DAYTONA BEACH , Fla. Some might call it just another Kyle Busch victory in the NASCAR Truck Series.
There was a little more to this story, however.
Timothy Peters exited Turn 4 of the final lap of Friday night’s NextEra Energy 250 with the lead apparently safely in hand, but Kyle Busch made a desperate move to the outside lane and raced Peters side-by-side across the finish line.
Busch edged Peters by a track record .016 seconds to earn his first series victory in the 100 lap race at Daytona International Speedway in dramatic fashion.
“This is just awesome. I didn’t think I was going to be able to make that move because Timothy was really fast,” said Busch, who earned his 36th career victory. “He was so fast on the top (lane) he could take the lead and he was so fast leading the bottom he could keep the guys at bay behind him.
“Coming off (Turn) 4, I was by myself and I thought I might be able to get up along side of him and try to do something.”
Peters, who won the season opener in 2010, was disappointed in the result but unsure he could have done anything differently to change the outcome.
“You never want to be the bridesmaid, especially when you’ve been to Victory Lane before,” Peters said. “Second place at Daytona isn’t too bad.”
Johnny Sauter finished third, Ryan Truex was fourth and Ron Hornaday was fifth.
Peters will carry the series points lead into the season’s second race next month at Martinsville, Va.
Busch becomes the first driver to win a race at Daytona in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide, Truck and Automobile Racing Club of America series. The win was also the eighth consecutive win by a Toyota in the opener.
The race was marred by a violent 13-truck wreck on Lap 74, that saw driver Mason Mingus slam head-on into the energy-absorbing SAFER barrier in Turn 2. No one was injured.
The race was slowed four times by cautions covering 19 laps. There were eight lead changes among four different drivers.
“That was pretty wild,” said Sauter. “I was amazed Timothy was so fast on the outside lane. I just wasn’t in a position to get around. I was committed to Kyle, no matter what. I was glad to see Toyota get the top three.”
Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter.
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