Smaller field completes NASCAR Truck testing at Daytona

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Only five drivers took laps today during the final day of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway.

Morning rains kept the small group of trucks from hitting the track until 12:30 p.m. ET according to Godwin Kelly of the Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal. Per Kelly’s 11 a.m. ET update, there had been about 10 trucks in the Daytona garages but apparently, the rainy conditions caused some of the teams to pack up early and head home.

ThorSport Racing’s trio of Johnny Sauter (pictured), defending series champion Matt Crafton, and Ross Chastain were among those who stayed along with Rosenblum Racing’s Ryan Ellis and owner/driver Jennifer Jo Cobb.

Sauter’s lap of 183.921 mph was enough to top today’s charts, followed by Crafton in second (183.895) and Chastain in third (183.880). Ellis and Cobb lagged behind considerably on speed, with the former posting a lap at 176.025 mph and the latter topping out at 173.437 mph.

With that, Turner Scott Motorsports’ Jeb Burton has earned the honor of having the fastest lap throughout the CWTS portion of Preseason Thunder. Burton notched a lap of 191.144 mph during yesterday’s afternoon session.

The CWTS season begins Friday night, February 21 at Daytona with the NextEra Energy Resources 250.

Malcolm Stewart sidelined by knee surgery for ‘extended duration’

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The knee injury that kept Malcolm Stewart from mounting up for Anaheim 2 will require surgery and he will be sidelined for “an extended duration” of the Monster Energy Supercross season, according to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team.

“I just wanted to give you guys an update,” Stewart said on Instagram. “It’s not the news you guys want to hear, but I took a spill last week and hurt my knee pretty bad to the point that we’re going to have to get surgery done.

“I’m definitely bummed out about it; I felt we were riding pretty good and were just now starting to get the ball rolling, but it is what it is.”

Stewart’s season started with high expectations until accidents in the first two rounds left him 15th in the standings.

He ended 2022 on a high note, finishing a career high third in the Supercross standings. He then missed the start of the Pro Motocross season with another knee injury.

The 2023 season appeared to live up to his expectations. Despite back-to-back accidents, Stewart contended for podiums at both Anaheim 1 and San Diego. He won his heat at San Diego.

“It was very tough to receive the news that Malcolm will need to undergo knee surgery,” Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager for the Husqvarna team said in a press release. “He has worked so hard to be in a position to win races this year and I truly believe he was ready.

“The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing program will support him in every way that we can through his recovery and we can’t wait to get him back on track and back at the races.”

Stewart joins 250 rider Jalek Swoll on the sidelines after he broke an arm in a practice session. Swoll will be relieved by Talon Hawkins beginning this week at Houston, Texas.

A replacement rider has not been announced for Stewart, which means the focus shifts to his 450 teammate Christian Craig, who currently sits 12th in the standings with three top-15s in the opening rounds.