What they’re saying about NASCAR’s truck race at Eldora

NASCAR returns to the dirt for the first time in 43 years when the Camping World Truck Series visits Eldora Speedway for the CarCash Mudsummer Classic today and Wednesday. What they’re saying about the historic race:

Tony Stewart, on hosting NASCAR’s first race on dirt since Sept. 30, 1970: “It’s pretty amazing. People think you just turn on the lights, open up the gates, sell hot dogs and run a race. There’s so much more than that. It’s been interesting to watch the process and hear (Eldora GM) Roger Slack talk about everything they’ve had to do and it is a ton. I’m proud of them.”

Chad Little, Camping World Truck Series director: “I look at it like this: Every race we go to could be an annual event if the promoter and NASCAR and the fans and the sponsors all support it. We don’t enter into a race with anyone without the intention of it being an annual event.”

Kenny Wallace, NASCAR and dirt race veteran: “We’ve had a lot of fans express their concerns that we’ve forgotten our (NASCAR) roots — country music, Saturday night racing, etc. I just really look at this as a home run, no matter what. … If it has incredible success, who knows how far this could go? You could put the Nationwide Series there.”

Jeb Burton, second in points: “Testing at 311 Motor Speedway was wild and different, but I liked the feel of turning right (to go left).”

Ryan Blaney, sixth in points: “Excited would be an understatement. Who wouldn’t welcome the chance to race their father (Sprint Cup driver Dave Blaney) under the lights of Eldora?”

Brendan Gaughan, ninth in points: “It took big time guts (for NASCAR) to add a dirt track back onto a national touring schedule after 40 years, and I am really impressed with the decision and the place they chose to do it.”

Ron Hornaday, 12th in points: “We came away from our dirt test with great notes. One of the things we still need to gain more experience with is reading the dirt, and knowing how it will change throughout the day. I always think I am the favorite to win. Other than me, Ken Schrader will have a really good opportunity to win because of his dirt experience.”

Joey Coulter, 13th in points: “It’s one of those things that it’s just going to be cool because 20 years from now I can tell my grandkids that, ‘Yeah, NASCAR raced on dirt again and the first Truck race on dirt, I got to race at it.’ ”

German Quiroga, 16th in points: “I think this is going to be a driver’s race. On a 1.5-mile track, you depend on your crew chief, your team, all the testing to know what changes you need to make your truck faster. Here, I think that a driver can really make the difference.”

Brennan Newberry, 22nd in points: “I think a guy like Ty Dillon, who continues to race on dirt, will have the best shot at winning. Some of the dirt “ringers” will not be as good as you might think because they lack truck experience. Other than Ty, I would put (Ken) Schrader towards the top of the list.”

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