Ten years after winning his first Sprint Cup race, Michael Waltrip won his first race in the Camping World Truck Series. His #15 NASCAR.Com Race View Tundra powered by Elliott Sadler coming out of turns 3 and 4 on the final lap of the NextEra Energy Resources 250, tonight's race at Daytona International Speedway. He won ten years to the day that he won the 2001 Daytona 500, the day when he won with a new team while his car owner and friend Dale Earnhardt lost his life. Mikey spoke of honouring Dale's life from victory lane tonight. He joins a small group of drivers who have won in all three of NASCAR's top three series.
The green flag waved at 7:53pm ET. Austin Dillon's #3 led the field, and Mikey started 11th. James Buescher's #31 got out front and led lap 2. Mikey was 3rd, leading the outside line. The outside groove was not running as fast as the inside. Mikey was 8th by lap 6 and 11th by lap 8.
By lap 11, the front runners were single file. Buescher continued to lead, and Mikey was 8th.
Justin Marks pit on lap 26 with a flapping left side hood.
Green flag stops began at 8:15pm. Mikey pit two minutes later. He had planned to pit a couple laps ago but wanted to pit with the #30 of Todd Bodine. On lap 33, he was 23rd as drivers continued to make stops. He was 14th on lap 34. Stops had cycled by lap 35. Buescher led, and Mikey was 14th.
The first caution came out shortly thereafter. Joey Coulter had lost a tire and shot into the wall. Buescher was still out front, and Mikey was 10th. The #15 pit under yellow, along with others
Buescher the lap 43 restart. Mikey was 14th and was up to 11th within the next four laps. He was 10th by lap 52.
The second caution was on lap 57. Sheet metal had come off the back of a truck. Mikey pit under yellow.
Timothy Peters led the restart with 44 laps to go. Mikey was 5th but quickly gained a spot.
Marks hit the outside wall, drawing the third catuion with 35 laps to go. The hood had come up entirely on his truck across his windshield. Mikey came in for a quick fuel stop.
Racing resumed with 31 laps to go with Ricky Carmichael leading. One lap later, Mikey moved into 3rd. Elliott Sadler had taken the top spot from Carmichael.
With 26 to go, a multi-truck wreck broke out behind Mikey. Travis Kvapil lost a tire and was hooked by another truck. Many other trucks were involved.
Sadler led the restart with 19 laps to go. Mikey was 3rd. He moved into second, pushing Sadler.
The fifth caution came with 17 to go. Mikey requested that Sadler let him restart on the inside line and he'll let him back in and will push him until the white line.
After a long pause as Ty spoke with Sadler's spotter, Ty said, "Deal."
Sadler led the restart with 12 laps to go. Mikey let him back into line as agreed. The two pulled away from the others. With 5 to go, the outside line was moving with Chris Fontaine beside Sadler and Kyle Busch pushing FOntaine. Busch was overheating.
A multi-truck wreck broke out behind Mikey, involving Austin Dillon who had been right behind him. The sixth caution came out with 4 laps to go. The race went under the red flag.
"Ty, tell those guys in the 7 time to push. Don't spin me out," Mikey said when the red flag lifted.
Sadler had let Mikey restart on the inside again.
The field prepared for a green/white/checkered finish. Mikey let Sadler back into line in front of him and held onto second. The two of them put distance on the rest of the field. Coming out of turns 3 and 4 on the last lap, Mikey jumped to the outside line. He passed Sadler and didn't look back. Mikey won the NextEra Energy Resources 250!!!
Tune in tomorrow and Sunday as he races in the Nationwide and Cup races at Daytona International Speedway!