DGR NCWTS Race Recap: Daytona International Speedway

Friday, February 18
Track: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, 2.5-mile superspeedway
Race: 1 of 23
Event: NextEra Energy 250 (100 laps, 250 miles)

Hailie Deegan, No. 1 Monster Energy Ford F-150
Start: 26th
Finish: 17th

  • Hailie Deegan qualified 26th for the NextEra Energy 250 ahead of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season debut at the Daytona International Speedway. The driver immediately made her presence felt in Stage 1 as Deegan was able to crack the top-10 on lap seven.
  • The Monster Energy F-150 developed a loose condition as the run carried on, forcing her to drop to 18th by the end of the opening stage. Finding herself free off the corners, the team took on four tires and fuel, while making adjustments to tighten her truck.
  • Deegan fought to stay within the top-15 for most of Stage 2 before handling issues would render her to a 17th-place stage finish. The Temecula, CA native reported she was uncomfortable with her truck on new tires, and noted she was more confident in its performance as her Goodyear Eagle’s came to temperature.
  • After a Stage 3 caution on lap 63, Deegan pitted to top off her F-150 with fuel heading to the conclusion of the final stage. Following a second caution on lap 80, Deegan entered the top-10 on the ensuing restart with 7 to go.
  • Deegan got comfortable in the race’s waning moments, moving between sixth and 10th within the closing laps, before a wreck on lap 99 that ultimately inflicted the No. 1 team with heavy right-side damage.
  • After making two separate trips down pit road while the track was being readied for overtime, the crew was able to make enough repairs for Deegan to take the green on the race’s final restart. Coming to the line in 19th, the 20-year-old moved up two spots and was credited with a 17th-place finish to start the 2022 NCWTS season.

Tanner Gray, No. 15 Black’s Tire Ford F-150
Start: 24th
Finish: 4th

  • Tanner Gray qualified 24th for the season-opening NextEra Energy 250. He quickly moved down into the bottom lane and drove his way forward, advancing into the top-10 on lap 12.
  • The driver reported his Black’s Tire F-150 felt good, but was loose off of turn four throughout the first stage. He would finish eighth in Stage 1 and earn three stage points.
  • Gray pitted for fuel and a trackbar adjustment and started the second stage from the fifth position.
  • The 22-year-old rode inside the top-10 for nearly all of the stage, but a run from the outside lane of cars on the final lap saw the No. 15 end up with an 11th-place effort at the end of Stage 2. The team opted for tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments this time down pit road.
  • Gray restarted the final stage in 13th and moved into seventh in the opening two laps. He was running in that position when the caution flag waved on lap 63. Crew chief Jerry Baxter made the call to pit again for right-side tires and fuel. Gray was nabbed for speeding on pit road and had to restart at the tail of the field.
  • Green flag waved on lap 67 and by lap 75, the New Mexico native once again found himself inside the top-10. Despite a series of cautions with under 20 to go, he continued to hold steady around seventh and was running there when the caution came out with one lap to go.
  • For overtime, Gray restarted inside third row in the fifth position. After pushing the lead trio past the white flag, the caution flag waved for the final time effectively ending the race and the No. 15 was credited with a fourth-place finish.

Riley Herbst, No. 17 Mechanix Wear Ford F-150
Start: 8th
Finish: 12th

  • Riley Herbst started eighth for the 100-lap season opener at the Daytona International Speedway.
  • The Xfinity Series regular bided his time in the outside lane from the drop of the green flag and was running in 12th on lap 12, but opted to bail out of line the following lap and drop to the rear of the lead pack. He would finish Stage 1 in 16th.
  • The driver reported the truck was very loose and the team changed four tires, added fuel and made a trackbar adjustment and rejoined the field to restart 21st for the second stage.
  • With the handling feeling better, Herbst decided to not press his luck for this stint and held his place in line at the back of the lead group. He finished Stage 2 in 18th.
  • Chad Johnston had the driver come down pit road for tires, fuel and further trackbar adjustments. An uncontrolled tire penalty during this round of pitstops relegated the No. 17 F-150 to the tail of the field.
  • When the caution flag waved on lap 63, the Las Vegas driver was back into the top-10 in the eighth position. He would pit for fuel and restart in seventh.
  • Herbst was running in 13th when the penultimate yellow occurred as the leaders were nearly taking the white flag. He was collected in the multi-truck accident that spanned across the entire frontstretch and sustained damage to both sides of his Mechanix Wear F-150. After pitting for damage repair, he was able to rejoin the field for the closing laps and brought home a 12th-place finish.

Next event: Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 4 at 9:00 p.m. ET.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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