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
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.