Johnny Sauter won the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday night at Daytona International Speedway, his third victory in the season-opening event for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Sauter, driving the No. 21 Allegiant Airlines Chevrolet, emerged from a late-race battle among front-runners, taking the lead for good with eight laps remaining in the 100-lap/250-mile race on the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Sauter, whose previous victories in the event came in 2013 and ’16, outraced Justin Haley (No. 24 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet) and veteran Joe Nemechek (No. 87 D.A.B. Constructors Inc./Fleetwing Chevrolet) to the finish.
The race was run in three stages: 20, 20 and 60 laps. Pole winner David Gilliland (No. 4 Pedigree Toyota) won the first stage, with Sauter taking the second stage.
It was an emotional victory for Sauter’s team. The wife of his crew chief Joe Shear Jr., Chandra Shear, passed away in December.
“This is big … this is for Joe,” Sauter said. “I couldn’t be more proud of him to overcome something like that [and be here]. This is the most unbelievable superspeedway truck I’ve ever driven. I felt like we executed flawlessly.”