The 2008 Nationwide season got off a relatively caution free start even though the threat of the big one loomed over the racetrack for the Camping World 300. Toyota cars dominated throughout the whole race though.
“Hopefully we can do it,” said Kyle Busch, but he also said that Tony Stewart is awfully fast. “Got a good handling race car,” said Bobby Labonte.
Carl Edwards said that you need a “lotta luck” in order to win this race. Clint Bowyer said that he is running a full season this year because he has come close and have not won a championship yet.
Tony Stewart led the first 23 laps of the race until a teammate of his Kyle Busch was able to take the lead of the race. Slowly moving up the field though was Martin Truex Jr. in a Chevrolet. At lap 38 the cars started to make their green flag pit stops of the race. During pit stops the cars of Robert Richardson Jr. and Brad Coleman had awkward entrances into their pit stalls.
Stanton Barrett picked up a pass through penalty for pushing the car down too many pit stalls. That is a new rule this year.
At lap 51 having to make an unscheduled pit stop was Kevin Harvick who somehow did not get enough fuel into the car on his first green flag pit stop.
The first caution of the season finally occurs on lap 54 as the cars of David Gilliland and Mark Green get together crashing hard into the wall. Getting a piece of the wreck was Greg Biffle. “I thought he(David) saved it,” said Mark.
All the leaders pit and Martin Truex Jr. leads the race off the pit road.
The next caution came out on lap 79 for Marcos Ambrose who blew a tire. This caution was the break Kevin Harvick needed to get back on the lead lap.
With 27 laps to go Clint Bowyer wound up tapping the wall sending him into the pits to replace some tires and fix some damage to his car. A few more laps go by and Marcos Ambrose bring out another caution for putting some debris out on the race track. All the leaders come in to pit for the final time today.
With 12 laps to go it was a big wad of cars all jockeying for position. A few more laps go by and the fourth and biggest caution of the day comes out as Brad Keselowski taps the car of Steven Wallace. That caused the cars of Johnny Sauter, Jason Keller, Kasey Kahne, and Kevin Harvick to get involved. “I just got hit from behind,” said Kasey. He also said the 88 car(Bad Keselowski) got loose
With six laps left Kyle Busch was in the lead in a Toyota. Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the outside was making a quick move in a Chevrolet to take second place. Some jockeying of positions occurred at the front for the next few laps and at the start of the final lap Tony Stewart was in the lead of the race. Martin Truex Jr. tried to make a move to get the lead but it did not work and Tony in his Toyota wins takes the first race of the season.
This win marks the first for Toyota at Daytona in the Nationwide/Busch Series and it also marks the third win for Tony at Daytona in the series as well. Toyota took three of the top five spots at the finish of the race
“Had so much speed,” said Tony Stewart. He also stated that Kyle Busch helped him a ton today.
“Long run was a dominant car,” said Kyle Busch who finished in second. “He (Tony) helped me out so much today.”
“That was out best shot,” said Dale Jr. when asked about the using the outside line to win the race. He also said the car lacked grip from fourth on back. Dale finished the race in third place.
Brian Vickers said that he had a really good car today. He finished the race in fourth
“Struggled being tight all day,” said Matt Kenseth. Matt finished the race in fifth spot.