Race Weekend Central

Truckin’ Thursdays: An Eldora Recap

In a Nutshell: Darrell Wallace, Jr. put on a clinic in Wednesday night’s 1800CarCash Mudsummer Classic, grabbing the victory by 5.489 seconds over Ron Hornaday, Jr. at Eldora Speedway. The driver of the No. 54 Toyota held off a hard-charging Kyle Larson until the latter’s truck couldn’t take anymore punishment and gave up, leaving Wallace to coast to his second win of the season. Ryan Blaney, Ken Schrader and Ty Dillon rounded out the top 5.

Darrell Wallace, Jr. scored his second victory of 2014 on Wednesday night at Eldora Speedway. Credit: CIA
Darrell Wallace, Jr. scored his second victory of 2014 on Wednesday night at Eldora Speedway. Credit: CIA

Who Should Have Won: Darrell Wallace, Jr. Once again, the Kyle Busch Motorsports were stout, leading a combined 121 of 150 laps. Though Erik Jones saw his fair share of troubles after leading the first 24 circuits, his teammate and race winner Wallace held the top spot for a race high 97 circuits en route to his third career victory.

Race Rundown:

Qualifying Races:

Race #1: Winner – Erik Jones; Transfer – J.R. Heffner
Race #2: Winner – Jeb Burton; Transfer – Mike Affarano
Race #3: Winner – Ron Hornaday, Jr.; Transfer – Ty Dillon
Race #4: Winner – Ryan Blaney; Transfer – Austin Dillon
Race #5: Winner – Johnny Sauter; Transfer – Ken Schrader
Last Chance Race: Winner – Jon Wes Townley; Transfers – Townley, Tyler Young, Jody Knowles, Norm Benning, Michael Annett

Ty Dillon’s Odd Penalty

Kyle Larson and Ty Dillon found themselves engaged in a heated battle, swapping positions back and forth. The two got together after Larson bounced his truck off the outside wall, and as Larson spun, he clipped the left rear corner of Dillon’s truck, ultimately causing a flat tire. Crew chief Danny Stockman called his driver down pit road to replace the tire, and after asking permission from the official in their pit area, the crew changed four tires and added fuel, both of which were against the special rules put in place for the event.

Through that caution, the sanctioning body tried to sort out the error and allowed the No. 3 crew to put the old left front and right rear tires back on without penalty. However, since they couldn’t undo the decision to take fuel, Dillon was held for one lap for “disobeying a NASCAR request.” Stockman was clearly upset with the penalty, and though he wasn’t able to get to victory lane, the younger Dillon brother still managed a top-5 finish.

Quick Hits:

– Following a hard wreck on his single-truck qualifying effort, Jared Landers was forced to withdraw from the event, leaving only 33 of the 34 on the entry list to fill the 30 spots for the feature.

– NASCAR really needs to revisit their guidelines for throwing the yellow flag. Sure, each caution that was thrown was for a legitimate reason, but there was one glaring error. As Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace, Jr. battled for the lead inside 25 laps to go, the duo went speeding by Jody Knowles in his No. 80 Ford sitting on the track facing the wrong direction. Thankfully, Larson and Wallace were both able to get by Knowles safely, but the caution should have flown long before the leaders were in that position.

Kyle Larson bounced off the wall so many times on Wednesday night that it was hard to keep count. Credit: Mike Neff
Kyle Larson bounced off the wall so many times on Wednesday night that it was hard to keep count. Credit: Mike Neff

– Kyle Larson almost literally drove the wheels off of his No. 32, bouncing off of the outside wall so many times that I lost count. The majority of those hits allowed Larson to continue racing, but with just a couple laps remaining, the Cup Series rookie ended up causing terminal damage to his truck. He was credited with a 25th-place DNF.

“Thanks to Turner Scott Motorsports for building a strong truck to make it last that long,” Larson said. “Didn’t realize how stupid I was driving. Darrell did a really good job. He was fast all day today and he ran close to the wall the whole time and never really hit it.”

– Following last year’s inaugural Mudsummer Classic, the general consensus on social media was that the racing was fantastic and the addition of Eldora Speedway to the Truck Series schedule was the best thing that had happened in the series. Well this year’s event didn’t disappoint either. Even though the new had worn off a bit, the quality of racing was even better, and a slight reconfigure of the surface this past spring allowed for multiple racing grooves.

With all of that said, many have said that NASCAR needs to consider adding a couple more dirt races to the schedule. While that idea is certainly a great one, the appeal of Eldora on the schedule is its unique style, and as much as I would like to have another dirt race on the schedule, the shine would definitely wear off if there were too many of them.


Up Next: The Camping World Truck Series heads to Pocono Raceway next weekend for the Pocono Mountains 150. The race will air live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 1:00 PM ET on Saturday, August 2nd.

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Excellent, excellent race. Can we just have all NASCAR races on dirt from now on, except the road courses and Martinsville?

Bubba Wallace wore ’em out.

Tim S.

The heats were great, and the racing from third on back was spectacular. In the third segment they should’ve split the screen. One camera on Ty Dillon driving the family jewels off, and one camera on Larson trying and failing to beat a competent driver who was cruising in a Cup-level truck. Jones and Wallace are both good drivers who will go on to do great things in the re-named Nationwide Series in Gibbs equipment. But any average driver would be a winner in those trucks, and any great driver would equal Kyle Busch’s results. Only the tire troubles kept Jones from making it a 1-2. I love the Trucks. I took the afternoon off to watch qualifying and the heats at Eldora. But I’m getting close to following the Camping World Toyota Series the same way I do Hendrick Cup.


Can’t argue, the racing was great. Honestly as much as I was looking forward to it I just did not enjoy it much. I suppose I cannot generate much enthusiasm about Japanese truck racing.

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