John King Wins Daytona Truck Crashfest: John Who? – Fan’s Reaction

The 2012 Camping World Truck series brought the NASCAR season an opening night that was full of astounding crashes and astonishing 'finishes' … yes, finishes. It took a few takes to get a winner. And who was the winner? Who indeed - but first, a quick look at the race itself.

The NextEra Energy Resources 250 started with an international flavor or to be more accurate, a Brazilian look as Miguel Paludo and his #32 Chevrolet won the pole (the first of his career). On the outside of him on the front row was yet another Brazilian, Nelson Piquet Jr. They are teammates which gave Turner Motorsports the front row. Paludo and Piquet led a conga line for more than half of the race. In all, the two Brazilians led 71 of the original 100 scheduled laps at Daytona. Yeah, about that scheduled 100 laps.

Turner Motorsports' third car with James Buescher aboard joined his teammates, trading places with Paludo and Piquet for the lead. But it would not be a South American night though as tight racing brought the inevitable 'big one', or more specifically, multiple big ones. And that included a horrific crash involving Paludo who crashed head-on into the inside retaining wall coming off turn four (source - YouTube). But because of all the safety measures in place, Paludo walked away.

Attrition rate was sky rocketing and in fact, only half the field finished the race and many of those were beat up. As the event came to the last laps, it looked like it was Jason White's race to win until five laps to go when a yellow after another crash would lead to three green-white-checker finishes.

Overtime

The first overtime restart had the Toyota of Johnny Sauter in the lead but John King's Toyota turned Sauter into the outside wall in the tri-oval and ended Sauter's night. On the final restart, King led the field with a final traumatic wreck involving Joey Coulter, ending the race and giving King the victory, his first in NASCAR in only his eighth Truck race. King's prior best finish was a 15th at Bristol in 2010.

King had stayed in the back most of the night trying to stay out of trouble, which worked for the most part. When he eventually moved up to battle Sauter and ultimately booted Sauter for the lead and win, King was genuinely sorry about the incident saying: "I apologize to him from the bottom of my heart. It wasn't my intention at all. I couldn't get off of him."(Source - ESPN)

A relative unknown, John King drives for Red Horse Racing. He's 23 years old and was born in the Appalachians of eastern Virginia. He began his racing career in Tennessee and comes from the late model ranks. According to King, this is only his third win ever since he started racing six years ago (source - SpeedTV). Technically, he's a rookie and will be campaigning the entire year as long as funding comes along - the truck is unsponsored at this point. Want to know how unknown King is? He's not even on his own teams website (check here - Red Horse Racing).

This first race of the year was 109 laps instead of 100 and made for quite an extraordinary event with a relative unknown being victorious. The Truck series looks wide open in 2012.

Source - NASCAR, Racing Reference

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Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus blogged about every type of racing for several years.

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Updated Saturday, Feb 25, 2012