2000 Daytona 250
|Race 1 of 24 in the 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season|
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
|Date||February 18, 2000|
|Location||Daytona International Speedway (Daytona Beach, Florida)|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.02336 km)
|Distance||100 laps, 250 mi (402.336 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 79 °F (26 °C); wind speeds approaching 20 miles per hour (32 km/h)|
|Average speed||130.152 miles per hour (209.459 km/h)|
|Driver||Joe Ruttman||Bobby Hamilton Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Mike Wallace||Ultra Motorsports|
|Television in the United States|
The 2000 Daytona 250 was a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race held at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2000. The inaugural running of the event, Joe Ruttman won the pole, while Mike Wallace won the race, the third win of his Truck Series career.
Joe Ruttman driving the #18 for Bobby Hamilton Racing was on the pole. He would lead the field to the Green Flag, and led the first lap before Lyndon Amick briefly took the lead for two laps. The lead would then switch between Marty Houston, Mike Wallace, and Bobby Hamilton before the first caution came out for an accident in Turn 2. Geoff Bodine spun after geting bumped by Lyndon Amick. Defending Truck champion Jack Sprague, Steve Grissom, Rick Crawford, and Bryan Reffner were involved. The race restarted, and the lead was taken by a couple more drivers before the caution came out again when Mike Cope had a tire go down and he spun in turn 4. On the restart, Terry Cook was the leader, but Houston, Wallace, and Hamilton again swapped the lead. Mike Wallace had a tire go flat and had to come to pit road. That same lap, Kurt Busch got into Bobby Hamilton, spinning him, collecting Joe Ruttman, Randy Renfrow, Randy Tolsma, and Marty Houston crashed in the tri-oval. Renfrow almost flipped over. Mike Wallace managed to stay on the lead lap. The race restarted once more on Lap 43, and went green until lap 50 when Jimmy Kitchens spun on the Backstretch. Most of the leaders made pit stops, except for Rob Morgan, who stayed out.
Geoff Bodine crash
On the restart, Rob Morgan led, but was quickly overtaken by Mike Wallace, and Morgan began slipping back. The race is known for an incident on lap 56 when rookie Kurt Busch was racing three-wide with Geoff Bodine. Busch had his Truck Series debut and was not famous quite yet until he got notice for his involvement in the accident. On lap 56 as Busch dove underneath Bodine, Busch accidentally turned Rob Morgan, who flew down the apron, and then steered back up to send Bodine in the catch-fencing at nearly 190 miles per hour (310 km/h). Upon impact Bodine's truck set aflame, exploded, and flipped nine times across the track extremely hard before resting on its roof in turn 1. The driver's side of the car also was briefly hit by Ryan McGlynn whose car got damaged from the contact that it eventually shut down later in the race. Instantly in the reactions, the crash was described as being similar to Richard Petty's 1988 crash at Daytona at the same spot; and a red flag was shown because the track was piled up in a mess of debris; and the purpose to make sure Bodine was okay. The accident was so massive that it savagely ripped out the engine which was found in turn 2, 355 feet from where Bodine's car stopped. The crash collected 12 more cars making it called "The Big One."
Upon seeing Bodine crash the fans cheering for their drivers went silent and called silently for paramedics to come into the grandstands. For 16 minutes after the accident the announcers and fans barely spoke because they were worried that Bodine was fatally injured. However the fans applauded when the announcers said they saw Bodine talking to medical crews and moving around as he was taken in the ambulance. Bodine only suffered a broken jaw, wrist, shoulder, and suffered a concussion. After 3 nights of medical treatment at the Halifax Medical Center, Bodine was in stable condition with a normal blood pressure and eventually returned to race a month later. Fellow driver Jimmy Kitchens was also hospitalized, but did not suffer any major injuries.
After 55 minutes of red flag including slow caution periods before and after the red flag, the race went green again.
On the final lap Andy Houston got loose and Mike Wallace slipped by to take the first truck victory at Daytona as Busch after barely avoiding Bodine's crashing truck, ended up in second spot as a personal best. In victory lane ceremonies truck series driver, Todd Bodine announced that his brother Geoff would survive the crash and the announcers confirmed that the debris and flames during Bodine's crash injured five fans who survived also. The most serious injuries were 3 fans that were burnt by the fireball that engulfed Bodine's car when it hit the grandstands while two others got injured by debris including a tire and some metal wreckage.
- 2-Mike Wallace, Led 59 of 100 Laps
- 99-Kurt Busch*
- 60-Andy Houston, Led 9 Laps
- 88-Terry Cook, Led 7 Laps
- 98-Kenny Martin*
- 72-Randy MacDonald
- 66-Rick Carelli
- 1-Dennis Setzer, 1 Lap Down
- 84-Donnie Neuenberger, 1 Lap Down
- 43-Steve Grissom, 5 Laps Down; Led 5 Laps
- 50-Greg Biffle, 92 Laps (Accident); Led 1 Lap
- 86-Mike Cope*, 10 Laps Down
- 12-Carlos Contreras*, 16 Laps Down
- 6-Rich Woodland, Jr., 82 Laps (Transmission)
- 25-Randy Tolsma, 21 Laps Down
- 00-Ryan McGlynn, 76 Laps (Engine Failure)
- 97-Ron Barfield, Jr., 66 Laps (Engine Failure)
- 75-Marty Houston, 65 Laps (Accident); Led 2 Laps
- 18-Joe Ruttman, 64 Laps (Engine Failure); Led 1 Lap
- 26-Jamie McMurray*, 60 Laps (Accident)
- 31-John Young*, 57 Laps (Accident)
- 52-Lyndon Amick, 56 Laps (Accident); Led 2 Laps
- 46-Rob Morgan, 56 Laps (Accident); Led 4 Laps
- 15-Geoffrey Bodine, 56 Laps (Accident)
- 27-Lonnie Rush, Jr., 56 Laps (Accident)
- 90-Lance Norick, 56 Laps (Accident)
- 73-B. A. Wilson, 56 Laps (Accident)
- 42-Jimmy Kitchens, 56 Laps (Accident); Led 3 Laps
- 16-Jimmy Hensley, 55 Laps (Accident)
- 4-Bobby Hamilton, 36 Laps (Accident); Led 6 Laps
- 41-Randy Renfrow, 36 Laps (Accident)
- 7-Morgan Shepherd, 17 Laps (Rocket Arm); Led 1 Lap
- 24-Jack Sprague, 14 Laps (Accident)
- 14-Rick Crawford, 13 Laps (Accident)
- 3-Bryan Reffner, 13 Laps (Accident)
- 35-David Starr, 10 Laps (Engine Failure)
Failed to qualify
- 51-Rick Ware*
- 19-Ricky Sanders
- 11-Joe Buford
- 09-Matt Mullins
- 9-Lance Hooper*
- 5-Tom Powers
- 04-Brad Teague
- 28-Kenny Allen
- 01-Peter Gibbons
- 54-Brian Sockwell
- 69-Jeff Spraker
- 71-Tommy Croft
- 80-Gary Bradberry
- 91-Carl Long
- 93-Wayne Edwards*
- 23-Phil Bonifield
- "Weather of the 2000 Daytona 250". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- "Bodine, fans escape serious injury in fiery crash". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
- "Bodine Seriously Injured In Fiery Crash At Daytona". Chicago Tribune. 2000-02-19. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
1999 NAPA Auto Parts 200
|NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
2000 Florida Dodge Dealers 400K