Peters edges Bodine to win truck season opener
Timothy Peters watched Todd Bodine dominate the last two truck
races at Daytona International Speedway.
Maybe he picked up a thing or two.
Peters passed Bodine on the final lap of Saturday night's Camping World truck series opener, then edged him at the line for his second career victory. Dennis Setzer finished third, followed by Jason White and Matt Crafton.
"I guess it's everybody's dream to win at Daytona," Peters said. "It just feels different. It doesn't get any better than winning. I could get used to this."
Bodine lost control of his Toyota after crossing the finish line and spun into the muddy infield.
Peters, Bodine and just a handful of others avoided two big accidents that took out nearly half the 36-truck field for the rain-delayed race.
Defending series champion Ron Hornaday Jr., Kyle Busch and Elliott Sadler were involved in accidents that caused a third of the 100-lap event to be run under caution.
"I dodged a lot of bullets," Bodine said. "It was a race of survival."
Bodine knew he was in trouble when he saw Peters and White hook up on the outside. Bodine swerved in front of them, but Peters cut to the inside and drove by. Bodine nearly lost control, scraped the wall between turns two and three and almost got back to the front.
But he lost too much momentum to catch Peters, whose first series win came at Martinsville in October.
"It's disappointing," Bodine said. "No doubt about it. To go for three in a row at Daytona, that would have been a dream come true. But it's racing. It's hard racing."
It was fairly fitting that Bodine and others wrecked after the checkered flag. After all, this one had trouble from the start.
For the second time in as many races Saturday, the field didn't complete a lap without a caution. Rookie Austin Dillon, driving the black No. 3 that Dale Earnhardt made famous, started wiggling as he drove in the third turn and wrecked into Johnny Sauter.
The collision triggered a nine-truck wreck that included Busch, Setzer and Ted Musgrave. In the Nationwide race earlier in the day, Chrissy Wallace crashed on the opening lap. That race had all sorts of wrecks, including a spectacular one that sent NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. sliding across the track upside down.
The truck race had even more pileups.
Former motocross racer Ricky Carmichael started a 10-truck crash about 30 laps after the first big one. Several more followed, taking out Aric Almirola, Johnny Benson and Mike Skinner.
Mario Gosselin may have endured the hardest hit of the night. He got loose, slid through the grass and them thumped an inside wall in the tri-oval. He got out, waved to the crowd and then took the mandatory ride to the care center.
The 250-mile race, which was pushed back a day because of showers, even had an international incident. Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet Jr. ran into Italian Max Papis, who ended up in the wall and brought out the seventh caution of the night.
Bodine led most of final laps - except the one that mattered most.
"A kid like Timothy, he's got such a future in our sport," Bodine said. "He's one of those kids that, with the right break, would be sitting over in a Cup garage right now. He's that good, that good a kid. That's how much I respect him. To get beat by him, that takes a little of the edge off."