Upcoming season schedules for all three of NASCAR's national series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck -- are typically released by NASCAR prior to the conclusion of the previous season. But this time around, fans had to wait a little longer to get a glimpse of the 2013 Truck Series schedule.
Word got out over the past couple of months that the series would head to a dirt track for the first time ever and the first time for a NASCAR national series since the premier series last raced on dirt in the 1970s. Word also leaked out that the trucks would be heading north of the border to Canada in 2013.
I always joke around about saying, 'I would add a dirt race'.
It was all made official on Wednesday when NASCAR officially unveiled the 2013 Camping World Truck Series schedule. New to the circuit will be the half-mile dirt track of Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, and the road course of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.
"I've always joked around and people say, 'What would you do if you could change the schedule?' I always joke around about saying, 'I would add a dirt race'," said Sprint Cup Series driver and Eldora Speedway owner Tony Stewart. "Now, we're fortunate enough to have the Truck Series at Eldora, finally."
The 2013 Camping World Truck Series schedule is 22 races long, and as in years past, the season will kick off at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February and conclude in November at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The trip to Eldora will come on July 24, making for mid-week truck racing. The Eldora race will fall on a Wednesday. The Truck Series has also regularly raced on Wednesday during the August NASCAR visit to Bristol (TN) Motor Speedway.
“We’ve had talks about getting the trucks on dirt in the past,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell said. “The door-to-door racing that our truck series is known for plus Eldora’s popularity and Tony’s dedication to putting on great shows for the fans is a perfect fit."
The Eldora Speedway race will feature a field of only 20 trucks.
"More details on the race format are still being developed," O'Donnell said.
“It’s very important that we maintain our national series presence in Canada,” O’Donnell said. “We’ve accomplished that goal while also bringing a world-class venue like Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on board. The Canadian fan base is so passionate and has a high regard for NASCAR. We’re excited to increase our role with our great partners at Canadian Tire while also introducing the truck series to our fans in Canada."
The Nationwide Series previously raced in Canada, competing in road course events at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal as recently as the 2012 season. But that track has been removed from the Nationwide schedule for 2013 because of a dispute between NASCAR and track owners over the viability of a Sprint Cup race at the facility.
One of NASCAR's regional series, the Canadian Tire Series, has been racing at CTMP yearly since 2007.