NASCAR: Mudsummer Classic at Eldora looks for a solid sequel

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Last year, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ “Mudsummer Classic” on dirt at Eldora Speedway was widely hailed as one of the events of the year.

The question for 2014 is whether the sequel, which will occur tonight, will be as good as the original.

Tickets were still available as of Wednesday morning although track owner Tony Stewart said earlier this week there were less than 1,000 remaining. “Smoke” still has a lot on his plate. A good piece here from Sporting News’ Bob Pockrass explains why the lack of sellout, yet, shouldn’t be a surprise.

The entry list for the race has a few surprises or welcome additions – Ken Schrader, last year’s polesitter, is back and the underdog of the night, Norm Benning, is back as well. Kyle Larson was arguably the star of the night a year ago and will be in another Turner Scott Motorsports truck, and 2013 race winner Austin Dillon looks for an encore.

There’s 34 trucks who will look to advance into the final following the heat races.

In some respects, the second year of an event is always more pivotal than the first. Last year, there was the fact it was an inaugural event and a race on dirt – something which hadn’t happened in NASCAR in years.

This year, the key is maintaining the momentum and interest level knowing it’s not “the first” of something. It’s up to this year’s Truck field to pull it off.

Here’s the day’s schedule:

Wednesday, July 23
Practice: 10:00 AM ET
Final practice: 11:30 AM ET
Qualifying: 5:00 PM ET
Qualifying / heat races: 7:00 PM ET
Pre-race: 8:30 PM ET
Race: 9:00 PM ET

Wide range of tire selections for Mexican Grand Prix

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The focus this week is on the United States Grand Prix from Circuit of The Americas in Austin, but because it’s Tuesday, the Pirelli tire selections for next week’s Mexican Grand Prix are also out.

And for once, there’s a wide variance in selections.

Both Red Bull and Ferrari have gone for a more balanced portion of supersoft and ultrasoft tires, with Red Bull only selecting six sets of ultrasoft tires.

Meanwhile all other teams have gone between eight to 10 sets of ultrasoft tires.

The full breakdown is below.