Eldora’s Mudsummer Classic showcases dirt racing excitement for fans, media
By Chris Dolack: CONCORD, N.C. — July 25, 2013 — Austin Dillon won Wednesday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway in a field that included Kyle Larson, Dave Blaney, Matt Crafton, Brendan Gaughan, Ken Schrader, Kenny Wallace and Ty Dillon among others.
It was the first major NASCAR event on dirt in 43 years, and the reaction of fans, competitors and media indicates the event was a huge success, with people clamoring for more racing on dirt.
Well, believe it or not new dirt fans, dirt racing is not a secret. In fact, there is quite a bit of racing on dirt in this country every week, and odds are you don’t have to look too far to find it. According to National Speedway Directory, there are 683 dirt oval tracks in the United States. Many of the drivers in the field for the Mudsummer Classic know where they are, too. All of those drivers above have competed in World of Outlaws or DIRTcar Racing events this season, in some cases even in the past week, and all on dirt tracks.
Did you know if you had gone to the DIRTcar UMP Summer Nationals race at Florence Speedway on Tuesday, July 9, in Union, Ky., you could have seen Mudsummer Classic winner Austin Dillon battle with Scott Bloomquist in a dirt late model? Bloomquist came out on top in a race that featured some of the best in the business.
If you had visited Lernerville Speedway on Tuesday, July 16, in Sarver, Pa., for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series event, you would have seen Dave Blaney and Kyle Larson competing against the Outlaws, with Larson racing his way from 25th to second in a thriller. In fact, Larson won a World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series event earlier this year in his native California, and Blaney is one of the Outlaws’ all-time heroes and winner of the 1995 championship.
Kenny Wallace? Well, he just finished competing in the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals, a tour where he won the championship in 2012 racing on dirt tracks throughout the Midwest.
Ken Schrader? He was on the pole for the Mudsummer Classic last night but in February he hoisted the “Big Gator” after winning the DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modified championship at Volusia Speedway Park near Daytona Beach, Fla., a year after Ty Dillon claimed the Big Gator at Volusia. Oh, and Schrader also owns Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo., which just so happens to be one of the raciest dirt tracks in the country that will host the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Federated Auto Parts Ironman 55 the first weekend of August.
Crafton and Gaughan? Before they battled the Dillons last night at Eldora, they also unloaded UMP Modifieds in February at Volusia and raced against the dirt-tested grandsons of Richard Childress for eight consecutive nights on the fastest half-mile dirt oval in the country.
So now you know racing on dirt isn’t a secret and it isn’t exclusive. Racing on dirt is exciting. Racing on dirt pits the biggest names in the sport against local heroes. Racing on dirt is cool even on the hottest of nights.
But the best part of racing on dirt? You don’t have to wait a whole year for it to come around again. Dirt racing happens darn near every night of the week at a local track near you.