Trucks Take On Eldora Speedway
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin on July 23, 2013 | 9:20 P.M. EST
Larson posted the fastest lap of the day early on when moisture was still in the track. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
ROSSBURG, Ohio - The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series took to the half-mile Eldora Speedway on Tuesday in preparation for the inaugural CarCash Mudsummer Classic, the first NASCAR national series race on dirt since 1970.
A pair of two-hour practices were held with Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon topping the sessions, respectively.
Larson, who is a four-time USAC winner at Eldora - including a sweep of the 4-Crown Nationals in 2011, posted a fast lap of 91.626 mph early in the opening session when there was still some moisture in the track. The father-son combination of Dave and Ryan Blaney was second and third, respectively.
"It seemed that each time I went out, it slowed down a lot," said Larson, who was third-fastest in the second session. "I'm trying to make sure I'm just as good as Dave and Ryan. They've got the best looking, best handling trucks here." (More on Larson)
Dave Blaney, a six-time World of Outlaw STP Series winner at Eldora, is driving the No. 19 Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing.
"It was about what I thought coming in," Blaney said. "We tested one day. They are a handful to get where they'll run straight and stay underneath you, a lot of weight sliding around and once it gets sliding around, it's all about trying to get it handling better. That's what's going to win the race." (More on Blaneys)
Austin Dillon, who was fourth in the first session, was fastest in the final practice of the day with a lap of 83.164 mph.
"I had a blast," Dillon said. "I haven't been in the Truck Series since the championship (two years ago). We have a good truck and it will be interesting to see what the track does from tonight to tomorrow night, but I think we'll be able to maintain and be OK."
The four hours of practice saw a number of spins and a lot of right-rear damage on the trucks with them getting sideways up near the wall. Rookie Darrell Wallace Jr. was one of the drivers that spun, but it was John Wes Townley that got turned around the most with one hit damaging the left-front of his No. 7 Toyota.
"It's an honor to be here at Eldora actually racing trucks on dirt," Wallace said. "It's cool to be part of the inaugural event here and we'll see what we've got. I'm just trying to learn. I spun out twice. My goal is to go under 10 (spins) for the whole two days."
Ty Dillon (second fastest), Ken Schrader, Tracy Hines, Ryan Newman, Dave Blaney, Ron Hornaday, Ryan Blaney and Jeb Burton completed the top 10 in the second practice.
Drivers will get one more practice session on Wednesday starting at 11:30 a.m. (ET) leading up to the night's qualifying session, qualifying races and 150-lap feature race.
Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of the CarCash Mudsummer Classic Camping World Truck Series race from Eldora Speedway beginning at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday. Visit MotorRacingNetwork.com at 7 p.m. for exclusive online coverage of the heat races.