Jeremy Stanley Steals the Win in Movember Charity Race

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

After an attrition-filled charity truck race at the virtual Daytona International Speedway, a natural ‘green-white-checkered’ pitted Jeff Maconi against Jeremy Stanley in a drag race to the start-finish line.

After numerous wrecks throughout the first 98 laps of the 100-lap Saturday for the Boys race, only 10 virtual NASCAR Camping World Truck Series vehicles remained. Maconi led the field back to green with the virtual No. 03 Movember Foundation Chevrolet Silverado. Stanley restarted in third in the virtual No. 44 Martin Sports Ford F-150. The Ford driver pushed Maconi for the first lap and a half as the Maconi Setup Shop founded pleaded for Stanley to “stay with him” on track.

Seizing the opportunity, Stanley jumped to Maconi’s outside entering Turn 3. As the remaining field came apart behind them, the duo side-drafted one another, trying to gain an advantage. When the checkered flag waved, Stanley edged Maconi by 0.004 seconds for the victory. Michael Eckhardt, James Watson, and Justin Melillo rounded out the top-five.

Jeremy Stanley and Jeff Maconi take the checkered flag in a photo-finish with Stanley taking the win by 0.004 seconds. Photo by Seth Eggert / Podium eSports.

“That was a brutal battle,” Stanley admitted. “I used both fast repairs. I was actually playing multiple decisions in my head those last two laps before we went back to green on that final restart. Was thinking maybe right away or maybe wait until the last lap. I knew the 91 (Garrett Wolfinbarger) wanted to get to the bottom as soon as he could, so I stayed on the back bumper of Maconi until the last possible moment.

“The 38 (Blair Patterson) was just so aggressive on the rear bumper. He tagged me a couple of times and I thought he was going to be my winning move here. On the backstretch he tagged me, pushed the pusher, which I was told not to multiple times. But he gave me the momentum to do it. And I couldn’t let it go entering Turn 3, that was the only moment I had. Moved to the top, luckily the 38 didn’t spin me, and it gave me the edge. Crazy.”

Wolfinbarger, Mark Stewart, Patterson, Bradley Wilson, and Derrick Rice completed the top-10.

Although Stanley won on track, the big winner of the night was the Movember Foundation. The race raised over $1,300 for the men’s health charity.

“It was a really fun event,” Maconi stated. “Very happy with all of the racing, the work we did, and all of the money raised. It was so much fun, such a great race. We raised so much money.”

The most spectacular crash of the many that took place in the charity race happened on lap 78. Contact caused Turn 1 to be blocked. Many, including Melillo, ducked to the inside of the track. As the damaged and destroyed trucks slid down the banking, the driver of the virtual No. 53 Traxion.GG Ford aimed for the grass. Unbeknownst to both Melillo and his spotter, that decision collected him.

Justin Melillo goes airborne after hitting the grass at Daytona, Photo by Seth Eggert / Podium eSports.

When the No. 53 hit the grass, the virtual Camping World Truck launched into the air, much like the real-life vehicles when their splitters dig into the turf. When Melillo landed, he had about three minutes of optional repairs. Further back-to-back cautions allowed the Monday Night Racing and FTF Racing League driver to complete his repairs and limp to a top-five finish.