Chasing Daytona (Spring)

Chasing Daytona (Spring)
There are a lot of unknowns heading into this week’s season-opening race and segment points will create more variables than ever.
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Noah Gragson will kick off his rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Friday night under the lights at Daytona in the NextEra Energy Resources 250.

This will be his first season at Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). To prepare for this season, Gragson made two NCWTS starts at the end of 2016 at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami, where he finished 16th and 15th respectively. By completing all the laps, he was able to get a head start on learning the unique characteristics of the truck’s aerodynamics on bigger tracks. Veteran crew chief Marcus Richmond was added to the No. 18 Switch team’s roster in late 2016 to mentor and coach the young driver from atop the pit box.-KBM
Feb 22 - 10:55 PM

Christopher Bell (No. 4 JBL Toyota Tundra) begins his second full-time season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) on Friday night at Daytona.

He put his name on the NASCAR map with a victory on the dirt at famed Eldora Speedway in just his third series start in July of 2015 and earned his first win on pavement last June at Gateway Motorsports Park. That victory at Gateway earned him a spot in the Inaugural Truck Series Chase and his consistent finishes throughout the elimination-style playoff format landed him a spot in the Championship Four at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. He posted an eighth-place finish in the series finale, earning him third-place in the championship standings. With 30 career Truck starts already under his belt, Bell is hoping to parlay his experience into more wins in 2017. To help him achieve that goal, he will be paired with crew chief, Ryan "Rudy" Fugle this year.-KBM
Feb 22 - 10:49 PM

Myatt Snider will kick off the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season Friday night at Daytona behind the wheel of the No. 51 Louisiana Hot Sauce Toyota Tundra in the NextEra Energy Resources 250.

Daytona will mark Snider’s first start for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), and his first start on a superspeedway. He is one of four drivers who will pilot the No. 51 throughout the 2017 season. He will compete in eight races, sharing the No. 51 Tundra (others: owner-driver Kyle Busch, Harrison Burton and Todd Gilliland). The 22-year-old is scheduled to race at Texas Motor Speedway June 9 and Nov. 3, Kentucky Speedway July 6, Chicagoland Speedway Sept. 15, Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sept. 30, Talladega Oct. 14 and Homestead-Miami Nov. 17.-KBM
Feb 22 - 10:31 PM

The PowerShares QQQ 300 will mark Cole Custer’s sixth career NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) start, his first career NXS start at Daytona and his first career NXS start in a restrictor-plate race.

His five previous NXS starts came in 2016; best result was a fourth-place finish May 28 at Charlotte. He has two overall starts at Daytona between the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Racing Series. Both came in February 2016 during Speedweeks, with Custer finishing 24th in the Truck Series race and 10th in the ARCA race. Custer won the pole for the 2016 ARCA season opener at Daytona, becoming the youngest pole winner in Daytona history among the ARCA, Truck, XFINITY and Cup series. Custer is competing for rookie-of-the-year honors in the NXS.-TSC
Feb 22 - 10:17 PM

Daytona International Speedway will be the first-career NCWTS start for rookie Chase Briscoe, who will be piloting the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150.

Has one previous start at Daytona in the ARCA Racing Series, where he finished fourth. Also has restrictor plate experience at Talladega Superspeedway: he finished third in the ARCA race there in 2016. Veteran crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. has been on the pit box for 10 NCWTS races at Daytona, ending the night in victory lane in two-consecutive events (2008 and 2009 with Todd Bodine). Hillman Jr. also has a Daytona pole flag, which he earned in 2012 with Miguel Paludo.-Brad Keselowski Racing
Feb 22 - 10:07 PM

Austin Cindric (No. 19 Ford F-150) will be making his seventh-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 and his first at Daytona International Speedway.

Has one previous restrictor plate start at Talladega Superspeedway (2016). Best career qualifying effort is second place (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2016). Doug Randolph, Cindric's crew chief, led the No. 19 Draw-Tite Ford F-150 team to victory in the 2015 race at Daytona with driver Tyler Reddick – the first Daytona win for BKR.-Brad Keselowski Racing
Feb 22 - 10:05 PM

In 10 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Daytona International Speedway Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Chevrolet Camaro) has completed 96.1 percent (1,071 of 1,115) of the laps he has attempted.

He is credited with one top-five and three top-10 finishes, 13 laps led, an 18.8 average starting position and a 19.4 average finishing position. Gaughan returns to Daytona to kick off the 2017 season following a career-best fifth-place finish in July 2016. He also qualified for the Daytona 500 in the No. 75 Chevrolet SS with Beard Motorsports. Gaughan was the quickest of six non-charter teams and drivers attempting to make the Great American Race. He previously entered the Daytona 500 in 2004, where he finished in 19th-place.-Richard Childress Racing
Feb 21 - 9:51 PM

Brandon Jones (No. 33 Nexteer Chevrolet Camaro) will be competing at Daytona International Speedway for his third time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this weekend.

The 20-year-old driver finished seventh at the 2.5-mile track last February. Jones is entering his sophomore season in the XFINITY Series after a stout rookie year, in which he recorded 17 top-11 finishes and qualified for the inaugural XFINITY Series Chase before finishing 10th in the point standings. Jones also recorded the third most completed laps in the series last year.-Richard Childress Racing
Feb 21 - 9:44 PM
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