Larson Eyes Eldora Prize
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on July 21, 2014 | 12:30 P.M. EST
"I don’t get to do a whole lot of dirt racing anymore so getting to run the Truck Series at Eldora is me going back and getting my dirt fix in for a little bit." (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
Kyle Larson has his sights set on a trip to Eldora Speedway's Victory Lane when he competes in Wednesday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1-800-CarCash MudSummer Classic.
Larson, who finished second in last year’s inaugral race, is no stranger to Victory Lane and the famed half-mile oval. Larson is one of only two drivers to sweep USAC's 4-Crown Nationals at the historic half-mile dirt oval - taking wins in Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown in 2011.
With his concentration now on his Sprint Cup Series program at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Larson is looking forward to returning to dirt when he drives the No. 32 Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports.
"I don’t get to do a whole lot of dirt racing anymore so getting to run the Truck Series at Eldora is me going back and getting my dirt fix in for a little bit," Larson said. "I think we'll have a good shot. We were really fast last year. I made a couple mistakes to give it to Austin (Dillon). I need to be smarter this time around and, hopefully, get the win."
Last year, Larson led 51 laps en route to his runner-up finish in a field of 30 drivers that not only featured the regulars in the Truck Series, but also some dirt track specialists.
"I’m sure a lot of other drivers learned more than I did just because it was way more different for them than me," Larson said. "It was still very different but as far as the way the whole format was run, nothing was really new to me."
"All the drivers that ran last year that are going to be running this year will be even stronger than they were. You saw a lot of those guys were really competitive. Timothy (Peters) led a lot of laps and there were a lot of other guys that were pretty good, too. It should be a lot better show than it was last year."
NASCAR made a few tweaks to this year's format that includes each qualifying race being extended to 10 laps and a random draw to determine the qualifying order. Last year, practice speeds dictated the qualifying order.
"They tweaked the format a little bit, which will help with the qualifying because last year we didn’t know how it was going to go," Larson said. "I think we were quickest in practice, had to go out last in qualifying and it hurt us ... but it made for a good show. "
Mike Hillman, Jr., who has won two Truck Series championships, will be Larson's crew chief for the race. The two worked together to win last month's NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at Sonoma Raceway.
Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of Wednesday's 1-800-CarCash MudSummer Classic at 8 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com. MRN will provide online coverage of the qualifying races starting at 7 p.m. (ET).