The 2019 NASCAR Truck Series got off to a wild start last night
On Friday night, the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series began their 2019 racing season. They took the green in the NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
After months of cabin fever, the fans and drivers were ready for a racing fix. The anticipation was high for the green flag.
It dropped and all hell broke loose in a real hurry.
Bryan Dauzat, David Gilliland and Natalie Decker pick up flat tires at the same time
First, Bryan Dauzat picked up a flat tire while running the inside lane. He pushed up the banking until he collected Robby Lyons and stuffed him into the wall.
They all continued after that incident and the race remained green.
Moments later, David Gilliland had a flat tire at the front of the field. He was running 2nd with his son right behind him. David started to slow as he felt a left front tire going down.
At the exact same time, Natalie Decker, who started 11th in her first start also had a flat tire. She didn’t slow down in anticipation of the blowout.
When it blew, it took the fender with it. She drove it back to the pit lane at a high rate of speed. As the tire continued to come apart, it ripped an oil line.
The oil line then caused a fire on the left front. She came to a stop near her pit stall. Decker climbed from her truck in a hurry and tripped over the pit wall.
Safety workers were quick to extinguish the flames. She was alright.
David Gilliland and Natalie Decker are teammates at DGR-Crosley. Each had flat left fronts at the exact same time from different ends of the field.
Due to the fire on Natalie Decker’s machine the caution flag was waved.
Jackman, Billy Rock
Several trucks came to the pit lane including Bryan Dauzat who was the first truck with a flat tire.
“Going into the turn on the drop of the green, something came off Joe’s truck,” Dauzat said after the race. “Whether it was from his truck or someone else’s truck, I don’t know. I thought I centered it, but it must’ve hit the right-front tire. I don’t know.”
Dauzat had no brakes as he came to pit road. As he approached the pit stall he was weaving back and forth to slow the car down.
The jackman of the #28 FDNY Racing team jumped out in front of the truck as if it was a normal stop. Dauzat continued to roll.
“I just lost brakes when I was coming in,” Dauzat said. “… I told him, I said, ‘I have no brakes,’ and he came out in front.”
They collided. Jackman Billy Rock was launched over the nose and into the air. He came down on the pavement with the jack still in hand.
Rock needed help from the NASCAR safety crew to get off the pit lane as he laid on the ground from the impact with the race truck. He was carried off the pit lane on a stretcher.
The jackman, Rock was awake and alert after a trip to the infield care center at Daytona International Speedway. He was then transported to Halifax Health Medical Center.
Rock suffered a broken shoulder as reported by Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports. Jim Rosenblum, the team owner stated that the jackman was later released from the hospital.
Harrison Burton – Flat tire number four
As the field rolled to the green flag, Harrison Burton began to feel a flat. As the field took the green, he turned left for the pit lane.
Sure enough, he had a flat. That flat was collected at the same time as the others.
That was four separate incidents of flat tires in the first two laps of green flag racing. All four were caused by debris.
The race set a record breaking number of cautions at 11. Austin Hill went on to win the race blocking from the top lane to the bottom.
A wild start to a new season.