Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Fast Facts: The Eldora Dirt Derby – The First Five

credit: NASCAR Media

In November 2012, NASCAR announced that one of its top-tier series was going dirt racing for the first time since 1970. 2018 marks the sixth edition of the Eldora Dirt Derby for the Camping World Truck Series, taking place at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH. Here’s a look at the first five races (2013-2017) in anticipation of this year’s event, taking place on July 18.
  • The inaugural “Mudsummer Classic” went green on July 24, 2013. Among the heat race winners: NASCAR veterans and avid dirt racers Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace. Brennan Newberry won the Last Chance qualifying race, while the inaugural event was won by 2011 Camping World Truck Series champ Austin Dillon.
  • “Mudsummer Classic” No. 2 was held on July 23, 2014 and featured more of a youth movement, as Erik Jones, Jeb Burton and Ryan Blaney raced to heat wins – they didn’t keep veterans Johnny Sauter and NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. out of victory lane in their respective heats, however. The Last Chance race went to John Wes Townley, and Darrell Wallace Jr. took the checkered flag in the feature.
  • The third “Mudsummer Classic,” held on July 22, 2015, was the last to use that name after a dispute with Major League Baseball (their All-Star Game is known as the “Midsummer Classic”). The youth movement continued, with Bobby Pierce, John Hunter Nemechek, Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick earning heat wins – along with Schrader for a second time. Cody Erickson won the Last Chance qualifier, while Bell gave Kyle Busch Motorsports its second-straight win in the feature.
  • The fourth “Eldora Dirt Derby” went green July 20, 2016, with Pierce, Reddick and Schrader repeating as heat winners. Cody Coughlin won the Last Chance qualifying race, and Cup Series regular and dirt racing aficionado Kyle Larson came home with the win.
  • “Eldora Dirt Derby” No. 5 took place July 19, 2017 and saw Bell joined by a few new names as heat winners: Cup Series regular Ty Dillon, Kaz Grala, Truck Series champ Matt Crafton and dirt racing veteran Stewart Friesen. Pierce was relegated to the Last Chance race, which he won, and Crafton came up with the big win.
  • Find out more about the Eldora Dirt Derby at www.eldoraspeedway.com.


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