Motorsports

Friday, Feb 22 2013 11:36 PM

Sauter nets Truck victory after Newberry takes pole

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Johnny Sauter has won the NASCAR Truck Series season opener, his first victory at Daytona International Speedway.

Sauter led the final 17 laps and held off Kyle Busch before a last-lap wreck forced the 250-mile race to finish under caution Friday night.

Rookie Brennan Newberry of Bakersfield won the pole earlier in the day with a speed of 177.176 but had his race ended early when he was involved in a 13-car wreck on lap 54.

"This will not determine our year," Newberry said on his team's twitter page. "We came out swinging with a pole and this was out of our control. Thanks boys!"

Busch, a Sprint Cup regular who drives a few races in the Trucks Series, wound up second for the third time in the series opener.

It was the 100th win in the series for Toyota and the manufacturer's seventh straight at NASCAR's most famous track. "I can't believe I'm in Victory Lane in Daytona," Sauter said.

Ron Hornaday Jr. was third, followed by Justin Lofton, Jeb Burton and Ty Dillon. Defending series champion James Buescher was involved in the last-lap wreck and finished 13th, one spot behind highly touted rookie Darrell Wallace Jr.

NHRA

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Antron Brown raced to the qualifying lead in Top Fuel at the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway. One week after walking away from a crash at the season-opening event in Pomona, Brown powered his new dragster to a leading time of 3.765 seconds at 314.83 mph.

"I can't say enough for my team," Brown said. "They came out here with a brand new car, and it was planned that we made a half-lap on the first pass to make sure that everything was right.

"Then we came back (for the second run), and the car left good. But I had to remember, that when you go one-to-one at halftrack (with the clutch lockup), this track always makes your car sashay. And I just lifted a little bit early because I felt the car go from side to side.

"But it was a phenomenal run, and I couldn't be happier. To come out here and on the second run of the new car and be number one, you can't ask for much more than that."

Johnny Gray (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Drag Racing Series event near Phoenix. Gray paced the Funny Car field with a 4.034 at 313.80 in a Dodge Charger, while Edwards was quickest in Pro Stock, covering the distance in a track record time of 4.498 at 213.13 in a Chevy Camaro. Qualifying continues today.

Nationwide

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Trevor Bayne has his Nationwide ride exactly where it ended the past two seasons: in front of the field.

The 2011 Daytona 500 winner earned the pole for today's Nationwide Series season opener. Bayne turned the fast lap during qualifying at Daytona International Speedway, averaging 177.162 mph around the 21/2-mile superspeedway.

Bayne is driving the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, the car Ricky Stenhouse Jr. piloted to the past two titles in the second-tier series.

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