UPDATE: 8:50 p.m. ET: The final five qualifiers for the main race have been determined after the Last Chance Qualifier. Brennan Newberry won over Jeff Babcock, Jason Bowles and Justin Jennings.
But the hero of the race, and the fifth and final qualifier, was Norm Benning. Benning (No. 57, right, shown in practice) would not be denied as he slipped, slid and bounced off the wall in an effort to hold onto fifth place after a restart.
“I just never lifted. I love Tony Stewart’s track. I’ve been waiting for this race since the day of the announcement,” Benning said to SPEED Channel pit reporter Ray Dunlap.
Clay Greenfield, Jimmy Weller, Bryan Silas and Joe Cobb came up short of making the race. Also caught out was JR Heffner, who headed to the pit lane immediately after the start.
UPDATE, 8:15 p.m. ET: The five qualifying heat races are in the books. Here’s a recap.
Ken Schrader backed up his fastest lap in qualifying with a win in the first of five heat races. He’ll start on pole for the main feature later Wednesday night. JR Heffner (finished second) and Jimmy Weller (sixth) were sent to the last chance qualifier.
The first caution of the heat races flew in heat two, for a quick spin by Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. with three laps to go. Despite a late charge from Matt Crafton on the lowest line of the track, Justin Landers held off for the win ahead of him in the heat race. Jeff Babcock (fifth) and Norm Benning (seventh) had to race through the LCQ.
Timothy Peters led flag-to-flag to win heat three, while Kyle Larson held off Jason Bowles in a battle for the transfer spot in third place. Bowles (fourth) and Clay Greenfield (seventh) went to the LCQ.
In heat four, Kenny Wallace took the win, Max Gresham (third) transferred in and Brennan Newberry (fifth) and Joe Cobb (seventh) went to the LCQ.
Jeb Burton held off Ryan Newman in a side-by-side battle in heat five. Newman was the transfer driver with Justin Jennings (sixth) and Bryan Silas (seventh) sent to the LCQ.
The starting lineup for the 15-lap last-chance race: 1. JR Heffner, 2. Jeff Babcock, 3. Jason Bowles, 4. Brennan Newberry, 5. Justin Jennings, 6. Jason Weller III, 7. Norm Benning, 8. Clay Greenfield, 9. Joe Cobb, 10. Bryan Silas.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ dirt race at Eldora is underway. The heat races are about to begin after qualifying, where Ken Schrader was the fastest qualifier.
Schrader, though, will have to race his way in via his heat race or a last chance qualifier as he is not one of the 20 of 30 trucks locked into the race from owner points.
Here’s the race format:
- Five qualifying heat races. 8 laps apiece. Only green flag laps count. 7 trucks in each race, with the top 5 advancing to the feature.
- Last chance qualifier. 15 laps. 10 trucks entered. The top 5 advance.
- Mudsummer Classic Feature: 30 trucks to start. 150 laps. Segments of 60, 50 and 40 laps.