Column By: HOLLY CAIN / NASCAR – ROSSBURG, OH – There is plenty of opportunity awaiting NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitors at Eldora Speedway’s highly-anticipated Eldora Dirt Derby Wednesday night (9 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Only one previous race winner is entered – 2017 victor Matt Crafton – and there will be plenty of new faces and inspired spirits competing for NASCAR’s most unique crown on the one-of-a-kind Eldora Speedway half-mile dirt track.
Series points leader Johnny Sauter is still looking for his Eldora trophy, with three finishes of 20th or worse in five starts there. He was 23rd in the race last year.
Of the top-five drivers in the truck title hunt, fourth-place Stewart Friesen was runner-up to Crafton in last year’s race. Grant Enfinger – ranked fifth in the championship – was fourth in last year’s Eldora race and current championship second place driver Noah Gragson was seventh. Third place in the standings, Brett Moffitt, did not compete at Eldora last year.
Two-time series champion Crafton is the only driver in the field to post top-10 finishes in all five runnings of the popular race at former Cup champion Tony Stewart’s Ohio track. A win this week would certainly help buoy his position in the standings. He’s currently seventh, 136 points behind first-place Sauter.
There are 14 drivers among the 40 entered who have never raced at Eldora Speedway. Eight drivers hope to start their first career dirt-track event, and seven competitors are making their Camping World Truck Series debuts.