NASCAR: Eldora Truck race 2014 format revealed

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Following a standout debut for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Eldora Speedway last July, the “Mudsummer Classic” will return in 2014 with enhancements announced for the July 23 race.

Easier to just post the format from the official NASCAR release, so all the details are below:

Among the enhancements, aimed to bolster the emphasis on both driver skill and team strategy, are:

–       Pit stops during competition cautions are now optional, whereas they were mandatory in last year’s inaugural event.

–       Each qualifying race will now be 10 laps each. Last year, each race was eight laps.

–       A random draw will determine qualifying order. Last year, practice speeds dictated the qualifying order.

–       Owner points will be awarded to the top five team owners whose trucks do not transfer to the main feature. Last season, teams that did not advance to the main feature did not earn owner points.

“Last year’s inaugural event at Eldora Speedway was an incredible success, and these enhancements will only increase the excitement for our fans,” said Chad Little, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series managing director. “NASCAR continually works with team owners and drivers to ensure that NASCAR fans get what they’ve come to expect out of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – close, thrilling racing, every single lap.”

The event continues to showcase a traditional two-lap qualifying session, five qualifying races, one last-chance race and a champion’s provisional to determine the 30-truck starting field. The top 20 in owner points entering the event will have a guaranteed starting position.

The overall race procedures for the Mudsummer Classic are as follows:

Qualifying

·          Two-lap, single-truck qualifying determines starting position for the qualifying races with random draw determining the qualifying order.

Qualifying Races

·         Five qualifying races will be held at 10 laps each and only green flag laps are counted.

·         Lineup for the qualifying races will be based on qualifying speeds.

·         The top five trucks in qualifying will start on the pole for their respective qualifying races with four locked-in trucks (top 20 in driver points) starting in each qualifying race.

·         Five trucks from each qualifying race will transfer to the feature – four locked-in trucks and one non-locked-in truck.

·         Upon completion of the qualifying races, 25 trucks will earn spots in the feature race.

Last Chance Race

·         The lineup will be based on finishing position from the qualifying races and the race will be 15 laps with only green flag laps counted.

·         Top-four finishers transfer to the feature and start in positions 26-29.

·         The 30th starting position goes to the most recent past series champion. If the position is not filled by an eligible champion, it will be assigned to the next highest finishing truck of the Last Chance Race.

·         Owner points will be awarded to the top five team owners whose trucks do not transfer into the feature.

Feature

·         The race will be 150 laps divided into three segments of 60, 50 and 40 laps with competition cautions at the breaks on Lap 60 and Lap 110.

·         Caution laps will not count during the competition cautions and positions cannot be improved on pit road.

·         Teams are not required to pit during the competition cautions. Those teams that do not elect to pit, may remain on the track and start in front of the pitting teams.

Daniel Ricciardo to decide soon about moving from Red Bull to another F1 team

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LE CASTELLET, France (AP) Daniel Ricciardo says over the next six weeks he wants to decide between staying at Red Bull or joining another Formula One team for next year.

Ricciardo said on Thursday at the French Grand Prix, “It would be nice to go on the summer break knowing what I am doing.”

F1 is working its way toward its three-week break in August with speculation mounting that Mercedes, Ferrari, and McLaren are interested in luring Ricciardo away from Red Bull for 2019.

“I will be honest, everyone is talking about Mercedes and Ferrari as potential places for me to go, and I am aware that there will be interest from other teams,” he said.

The Australian driver has won seven races in his four-plus seasons with Red Bull. He is fourth in the standings behind leader Sebastian Vettel heading into the race at the Paul Ricard Circuit near Marseille.

Ricciardo’s stock has risen in recent months after his victories in Shanghai and Monaco. His Monaco win was particularly impressive because Ricciardo had to deploy some masterful defensive driving to protect his lead after losing an estimated 25 percent of his engine power.

Ricciardo said he had not directly spoken to rivals Ferrari and Mercedes, but he hedged when asked if his manager had.

“People talk, have coffees, I will leave that one open-ended,” he said with a laugh.

Ricciardo called the decision on whether to go or stay with Red Bull the biggest choice of his career following his decision to leave his native Australia and continue his racing career in Europe over a decade ago.

“For sure the priority is to get a car to win the world title because I really believe I can,” he said. “I am slightly careful because it is easy to think the grass is greener and maybe it is, but I also have it pretty good where I am.

“People do like a change but just to make change for the sake of making a change is not enough for me. I need to find some substance behind it to jump ship.”

Red Bull announced recently it would be ending its 12-year partnership with engine-maker Renault and switching to Honda motors for next year.

Ricciardo was hesitant to endorse or criticize the change, saying he was going to “try to keep putting the pieces together if it is a good move.”

But with the question of the engine manufacturer out of the way, Ricciardo said Red Bull would likely be looking to resolve its drivers’ lineup for next year.

“I haven’t been pushed yet, but I would say that there will be some movement in the next week,” he said. “Whether that is something that gets put down on paper (or not), for sure the discussions will start to ramp up in the next few days.”