July 25, 2013 – The first ever NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway in Ohio was…
Fans across the nation and beyond began finishing that sentence with their opinions as soon as Austin Dillon took the checkered flag. In looking back on what yesterday meant to NASCAR, dirt track racing and the sport in general, it’s hard to deny that this was a “checkered flag” for all involved.
I wasn’t sure after watching the heat races. The bottom groove was terrible and there was very little real passing. I wondered if they were going to be able to find that combination of a two-groove track and a bunch of trucks that were set up to race on it. Meanwhile, Norm Benning had his absolute “finest hour”, charging his way into the feature through shear will and determination. How could you not smile at that?
The feature race not only answered the questions I had about whether the racing was going to be competitive and passing was going to be available, it totally exceeded all expectations and showed the world the true talent of some of the sport’s young’uns like Kyle Larson and winner Austin Dillon. These two, along with a supporting cast of Dave Blaney, Ryan Newman and others, put on a show that all of us short-trackers could well see on any given weekend night at our local venue.
Sparks flew, doors got “donuts” on them, trucks bounced off the wall and slide jobs were attempted with mixed success. Passing? All over the track, all race long! The show got better with each segment as the pit stops allowed the teams to keep dialing in their trucks.
It was, in my opinion, the most incredible and exciting race a NASCAR national series has put on in years. Judging from what I saw on the various Social Media last night, tens of thousands or more agree. Now the questions start. Will there be an Eldora 2? Will we see more than one dirt race?
A former colleague of mine brought up the idea of Charlotte’s dirt track. Well, sure! Why not? That would be a show wouldn’t it?
Congratulations to Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson for putting on a show and revealing to a whole new audience why we all know they are both going to contend for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships one day. Congratulations to NASCAR, Tony Stewart and all the folks who organized and executed this Wednesday night throwdown. It went off without a hitch, except for the brief power outages before the main event.
Our Northeast dirt track RaceChaser Steven Ovens was in the crowd last night and got to see the whole thing in person. He’ll have his take on it on RaceChaser tomorrow.
Got a take of your own? Leave it as a comment to this story – just click the “comment” button under the headline on the story’s page and let us know what you think!
Time to think about where we’re RaceChasin’ this weekend…keep it real and keep God first. Let’s go racing!