Eldora Truck Race Set For July 24

Eldora Speedway will host the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the division's first race on dirt July 24 at the Ohio dirt track. (Frank Smith photo)
Eldora Speedway will host the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the division’s first race on dirt July 24 at the Ohio dirt track. (Frank Smith photo)

ROSSBURG, Ohio — The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will make its first dirt-track appearance at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway July 24.

The inaugural Mudsummer Classic Wednesday, July 24 will mark the first NASCAR-sanctioned national touring series event held on dirt since September 1970 in Raleigh, N.C.

“Eldora typically hosts 10 different touring series each year, and we’re very proud to have NASCAR join the list of series that will compete at our track,” said Tony Stewart, the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and owner of Eldora Speedway. “NASCAR’s history began in the sands of Daytona and on the dirt of the Carolinas, and having the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on the dirt at Eldora brings that history back to a new generation of fans, as well as Eldora’s own fan base.

“The same fans who come to watch a dirt late model, a World of Outlaws sprint car or USAC midget might not be the same fan who takes in a NASCAR race. But by bringing NASCAR to their world, at one of the most well-known dirt tracks in the country, will make the inaugural Mudsummer Classic a must-see for fans of dirt-track racing and NASCAR.”

“We’ve been looking at getting the trucks back to short tracks — to the roots of racing including the dirt — and we’re excited to announce our 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race at Eldora,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “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. We’ll have a maximum starting field of 30 trucks at Eldora. More details on the race format are still being developed.”

NASCAR has had a little known representation at Eldora since the early 1970s in the form of concrete footprints from the late Bill France Sr. acquired by Eldora Speedway founder Earl Baltes just days before a Daytona 500. The brazen idea to acknowledge France came from Baltes’ admiration of France and his commitment to auto racing.

“Bill France was a real special man,” reflects Baltes, who sold his beloved track to Stewart in November 2004. “NASCAR was big at the time — still is — and I thought having a small remembrance of it at Eldora was neat, but this is even better. I guess I never thought I would see the day that NASCAR and the vision created by Bill France Sr. would ever be here.”

Stewart and Ty Dillon tested a pair of Richard Childress Racing trucks at the track in September.