Thursday, Jun 08
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Eldora Speedway officials today announced the dates for its four Major Events in 2014. The 61st consecutive season of racing at the legendary high-banked clay oval will once again feature dirt racing’s greatest spectacles for Dirt Late Models, the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars (WoO) and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS).

The 20th annual Dirt Late Model Dream® is scheduled for Thursday-Friday-Saturday, June 5-6-7, the 31st annual Kings Royal® Weekend on Friday and Saturday, July 11 and 12, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return Wednesday, July 23 for the second running of the 1-800 CarCash Mudsummer Classic and the 44th annual World 100® will traditionally take place the first weekend after Labor Day on Thursday-Friday-Saturday, September 4-5-6.

Based upon the positive fan and competitor reaction that was received from this past year’s stellar events, won by Scott Bloomquist (Dream), Brad Sweet (Kings Royal), Austin Dillon (NCWTS) and John Blankenship (World 100), Eldora officials also announced no major changes to the race formats.

The two biggest Dirt Late Model races in the World will again see two full nights of competition, including the Twin 25s Features each night, to set the stage for Saturday’s traditional finale for both the Dirt Late Model Dream® and World 100®. A $100,000 payday awaits the Dream victor, while Eldora founder Earl Baltes’ established tradition of adding $1,000 to the World 100 winner’s payoff each season continues raising the winner’s share to $47,000 from a $284,000 purse.

Pomp and pageantry will again be the theme of the Kings Royal® weekend, as the winged warriors of speed chase Saturday’s $50,000 top prize and center stage in motorsports’ most unique victory lane ceremony. Two full nights are on tap for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars with the Knight Before the Kings Royal® kicking off the weekend on Friday night.

After rave reviews from both the capacity crowd on hand and millions watching on television, the 1-800 CarCash Mudsummer Classic will see the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series return to Eldora for the second consecutive year. NASCAR’s return to dirt for the first-time in nearly 43 years produced one of the most celebrated events conducted by the storied sanctioning body.

All Major Event tickets and campsites remain priced at 2013 levels.

Renewal notices for guests with tickets and campsites for the 2013 events will be sent out by both email and mail in the next 10 days. Fans with internet access can complete their transaction in just a few easy steps via Eldora’s online ticket service partner TicketForce. The renewal deadline for 2014 events is Sunday, November 24th.

Fans who complete their renewals by Sunday, November 24th have the exclusive right to participate in the popular “Add & Exchange Days” on December 2-3-4 which offers the ability to add seats or campsites to their order or move to seats and campsites not renewed by deadline.

The public sale date for the 2014 Major Events will be Saturday, December 7 at 10 a.m. Guests may purchase tickets via, (937) 338-3815 or by visiting the Speedway Box Office. For the third consecutive year, Eldora officials pledge to have ticket orders and camping credentials placed by mid-December in the mail for delivery by Christmas.

Race fans and teams can get the latest news by following @EldoraSpeedway on Twitter, become a fan by hitting ‘Like’ at or downloading the Eldora Speedway app for iPhone and iPad via iTunes or Android via Google Play.

Eldora Speedway PR

Race Highlights:

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 11th (Brendan Gaughan) and 14th (Ty Dillon).
  • Dillon is second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, 57 markers behind the leader; while Gaughan ranks 10th in the standings.
  • The No. 3 Chevrolet team is fourth in the Camping World Truck Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 62 team 13th in the standings.
  • According to NASCAR's Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Dillon had the second-best Average Running Position (8.883), the second-best Driver Rating (114.3) and had the second-fastest Green-Flag Speed.
  • Dillon posted the second-fastest Speed in Traffic, while Gaughan was third fastest.
  • Gaughan was Fastest Driver Late in a Run.
  • Combined, RCR teammates Dillon and Gaughan posted three of the Fastest Laps Run.
  • Johnny Sauter took the checkered flag and was followed to the line by David Starr, Ross Chastain, Parker Klingerman and Dakoda Armstrong.
  • The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 26. The 19th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.



Dillon Finishes 14th at Talladega Superspeedway


Ty Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team finished 14th at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday afternoon in the Fred's 250 after leading for 26 laps. The Richard Childress Racing driver started the 94-lap event from the fourth position. With little help from a drafting partner, Dillon was shuffled back to the 20th spot by lap eight. A caution flag slowed the field on lap 20, and crew chief Marcus Richmond called the young driver to pit road for fuel. A quick stop by the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team gained Dillon six spots on pit road. Restarting from the second position on lap 24, Dillon found a drafting partner and took over the lead on lap 25. The Welcome, N.C., native maneuvered throughout the pack falling as far back as 26th and made his way back to the point position. After losing his main drafting partner on lap 79, Dillon was forced to find another truck to tandem race with. As fewer trucks remained on the racing surface because of wrecks, Dillon fell to the 17th spot before picking up his teammate Brendan Gaughan with three laps to go. However, he was unable to get back to the front and crossed the finish line in the 14th position.


Start - 4          Finish - 14          Laps Led - 26          Points - 2nd



"This is a bittersweet finish. We had such a fast truck. The No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team worked really hard this weekend to give me a rocket ship. I hate that we lost our drafting partner (James Buescher). We worked really well together and could have been up there at the end to contend for the win. I just couldn't get hooked back up with anyone to tandem back to the front in the final laps. There are a lot of wrecked trucks here today; I'm glad everyone is okay."



Gaughan Avoids the 'Big One' and Finishes 11th at Talladega Superspeedway


Brendan Gaughan and the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino team brought home an 11th-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday after avoiding the 'Big One' on the final lap. Starting from the eighth position, the Las Vegas native held a spot within in the top 20 before coming to pit road on lap 49 under green-flag conditions for right-side tires and fuel. Spending an extended period of time on pit road due to a right-front spring issue, Gaughan returned to the racing surface in the 33rd position, one lap down to the leader. When the yellow flag was displayed for the third time on lap 56, crew chief Shane Wilson directed the Richard Childress Racing driver to remain on track during the caution laps allowing him to take the 'wave around' and restart on the lead lap in the 29th position on lap 61. As the race came to a close, Gaughan worked his way into the top 15, and with the help of his spotter avoided the 'Big One' on the final lap to collect an 11th-place result. Following the 18th race of the season, Gaughan remains 10th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings.


Start - 8         Finish - 11          Laps Led - 0          Points - 10th



"This wasn't the finish the South Point Hotel & Casino team was looking for today. I tried pairing up with Ty (Dillon, teammate) at the end, but we just couldn't get connected and make our way to the front before we ran out of laps. My guys did a great job all weekend and Stevie (Reeves, spotter) really did an amazing job talking me through that wreck at the end."

Trevor Bayne and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion will line up 26th for Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway after qualifying was rained out on Saturday.

Bayne and his Motocraft/Quick Lane crew had hoped to take a run against the clock, but still took great satisfaction in the fact that they will be racing on Sunday.   The threat of rain on qualifying day causes slight anxiety, as competing on a limited schedule could mean missing an event, should the rains come at just the wrong time.  

“We’re very happy to be in the starting field,” said team co-owner Eddie Wood. “You have to take things as they play out.”
Wood pointed out that qualifying likely would have resulted in a much better starting spot, but it also could have turned out to be a disappointment.
“Something could have happened, even when you have a fast car,” he said. “The important thing is we’re in the show, and we’ll go from here.”

Bayne’s starting position was determined by his ranking in the first practice session as NASCAR’s rules dictate. His best lap of 198.220 miles per hour came in spite of the fact that he wasn’t concentrating on drafting in that session. Instead, he and his Donnie Wingo-led crew were focusing on single-car runs to prepare for qualifying, as there was very little hint of rain in the forecast at that point.

 “We’ll be fine,” Wood said. “We’ve got a good Ford Fusion for Sunday.”

Wood Brothers Racing PR

His truck intact and headed in a straight line as most of the rest of the lead-lap trucks wrecked behind him, Johnny Sauter crossed the finish line first in Saturday's Fred's 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Behind Sauter—chaos. Coming to the checkered flag with a huge run through the tri-oval, Jeb Burton spun off the bumper of Miguel Paludo and flashed up the track into the Toyota of Kyle Busch, who was pushing Dakoda Armstrong toward the finish.

Paludo's truck flipped over and slid on its roof down the frontstretch, spraying sparks as the metal scraped the asphalt. In the aftermath of the melee, Kyle Busch sat dazed—the wind knocked out of him—with his back against the concrete wall in the tri-oval.

Sauter was the clear winner, having escaped the last-lap crash to win for the third time this season and the ninth time in his career. When NASCAR sorted out the rest of the finishing order, David Starr took second place, followed by Ross Chastain, Parker Kligerman, Dakoda Armstrong and Timmy Hill.

Off the final corner, series leader Matt Crafton was pushing ThorSport Racing teammate Sauter, Busch was shoving Armstrong, and Kligerman was pushing Chastain. Those three tandems appeared ready to settle the issue between them, before Paludo and Burton entered the fray and tried to force their way through the trucks ahead of them.

Paludo and Burton, however, ran out of room, and every other potential winner but Sauter ran out of luck.

"When we just crested the tri-oval there coming to the start/finish line, I saw smoke and trucks spinning everywhere," Sauter said. "I saw Matt was gone, and I was like, 'Uh, oh, this isn't good.' It's unfortunate. It would have been pretty cool to have a 1-2 finish, but what a great day for everybody at ThorSport."

After exiting the infield care center, Busch talked ruefully about a great superspeedway truck that left the track on a wrecker.

"It's all done for," he said. "It's unfortunate. The (truck) was really awesome. I don't know what happened. Somebody just came up from underneath me and hit me, turned me left, and then the wreck was on.

"When you see the checkered flag, and you see things going in front of you, you just keep your foot on it. I drove it all the way to the start/finish. I guess I knocked the wall down there on pit road. That wasn't very fun. There were a couple of really good licks that I took, so there's no sense in sitting in a hot vehicle, you might as well get out and get some fresh air."

Crafton, who finished ninth after spinning short of the stripe, expanded his series lead to 57 points over 14th-place finisher Ty Dillon.

Justin Lofton, who was involved in the last lap crashed was examined in the infield care center and transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

Fortunately for Aric Almirola, most of the heavy lifting had already been done before NASCAR suspended his crew chief, Todd Parrot, for a violation of the sanctioning body's substance abuse program.

Parrott is especially adept at building and setting up superspeedway cars, and it showed Friday, even in his absence at Talladega Superspeedway, when Almirola's No. 43 Ford was fastest in the draft (202.000 mph) in the first NASCAR Sprint Cup practice session.

That performance earned Almirola the top starting spot for Sunday's Camping World RV Sales 500, the sixth race in the Chase, after rain forced cancellation of Saturday's qualifying session.

With Parrott out of action indefinitely, until he completes NASCAR's Road to Recovery program, Richard Petty Motorsports director of operations Sammy Johns is filling in as crew chief this weekend, but the team is seeking a longer-term solution to the unexpected problem.

"That was definitely something that caught us all off guard and something that we have had to just work with on a day-to-day basis," Almirola said. "Every day has been just a little bit different, and we're trying to work through it and do the best we can.

"We're working on a plan, and I'm sure they will announce the plan next week as to our plans for the rest of the year moving forward. We have sat down and talked about it and tried to come up with the best solution for what is best for us."

Despite Parrott's suspension, Almirola remains loyal to his crew chief.

"I'll reiterate, and I said it on Twitter, but Todd Parrott is a good person and a good crew chief and a good friend of mine," Almirola said. "I think he has a lot of support and a lot of people rallying behind him to get through this difficult time.

"That being said, we have a job to do and have to go out and race and do what is best for us. We have to figure out a plan."

Jeff Burton didn't have anything specific to say about his job prospects for 2014—just that he's comfortable with the situation.

A 21-time winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Burton is leaving the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet at the end of the season, and for the present, he's entertaining offers for his services.

"I feel really good about what's going on, and when I can talk about it, I can talk about it," Burton said Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway. "I'm really comfortable with where I am, and the opportunities that have been presented to me the last month have been really interesting.

"Maybe one day I can talk about some of them, because some of them are crazy. It's been a kind of interesting last few months, but I'm really comfortable with where I am and what I am going to be doing. I'm just not in position to talk about it. I promise you, when I can, I will."

Aric Almirola had a rain plan, and it paid off with the top starting spot in Sunday's Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

A rainout of Saturday's qualifying session put Almirola on the pole for the sixth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and left the title contenders scattered throughout the starting grid.

Jeff Burton will start second on the outside of the front row, with Almirola's Richard Petty Motorsports teammate, Marcos Ambrose, taking the green flag from the third position.

With possible rain in the forecast for Saturday's qualifying session, Almirola and Ambrose posted the fastest lap they could in Friday's first practice session, because the starting order for the race, in the case of a rainout, is set according to speeds in opening practice.

"We went into practice with a plan," Almirola said. "Me and Marcos got a big run on the pack and put up a good lap. We knew that there was a small chance for rain. Obviously, under the circumstances, we thought it would good to put up a good lap, just in case it did rain.

"We had a plan and stuck to it, and it worked out."

Almirola recorded a top speed of 202.000 mph during first practice to snag the pole. Burton, who was part of the same draft that propelled Almirola to the top spot on the grid, ran 201.987 mph, with Ambrose third at 201.876 mph.

Martin Truex Jr. will start fourth, followed by Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle, the top two Chase drivers. Dale Earnhardt Jr. claimed the eighth position, with series leader Matt Kenseth 12th—one spot behind five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who trails Kenseth by four points in the title battle.

To Almirola, however, the excellent track position he'll have to start the race—always subject to the vagaries of the draft—is secondary to the first pick of pit stalls at the 2.66-mile track. Almirola will pit his car in stall No. 1, closest to the exit from pit road.

"When they have those yellow-flag pit stops, being in stall No. 1, when they drop the jack, you just have to go a couple of feet to cross that scoring line for the exit of pit road," Almirola said. "That's going to be really important.

"The race jumbles up here so much. It's not like a typical race where, if you qualify on pole, you have a good shot at staying up front all day just because of track position. In this race, you can be leading one lap and 16th the very next lap."

Other Chase drivers will start as follows based on their speeds in first practice: Ryan Newman 17th, Joey Logano 18th, Jeff Gordon 19th, Clint Bowyer 20th, Kyle Busch 27th, Kasey Kahne 28th, Kurt Busch 30th and Kevin Harvick 33rd.

With the composition of the field set according to rainout rules, Sam Hornish Jr. failed to make the 43-car field because his No. 12 Ford had the fewest qualifying attempts this season among cars not already guaranteed starting positions.


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