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What All Happened in the 2024 Truck Race at Daytona?

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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What’s Happening?

Following a chaotic and wildly controversial end to their 2023 season, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is back, taking on the high banks of the World Center of Racing: Daytona International Speedway! Typically, when the truckers storm into town, their race is the wildest, most action-packed racing you’ll see that weekend and the 2024 season opener did not disappoint. Here’s EVERYTHING that happened in Fast Friday’s truck showdown under the lights at Daytona.

You Need To Know:

  • As reported throughout the week, weather was expected to be a major factor this weekend. However, it did not appear that Friday’s events would be affected though it was a major storyline heading into the weekend.
  • The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has a bit of a reputation for aggressive driving. With hard-to-handle unstable trucks in the draft, it was virtually an inevitability that crashes would occur, slowing the pace of the race.
  • The race had many fans online nervously holding their breaths and sitting on the edge of their seats as these trucks were out of control throughout the whole race!

The First Big One

It didn’t take long for trouble to strike as, on lap 6, the Big One took its first horde of victims. A total of 12 trucks got caught up in this incident which all started when Matt Crafton got out of shape as he received a massive push from the No. 19 truck of Christain Eckes. With how unstable the Craftsman Trucks are in the draft, Crafton’s No. 88 got squirrely and, in an attempt to save it, he chased his truck down the track, making further contact with Layne Riggs’ No. 38 truck. The 38 went up the track, getting into the No. 15 of Tanner Gray who then tagged the No. 52 of Stewart Friesen. From there, everybody else was just along for the ride.

In the video below provided by NASCAR on FOX, you can see how Ben Rhodes was able to snake his way through the carnage.

Lots of wrecked trucks in the Daytona garage area.

The latest team to join the truck series ranks, Faction46, impressed in qualifying with a top-10 starting position. Unfortunately, he would be wrapped up in the opening Big One. The team would finish 32nd, out of the race. Onto Atlanta!

Other big names caught up in this incident include Ty Dillon, Nick Sanchez, and Rajah Caruth.

Veteran Johnny Sauter Takes Stage 1

Following another short-lived caution after the No. 33 truck of Lawless Alan blew a right rear tire, the pack restarted with one lap to go in the first stage. Johnny Sauter would lead the field around, somehow, without further carnage to win the opening stage.

Rain Ends Stage 2 Prematurely

With 7 laps remaining in the second stage, it was reported that it was sprinkling on pit road. When the race restarted with 3 laps to go, the drivers were told to race like it was the end of the race. Luckily, things didn’t get as crazy as expected. With 2 laps left in the second stage, NASCAR threw the caution flag followed by the red flag. They crossed the start/finish line on pit road, effectively ending the second stage.

For the second year in a row, Tyler Ankrum in the No. 18 Chevy won stage 2 at Daytona, his third career stage win in the series.

Luckily, the delay was not a long one. As reported by Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports, the engines were refired after about a 5-minute delay.

Trouble For Defending Champ Ben Rhodes

Ben Rhodes had had an amazing night late into the race. Starting in the 34th position, it did not take him long for him to get to the front. He was battling for the lead with under 40 laps to go when Tyler Ankrum, getting an aggressive push from Chase Purdy in the No. 77, body-slammed the side of the No. 99 ThorSport Ford. This would lead to a cut tire, causing Rhodes to pit under green. After he was back out on the track, the pack quickly approached him and he split down the middle when another tire failure ended his night. You can watch the incident in the video below.

Here’s the initial contact that started it all.

The Big One #2 Ends It!

In the first overtime restart of the night, the field was somehow able to stay off one another to see the white flag fly. Unfortunately, as the pack ran down the front stretch and Nick Sanchez pulled away, the second Big One of the evening occurred.

This particular crash was triggered as the driver of the No. 71 Spire truck, Rajah Caruth, got into the back of Jack Wood in the No. 91 truck. Wood then collects the No. 17 of Taylor Gray and it’s pretty much on from there. Gray gets hit awkwardly by Daniel Dye in the No. 43 as well as Christian Eckes and becomes airborne. Thankfully, he was able to land safely back down on his wheels to avoid further damage.

Also involved in this wreck was NASCAR Cup Series driver, Corey LaJoie as well as NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series vet, Matt Crafton.

Somehow, Sanchez, Corey Heim (who had a fairly quiet race and was just able to avoid wrecks at the right time), and Caruth escaped virtually unscathed.

Here is a better look at Taylor Gray’s horrific flip.

And Your Winner Is…

As the race officially ended under caution, Nick Sanchez scored his first-ever victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series! Congratulations to him!

Conclusion

Well, Daily Downforce readers and NASCAR fans, what did you think of that one? It was a wild ride, for sure, certainly a continuation of how the 2023 season ended. What do you make of what the NASCAR Truck Series has become? Are you all here for it or are you in the camp that would consider it an embarrassment of the sport? Let us know all your thoughts and concerns on our various social media platforms. And be sure to keep logging in here at DailyDownforce.com for all the latest breaking news stories and fan discussions in the world of NASCAR and auto racing.

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Picture of Cody Williams

Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
All Posts