Tyler Young opened up the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season in spectacular fashion with a career best finish in Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Showing speed from the Andrew Abbott prepared Chevrolet, the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team focused on solo truck runs and later a quick drafting session which prepared them for qualifying on Fri., Feb. 19. During his one-lap around the 2.5-mile superspeedway, Young timed in his second best qualifying run at the “World Center of Racing” from the inside of row 11.
Fighting against the temptation of powering his No. 02 Randco / Young’s Building Systems Chevrolet through the pack during the early and mid-race stages of the 100-lap event, the Midland, Texas native exercised patience from his 21st starting position.
Two early cautions allowed little opportunity for Young to digest the handling of his truck in full, but he did inform his team that his truck performed brilliantly in the draft. Abbot elected to utilize some strategy early by pitting for fuel in case of a long green-flag run.
While the event’s third caution on Lap 41 for a three-truck incident coming to pit road foiled the team’s initial plan, Young took the third caution of the event from 11th place knowing he could maneuver his No. 02 Randco / Young’s Building Systems Chevrolet wherever he chose to go.
Electing to be safe than sorry, Young and his team collectively agreed to ride near the back of the lead draft – hoping that if the coveted “big one” broke out, the team would escape the carnage with little to no damage.
And while the racing proved to be intense, thrilling and clean, Young was beginning to run out of laps to make his charge near the finish. Begin to weave his way through traffic, Young was on the prowl and moving towards the front when an 18-truck pileup seven laps from the finish ignited.
With guidance from his spotter, Young emerged from the wreck unscathed now placed inside the top-10.
Despite a lengthy half-hour red flag for clean-up, racing resume for the NCWTS for a two-lap shootout.
Coming to the white flag, Young found himself in contention for a top-five finish, but when another incident trigged on the frontstretch with one lap remaining, Young’s charge was stalled.
Initially credited with a fifth place finish, additional review by NASCAR dictated that Young was sixth at the moment of caution yielding the Texas his third career top-10 finish, his first at Daytona.
“It was a good night,” said Young. “We worked really hard to get our truck driving the way I wanted it too. Because of the relentless effort from the Young’s Motorsports guys, we were able to use some strategy, keep the truck in one piece and finish sixth. I’ll take it.
“This truck was just so strong. Whatever I wanted to do with it, it would react perfectly. In the end, we just ran out of laps and a partner to have a chance at the win. The truck is in great shape and we’ll get ‘er ready for Talladega in October.”
Because of the team’s stout performance, Young is off to the best start of his NCWTS career and sits sixth in the championship standings entering the Feb. 27 Great Clips 200 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway.
“We’re optimistic for Atlanta,” sounded Young. “We just need to keep doing what we’re doing and hope all the pieces will fall into place and allow bigger and better things to happen for Young’s Motorsports.”