NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series News & Notes – Off Weekend

Front Row Motorsports’ Zane Smith appears to still have his momentum from last season. After winning the season opener in Daytona in 2022 and eventually becoming the 2022 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion, he found Victory Lane once again at Daytona to kick off his 2023 season.

With his victory, Smith became the second driver in Truck Series history to post a back-to-back wins at the iconic Daytona track. The first was Todd Bodine (2008, 2009).

Smith will have this week to soak up his win before heading to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in hopes of taking the checkered flag and becoming the fourth driver in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series to post back-to-back wins to start the season, joining Mark Martin (2006: Daytona Auto Club), Johnny Sauter (2013: Daytona Martinsville) and Ben Rhodes (2021: Daytona, Daytona Road Course).

Sunoco Rookie Class learned a lot at Daytona

Daytona International Speedway has a reputation for being a wild card with tough racing and unexpected finishes and last weekend’s NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race was no exception.

Of the rookies, only one made it to the end of the race – Nick Sanchez, who also won the pole for his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series debut. He finished 26th and is leading the Sunoco rookie class with 24 points.

Rajah Caruth, who made his Daytona debut in the national series, fell victim to a crash on Lap 57 and finished 29th. He sits in second in the rookie standings.

One point behind Caruth is Daniel Dye who made his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series debut. Like his fellow rookie contender, Caruth, he also fell victim to a crash and finished the race in 30th.

Rounding out the rookie class is Bret Holmes, whose race was cut short, leaving him in 31st.

Next stop: Sin City

The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series drivers will have the week to go over what they learned at the season opener in Daytona and hopefully apply it to their next race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, March 3 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.

There have been 30 Truck Series races at the Las Vegas track, producing 25 different race winners and 21 different pole winners. Nine races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by Kyle Busch in 2019.

Kyle Busch also holds a couple records in the Truck Series at the Nevada track, including the qualifying record with his speed of 178.903 mph in 2019 and sits as the winningest driver with three (2018, 2019, 2020) victories.

Fans last saw Chandler Smith fight his way to Victory Lane after battling it out with his then team owner, Kyle Busch, who ultimately posted a runner-up finish. Smith led 32 laps while Busch led 31.

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