Race Weekend Central

Zane Smith Wins Rain-Shortened Truck Opener at Daytona

Zane Smith scored a win in the rain-shorted NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series opener at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night, Feb. 17.

Smith earns his second victory in a row at the track, having also won the season opener in 2022.

“I know there’s about a million ways to get one at Daytona, but we’re proving that,” Smith told FOX Sports 1 after the race. “Obviously wanted to go back racing there somewhat to duke it out with good friends of mine, actually. But hey, we’ll take a win at Daytona.”

Tanner Gray came home second, while Christian Eckes finished third, with Colby Howard (fourth) and Grant Enfinger (fifth) next in line.

Ty Majeski, Tyler Ankrum, Corey Heim, Matt Crafton and Chase Elliott rounded out the top 10.

The race was slowed and stopped multiple times throughout the night not just for crashes but also due to inclement weather, with a sizable stoppage with 27 laps to go that resulted in a red flag. After another six laps under caution, the race was red-flagged again with 21 left.

See also
Friday NASCAR Daytona Notebook: Jimmie Johnson Hopeful, Small Teams Have Big Plans

Though Nick Sanchez scored the pole, Majeski immediately took the lead of the race, followed by Eckes.

Though there was trading of the lead back and forth from there amid multiple cautions due to rain, Eckes eventually won the first stage.

Stage two was more eventful from an attrition standpoint, as lap 29 saw a seven-truck wreck after Clay Greenfield got loose and collected multiple competitors, resulting in a red flag.

Eleven laps later, a six-driver wreck occurred on the backstretch, with Stewart Friesen spun into the outside wall. The crash marked the end of stage two, with Ankrum the stage winner.

Stage three also had its fireworks before the red flag for rain, chiefly via a five-truck accident after Rajah Caruth spun due to getting loose in the middle lane, collecting teammate Daniel Dye and more.

Daytona Truck Results

The Truck Series returns after a one-week break at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 3, with coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

About the author


Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

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I still can’t grasp we don’t have earlier start times especially for the opening race for the season. When we had 1:04 PM start times, typically NASCAR could get the race in before the showers start. There in Daytona and it’s not rocket science to know that these pop up showers typically start late afternoon.
I’m sure there are metrics to prove that the tv ratings are better with the later start times however I can’t recall the last time all three races finished without a rain delay.

Jill P

The number of caution laps was outrageous!

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