Dishing the Dirt – Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Eldora Speedway Wednesday for the 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic; the only dirt race on the NASCAR national series schedule. It has quickly become a fan favorite since its debut in 2013 and this year’s race promises to deliver more of what fans have come to expect at this unique event.

Firsts:

Brad Keselowski, owner of NCWTS team, Brad Keselowski Racing, will enter the race as the first Sprint Cup champion to compete in this event, driving the No. 29 Ford. He is one of only 26 drivers to claim victories in all three NASCAR national series.

Austin Dillon, who won the inaugural Mud Summer Classic, will attempt to become the first two-time winner. Last year’s defending champ, Darrell Wallace Jr. is not scheduled to compete.

Cole Custer will make his dirt debut at Eldora Speedway Wednesday. Custer, a NASCAR Next member, became the youngest winner (16 years, 7 months, 28 days) in NASCAR national series history with his victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2014. In four starts this season, he has one win and two top-10 finishes.

Madeline “Mad Maddie” Crane, will make her NASCAR debut this week at Eldora and is set to become the 18th female driver to record a NCWTS start. The 17-year-old racer competes in Super Late Models at Senoia (Ga.) and is currently fourth in the points standings. Crane began her racing career in Bandoleros at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Thursday Night Thunder Series when she was 10-years-old.

Notables:

Ken Schrader will be back for the third consecutive year to compete in the Mud Summer Classic. The 60-year-old racer has claimed four Sprint Cup victories during a career that has spanned 31 seasons in NASCAR. Schrader won the inaugural Keystone Light Pole Award in 2013, becoming the oldest pole winner in series history.

Erik Jones has one victory and six top fives this season. He is ranked third in the points standings, 29 points behind leader Matt Crafton, but his statistics show a trend that should make Crafton nervous. He tops the NCWTS field in average running position (3.6), fastest laps (434), laps led (647) and driver rating (127.7). Jones also leads the way with a 2.4 average starting position.

Who to Watch:

The advantage goes to Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon. Each of these drivers has a racing background that is rooted in dirt.

1) Reddick’s past dirt track accomplishments include being the youngest driver to start the World 100 at Eldora Speedway in 2012 in addition to being the youngest driver to win a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Feature event.

2) Bell won the United States Auto Club (USAC) Midget Rookie of the Year award and the USAC National Midget Championship title in 2013. The following season, he continued to excel, capturing 26 feature wins; Midgets (18), Winged Sprint Cars (four) and Non-Winged Sprint Cars (four).

3) Austin Dillon’s experience in dirt includes May All-Star Shootout victories in 2007 and 2009. He went on to win the inaugural 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic event at Eldora Speedway in 2013. In 2015 Dillon earned the DIRTcar Nationals Gator Championship at Volusia Speedway Park (Fla.) in UMP Modifieds.

4) Ty Dillon has proved to be proficient in dirt, as well, winning the 2008 May All-Star Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 2014, he won the DIRTcar Nationals Gator Championship at Volusia Speedway Park (Fla.) in UMP Modifieds.

Catch all the on-track activities beginning with practice Wednesday morning and culminating with the 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

 



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Angela Campbell
Angela Campbell
A native of Charlotte, NC, Angela (Angie) was first introduced to racing by her father. An avid fan of NASCAR, she found a way to combine her love of racing with her passion for writing. Angie is also an award-winning member of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow her on Twitter @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.

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