Family rivalries spice NASCAR’s Eldora debut

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The Eldora Mudsummer Classic for the Camping World Truck Series marks the return to dirt track venue by NASCAR. Many have raced at Eldora including the Prelude to the Dream!

What better way to welcome NASCAR back to its dirt track roots than to throw in a couple of family rivalries for good measure? Wednesday’s 1-800CarCash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway will feature a father racing his son and brother vs. brother.

Dave and Ryan Blaney will face off for the first time in a NASCAR national series setting. The elder Blaney, who competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, joins his son, a Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, in Brad Keselowski Racing Fords.

Ty Dillon, Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet
Ty Dillon, Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet

Photo by: Getty Images

Brothers Austin and Ty Dillon have squared off in the same arena from their days of youth baseball. Eldora’s race marks just the fourth time they’ll race together in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. They last raced together at Homestead, when Austin clinched the 2011 championship.

Both are accomplished dirt track racers, competing on such tracks whenever they can.

“For the first time in my life, my two worlds collide and I get to race on dirt and in my No. 3 Chevrolet,” said Ty Dillon. “A lot of NASCAR fans will get to experience dirt racing for the first time."

Wednesday’s format is unique in current national series competition. Five eight-lap qualifying races and a last-chance event will set the 30-truck starting field with the top 20 owners guaranteed a position. The 150-lap, 75-mile race is broken down in three segments of 60, 50 and 40 laps.

“It's going to be slick and these guys are going to be forced into a new style of driving,” said Austin Dillon. “You're going to really have to work on forward drive and being smooth on the wheel."

Dirt Track ‘Ringer’ Bloomquist Predicts Victory

Scott Bloomquist has thrown down the gauntlet. “We are going to win the race,” he said of Wednesday’s truck debut at Eldora. “I’ve driven a lot of race cars – never a truck but it’s still a race car,”

And why not? Aptly named the “Dirtrax Dominator,” Bloomquist has earned over 500 dirt late model victories in over 1,400 career starts. The 49-year-old Tennessee resident counts nine victories in the track’s two crown jewel events including the 2013 Dirt Late Model Dream.

Bloomquist will drive the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota that currently stands second in NCWTS owner standings, 29 points behind ThorSport Racing’s No. 88 Toyota driven by Matt Crafton. Kyle Busch snagged Bloomquist’s services when the Eldora Speedway event was announced.

“This is a race that is kind of a wild card and it could play a big factor in the race for the owner’s championship this season,” said Busch, a two-time winner in five starts this season.

Bloomquist isn’t the only “outsider” with designs on the Eldora victory. NASCAR Sprint Cup veteran Ken Schrader – a one-time NCWTS winner in 1995 – has won races on dirt in a heavy car. Schrader counts four ARCA dirt victories at Indianapolis and DuQuoin and Springfield, Ill.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

The Championship leader Matt Crafton admits to having trepidations entering this week’s unique event. He’s never so much as seen a picture of Eldora Speedway and has no dirt track experience. “I think you can circle in red three of the 13 races we have left – Eldora, the road course and Talladega – because those are the three crap-shoot races in which you just have to survive, survive, survive,” he said. His lead over Jeb Burton is 38 points. … NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty won the last NASCAR national series race contested on dirt on Sept. 30, 1970 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, a .5-mile track in Raleigh, N.C. … This week’s race marks Timothy Peters’ 150th NCWTS start – coming 11 days after his sixth victory. Peters made his first appearance April 9, 2005 at Martinsville Speedway finishing 18th in a Dodge owned by 2004 series champion Bobby Hamilton.

NASCAR

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Series NASCAR-TRUCK
Article type Previews
Tags blaney, bloomquist, burton, chevrolet, crafton, dillon, dirt track, eldora, ford, ncwts, schrader, toyota, trucks