, who finished 32nd due to an incident, at 12 points each. Alan holds the tiebreaker with his better finish at Daytona.
The remaining rookies to make the race, Blaine Perkins (31st), Jack Wood (33rd), and Dean Thompson (36th), all finished outside the top 30 at Daytona.
|NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings Following Daytona|
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.
ARCA is proving ground for top finishers at Daytona: Zane Smith, winner this past Saturday at Daytona, is another shining example of a driver rising to the NASCAR national series after having success on the ARCA Menards Series platform. He has four career series wins, including the series’ closest-ever finish – a statistical dead heat – at Talladega in 2018. The remainder of top five in the Camping World Trucks race at Daytona – Ben Rhodes, Christian Eckes, Tanner Gray, and Parker Kligerman – all have wins on the ARCA platform.