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NASCAR PREPS FOR TONIGHT’S VERSION OF MID-SUMMER CLASSIC WITH ELDORA DIRT DERBY
Major League Baseball enjoyed its “Mid-Summer Classic” all-star game Tuesday evening and tonight the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will put on one of its own at Eldora Speedway.
The Eldora Dirt Derby (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. CT) is one of the most unique races on the NASCAR schedule with the series taking to the dirt of Eldora Speedway’s half-mile oval. The highly anticipated NASCAR Camping World Truck Series annual summer event also attracts Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers and young dirt track stars looking to get noticed on the big stage of three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart’s speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Joining the truck regulars such as 2016 series champ and current points leader Johnny Sauter and two-time series champion and defending race winner Matt Crafton, Cup drivers Ryan Newman and Ty Dillon will return to their racing roots and compete in the 75-mile, 150-lap race. Lining up right next to them will be young dirt track stars such as 21-year-old Logan Seavey, 19-year-old Braden Mitchell and 18-year-old Tyler Dippel.
Monster Energy Cup Series drivers moonlighting in this event have won two of the five races, with Austin Dillon winning the inaugural one in 2013 and Kyle Larson in ‘16.
“Growing up in the Midwest and having raced there in the past, both in the truck series and in USAC competition, it’s certainly a special place,” said Newman, who will be driving the No. 3 entry for Jordan Anderson Racing. “It’s going to be great going back to basics with what we’re doing, and his team’s grassroots approach, rolling into the racetrack with their dually and gooseneck trailer making the most of what resources we have and hopefully bringing them a win home.
The Eldora Dirt Derby is expecting 39 trucks for the event, which also has a unique format that traces back to the dirt roots of the sport. The field will be divided among five 10-lap heat races and the top-five finishers from each heat will advance to the feature race. The event also will include a 15-lap “Last Chance” qualifier that will transfer two more drivers to the race.
NASCAR stars and veteran dirt standouts Christopher Bell and Larson will be on hand for the Eldora Dirt Derby, but they will not be competing in the event. The duo will make their FOX NASCAR broadcasting debuts during FOX Sports 1’s live, full-day coverage of the event. Larson will offer analysis from the TV booth alongside Vince Welch and Michael Waltrip while Bell will work with Hermie Sadler and Kenny Wallace on pit road.
“Eldora is a great track, and this is a really unique race, so I look forward to hopefully providing some more insight into what it’s like to not only race a truck at Eldora, but some of the nuances of racing on dirt,” said Bell, the 2017 NCWTS champion who now drives for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series. “This race is a great chance to show NASCAR fans the excitement of dirt racing, and hopefully shows dirt fans the intensity of NASCAR racing.”
FOX Sports 1 will begin its coverage of the Eldora Dirt Derby beginning at 3:30 p.m. with qualifying. At 6 p.m., there will be five 10-lap qualifying races that will set the line-up and then a “Last Chance” 15-lap qualifier race at 7:15 p.m. to advance two more to the starting grid. The Eldora Dirt Derby will begin at 8 p.m. and also be broadcast live on SiriusXM Radio Channel 90 and MRN.