DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Timothy Peters saved his best for the last lap Saturday night at Daytona as he passed defending winner Todd Bodine in turn three to win the Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
“I can’t believe it. This thing drove like a Lexus tonight,” said the 29-year-old Peters. “We just won Daytona. I can’t believe it. We’re going to Disney World.”
For Peters it was his second victory in 69 starts, his other triumph coming at Martinsville, Va., last season.
The event was delayed 24 hours by rain, but when the green flag waved, it was outside-front-row-starter Elliott Sadler aboard his Kevin Harvick, Inc. Chevrolet who paced the 36-truck field on a bitterly cold evening.
Before the tires even came up to temperature, nine trucks tangled on the back chute, triggered when rookie Austin Dillon got turned into the outside wall. Yellow flags dotted the event, but the second “big one” came on lap 32 when defending series champion Ron Hornaday, Jr. was tapped by Ricky Carmichael, hit the outside wall and 10 trucks piled up.
Peters put his Toyota out front for the first time on lap 43 for three laps before Bodine took his first turn at the point. Polesitter Jason White, Mike Skinner and Johnny Benson swapped the lead for several laps.
Bodine, gunning for three-straight Daytona victories, had a very strong Toyota and continued to run near the front as did Peters. Bodine forged into the lead for the fifth time on lap 83 and appeared to be in the catbird seat for the finish.
Peters was right in the thick of it and got a nudge from White going into turn three where he did a crossover move on Bodine as they came out of the final turn.
Bodine tried to run side by side with Peters to no avail and had to settle for runner-up honors ahead of Dennis Setzer, who came back after being involved in the opening-lap melee. White and Matt Crafton completed the top five.
“You’re a sitting duck leading. Timmy just did it right. It was a great crossover move,” Bodine said. “The truck was fast and it was a race of survival tonight. (Peters is) a great race car driver.”