In his grand return to dirt with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), Kyle Larson stole the show with his wall-scraping, slide job-making moves at a track he's more than familiar with: Eldora Speedway. With dirt racing and sprint car roots, Larson arrived at the half-mile dirt oval with his sights set on a win after settling for the runner-up spot in last year's inaugural event. Larson and his Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) team kicked off the one-day show by laying down the fifth- and ninth-fastest speeds during the two practice sessions. Larson then claimed the No. 32 GLAD Chevrolet an 11th-place starting position for the 1-800-CarCash Mudsummer Classic. Competing in the first heat race, Larson started in third and maintained his position throughout the 10-lap shootout, making slight contact with the wall in the final laps. In true dirt racing form, Larson took the green flag with scrapes and scuffs, and quickly began making moves around the slick oval. At the end of the first 60-lap segment, Larson had moved into the sixth position and told crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. that he needed more forward drive in his GLAD Chevy. During the first competition caution, Larson came to pit road for a scheduled stop and rejoined the field in the sixth position. As the second 50-lap segment began, Larson found himself in the fourth position after two early cautions. Fourth wasn't good enough, however, and Larson joined in a tight battle for the second and third positions. Taking the field three wide into Turn 2, Larson made contact with a battling competitor, causing his truck to do a complete 360-degree spin. Shockingly, Larson rebounded in a flash and continued to race within the top five until the second segment concluded. The No. 32 GLAD Chevy had heavy damage to the right-front nose, but that didn't faze the dirt track veteran or his TSM team. Hillman called for Larson to remain on the track during the final competition caution and with 35 laps to go in the main event, Larson found something in his No. 32 truck; and it was working. Before he knew it, Larson found himself battling for the lead and this time around, he wasn't going down without a fight. Making contact with the wall several times, Larson continued to make daring moves around the track, and his persistence paid off when he took the lead as the yellow flag waved with 23 laps to go. Larson led five laps under caution before losing the lead as the field went green on lap 133. Doing everything he could to close the gap and retake the lead in the final laps, Larson caught the wall one final time as he approached Turn 3 and broke a brake rotor on his GLAD Chevy truck. As the packed crowd watched in shock and disappointment, Larson drove the No. 32 TSM truck behind the wall, ultimately finishing two laps down in the 26th position.
Kyle Larson on Racing at Eldora Speedway
"What a night; I wanted that win so bad and I guess I just overdrove it on those final laps. I hate it for my Turner Scott Motorsports team; I wanted to get the win for all of us and feel kind of bad. Overall, I think we had a great time throughout the day, though, and really made it fun. Hillman and the guys at the shop built me an extremely strong truck, and as hard as I raced, I can't believe it lasted that long. I can't thank GLAD enough for giving me the opportunity to even come out here and race. I've missed dirt racing a lot and I'm walking away from tonight with nothing but a smile on my face. I'm excited to be back with Hillman and the No. 32 Turner Scott team next weekend in the Truck Series race at Pocono. We got an ARCA [Racing Series] win there last month, so hopefully we can get us a Truck win, too."