The NASCAR Truck Series next gets dirty at Eldora Speedway for the 1-800-CarCash Mud Summer Classic.
Last time out, Series leader Matt Crafton took care of business in Kentucky to extend his lead on the leaderboard, but anything and everything goes out the window this week. The half-mile dirt track provides a breath of fresh air for the Series and also draws some of the biggest names in the sport.
In other words, it's one of the summer's most notable events and nothing to miss. Wednesday, the Truck Series leaderboard could experience a major shakeup. At the least, it promises to be quite the entertaining affair.
1-800-CarCash Mud Summer Classic
Where: Eldora Speedway
When: Wednesday, July 22, 9 p.m. ET
Watch: Fox Sports 1
1-800-CarCash Mud Summer Classic Weekend Schedule
|Wednesday, July 22||10:30-11:25 a.m.||Practice||FOX Sports 1|
|Wednesday, July 22||11:30 a.m.-12:55 p.m||Final Practice||FOX Sports 1|
|Wednesday, July 22||5:15 p.m.||Qualifying||FOX Sports 2|
|Wednesday, July 22||9 p.m.||1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic||FOX Sports 1|
Full five qualifying heat races list available at NASCAR.com.
Truck Series Standings
|5||John Wes Townley||330|
Drivers to Watch
Again, this week's event has a way of bringing out the big dogs.
Brad Keselowski is one of those ready to take to the dirt track, and he throws quite the interesting wrinkle into things.
Keselowski last took to the Truck Series in May's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 and placed fifth. For a better idea of his recent momentum, ponder this—he just finished third in the Xfinity Series at New Hampshire, then turned around and finished runner-up at the Sprint Cup event at the same locale.
Keselowski took to Twitter to talk about his recent close call:
Given his momentum and vast experience, Keselowski is one of the top names to watch Wednesday as he looks to play the spoiler.
This won't come as much of a surprise to anyone, but Series leader Crafton does quite well at Eldora Speedway.
In 2013, he finished eighth. Last year, he wound up in ninth, the same position he started from—hinting his future success may hinge on how he performs in the unique bit of qualifying.
Also not a shocker? Crafton's ability to reel in a victory last time out, leading 43 laps at the UNOH 225 en route to the victory.
"It says a lot [for] these guys with what they bring to the race track each and every weekend," Crafton said, per ESPN.com's Bob Pockrass. "We roll off the trailer, and 90 percent of the races we are really, really close and we just have to fine tune it."
It seems Crafton is back to his normal ways after an odd 21st-place finish in June, which is a scary thought for those who want to catch him on the leaderboard.
Even on a unique dirt track, it should scare non-Series regulars, too.
Remember Austin Dillon?
The 2011 Truck Series champion will make his first start with the Series this year at Eldora Speedway, just two years after winning the inaugural event on the dirt track.
Granted, Dillon finished just 10th last year at the same event, but does anyone want to doubt a former champion who recorded just two non-top-10 finishes in eight truck starts a season ago?
The answer is no. In those same events Keselowski looked great at last weekend, Dillon finished second in the Xfinity event and eighth in the Sprint Cup event despite starting 24th.
In other words, Wednesday's event has a way of bringing out the best of the best, which in turn produces one of the year's top showcases. Dillon, among many others, makes it all worthwhile.
Stats and info courtesy of ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.