CHARLOTTE, N.C. – FOX Sports is adding a pair of talented dirt racers and past Eldora Speedway winners to its broadcast team at Tony Stewart’s half-mile dirt track in Ohio later this summer.
Veteran dirt aces and current NASCAR stars Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson will make their FOX Sports broadcasting debuts during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Eldora Dirt Derby on July 18.
Bell will cover pit road and Larson will serve as an analyst in the FS1 booth.
The reigning Truck Series champion, Bell has won the last two runnings of the Chili Bowl Nationals and was the 2013 USAC National Midget champion. Larson won the 2011 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora, becoming just the second driver in history to win in all three types of USAC cars in a single night, as well as the 2011 Belleville Midget Nationals.
“Eldora is my favorite race track in the country and the Truck race at Eldora is one of my favorite events of the season, so when this opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it quickly,” said Bell, driver of the No. 20 Rheem Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. “I’m looking forward to joining Hermie [Sadler] and Kenny [Wallace] in the pits to help cover the storylines from one of the best nights in racing.”
Calling the one-of-a-kind race will be Truck Series voice Vince Welch alongside analysts Larson and Michael Waltrip. John Roberts hosts pre-race coverage on NASCAR Raceday-NCWTS with Todd Bodine and Phil Parsons.
Bell and Larson won the Eldora Truck Series event in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and will be on-hand for all the action telecast on FS1 from Eldora, including single-truck qualifying, heat races, the race and post-race coverage.
“After watching the Truck race last year at Eldora, I thought it would be really cool to have some drivers on the broadcast with a dirt background,” said Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. “I’m really excited that FOX liked the idea and decided to run with it. Eldora is a great track, and this is a really unique race, so I look forward to hopefully providing some more insight into what it’s like to not only race a truck at Eldora, but some of the nuances of racing on dirt.
“This race is a great chance to show NASCAR fans the excitement of dirt racing, and hopefully shows dirt fans the intensity of NASCAR racing.”
FOX Sports Truck Series producer Mark Smith, who has helmed the Eldora race broadcast since its inaugural run in 2013, says the inclusion of Bell and Larson adds a unique perspective to the broadcast.
“Eldora is such a special event, and since we have access to two of the best dirt racers in the entire country, why not add them to the FOX Sports race telecast?” noted Smith. “We look for them to help us not only understand the art of dirt racing better than anyone else can explain, but to translate the challenges of racing a Truck on dirt to the millions of dirt-racing fans out there. They might be a little nervous about being part of a TV broadcast for the first time, but both of them lit up when we sat down to discuss this opportunity.”
Smith says the genesis of the concept came in the form of 140 characters from Larson several months ago.
“I originally got the idea from Kyle,” Smith recalled. “When FOX announced its ‘Drivers Only’ NASCAR Xfinity Series broadcast, he tweeted something out about how cool it would be to have an all-dirt drivers broadcast. So, I guess FOX Sports and I asked him to put his money where his mouth was. We’re all looking forward to this unique opportunity.”