(Daytona Beach, FL) The ASRS Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series kicked off the 2018 season Tuesday night in the Sam Maxwell Customs Daytona 150 at the Daytona International Speedway. Renowned for close pack-racing due to restricted engine packages, the Superspeedway contest would be slated for 60 laps, an increase of 25 miles compared to the previous year, and feature 36 drivers.
Prior to the main event, an Open Qualifier would be utilized, filling the remaining starting positions unused by the 18 locked-in drivers (as determined by 2017 points and participation). 19 of 55 drivers would ultimately fail to make the field. Final round qualifying would see Devin Serra (20) earn the pole position with a lap time of 50.049s. Rick Thompson (92) would fall just short, by 0.007s, to start on Serra’s outside.
At the drop of the green, Serra would get the advantage, pulling ahead of Thompson with drafting help from Kris Titus (25). Serra would tally his first lap lead under caution, as drivers checking up mid-pack would result in the truck of Brad Cross (30) becoming airborne due to contact from Pete Baskins (3) heading into Turn 3.
Devin Serra would lead the field to green again on Lap 6, with Rick Thompson holding on as the trucks worked up to full speed. Within a few laps, Thompson would overtake Serra by way of the outside lane and drafting help in John Kennedy (89). Clearing Serra, Thompson moved down to the inside lane and settled in.
Moving fast in the outside lane, Kennedy would clear Thompson with help from Jeremy Banning (15), moving to the bottom to assume the lead for a handful of laps. Thompson would fight back, earning the position once again, but Kennedy would make another press from the outside. Kennedy would ultimately lose momentum, opening the door for Kris Titus to slide up in front of Kennedy and trade laps lead with Thompson.
Lap 25; Kris Titus would catch the bumper of Rick Thompson while trying to change lanes, spinning in front of the field and triggering the ‘Big One.’ With 20 cars affected, the yellow flag would fly for the 2nd time. For drivers uninvolved, the opportunity to change tires and top off fuel would be welcomed, with Brian Yaczik (55) picking up the lead off of pit road.
Returning to green, Yaczik would lead Thompson on the inside line with pressure from Jamie Moore (82) and Jason Stewart (11) coming from the top-side. With just a lap of green run, Moore would make a sharp left in Turn 1 due to contact from Stewart, triggering another multi-car incident and freezing the field.
With clean-up complete, the green flag would wave once again. Brian Yaczik would continue as the leader, heading a breakaway of 5 trucks. Yaczik would deter a handful of challenges from Jordan Miller (76) before the front 5 would settle in as single file.
Yaczik would feel pressure with 2 laps to go as Randy McCanney (17) would challenge on the outside with drafting help from Tom Giannini (44). McCanney would nose ahead of Yaczik as the leaders took the white flag. Clearing Yaczik by Turn 1, McCanney would move to the inside to maintain the position. Yaczik would take a look to the outside of McCanney on the Superstretch, but in doing so would make contact with Giannini, spinning into the outside wall.
Boonville, NY’s Randy McCanney would hang on to pick-up the win, leading the final 2 laps on his way to Victory Lane. Tom Giannini would also earn bonus points for leading laps in addition to his 2nd place finish. Third would go to Mitch Brown (81) after starting 7th.
Pole-sitter Devin Serra would tally 7 laps led, but score a 23rd place finish after sustaining damage in an accident. 5th place finisher Yaczik would lead a race-high 33 laps including the halfway point, earning additional bonus points in the season standings. John Kennedy, Rick Thompson, and Kris Titus would also earn lead lap bonus points.
Leaving Florida, Truck Series points will nearly mirror the Daytona finishing order; McCanney will hold the points lead with Giannini in 2nd, 4 points behind. Brian Yaczik, Mitch Brown, and Jordan Miller round out the top-5.
Next week, the ASRS Sam Maxwell Customs Truck Series will return on Tuesday, February 20th for the Sam Maxwell Customs Atlanta 125. As with Daytona, the race distance has been increased from the 2017 distance. Race coverage presented by ASRS partner Prime Time Racing TV will begin at 9:10PM Eastern.
Race feed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eGJQ2mHMqI