In one week NASCAR will return to the dirt. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will run the first national series race on dirt since 1970 in the 1-800-CARCASH Mudsummer Classic presented by CNBC Prime's The Profit at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday, July 24th. So what will this return to dirt racing do for the future of NASCAR? Motorsports 101's writers debate.
Excitement and an Open Door for the Future – By Mark Eddinger
The Camping World Truck Series date at Eldora Speedway has been marked on a lot of racing fan's calendars ever since it was announced. It will be a unique event to see and is one that people are genuinely excited for.
The fans will be able to relate to the night of racing because it will be in a format very similar to what they have seen live and in person at their local dirt or paved short track. How the racing will be on track is up for debate but a good show especially from the Truck Series is almost a guarantee. The schedule just sounds exciting.
At 5 p.m. ET each truck will take two qualifying laps. That will set the lineups for the five 8-lap qualifying races which are set to start at 7 p.m. ET. Then there will even be a last chance qualifying race between all the trucks that have not locked in already and that is set for an 8:45 p.m. ET start. Then the 150 lap main event race will start at 9:35 p.m. ET and be split into three segments. The first 60 laps, the second 50 and the final segment 40 laps. All the racing will be seen live on SPEED.
It sure sounds exciting. Throw in the fact that some of the Truck Series regulars running for the championship have little or no dirt experience and the fact that there will be dirt ringers in the field and the show should not disappoint. Scott Bloomquist, a member of the National Dirt Track Hall of Fame, will drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars Ryan Newman and Dave Blaney will be driving. NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader will also be in the field along with Tracy Hines, a former U.S. Auto Club Silver Crown and sprint car champion.
The official entry list is not out yet but there is expected to be way more than the 30 trucks that will make the main race so the qualifying races are going to be great.
The Mudsummer Classic should easily become a staple and one of the biggest races on the Truck Series schedule every year. The event should be a great success and the addition of other dirt races to the truck series could become a possibility out of this down the road. Then the door should be open for getting the Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup Series on dirt. That certainly has to be in the cards as NASCAR is going to be in need of finding new ways to attract fans and keep the product fresh and exciting. Track seating capacities are being slashed at the Cup level as we speak because they have not been coming close to selling out so going to smaller venues again should be a distinct possibility for NASCAR.
It also might just make NASCAR realize that to spark more fans to go to the track they need to make the whole weekend worthwhile which would mean having qualifying heat races instead of just single car qualifying. This Eldora race could change the course of NASCAR for the better.
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