Trucks Run the Dirt Derby in Eldora

The Camping World Truck Series travels to Eldora for some mid-week dirt track racing at the track owned by three time NASCAR champion and car owner Tony Stewart – Eldora Speedway.

1200px-Eldora_SpeedwayBy NSCRDVA at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19862989

Tuesday night practice turned into a spin fest with 27 spins. Chase Briscoe spun out and went up on the fence causing damage to both the fence and his truck. Briscoe had to go to a backup truck.

Some of the drivers have never raced on the dirt before. Grant Enfinger noted that he didn’t know what he was doing but he was going to have fun.

Prior to the CWTs trucks hitting the track, the modified cars get out and run some laps to help pack the dirt down.

After qualifying Stewart Friesen leads the pack, but the drivers will have to run qualifying heat races to determine the final starting lineup for the race.

The drivers running in the first heat are:
Stewart Friesen
Justin Shipley
John Hunter Nemechek
Jeffrey Abbey
Bobby Pierce
Grant Enfinger
Norm Benning

The top five finishers will move on to the main race.

Stewart Friesen brings the field down for the green flag and takes the lead in the race.

Only three laps into the race and Stewart Friesen has a lead of nearly a second and a half on Justin Shipley.

There are only 10 laps in the heat races.

Lap five and Friesen has increased his lead to over two and a half seconds on John Hunter Nemechek.

Lap seven Stewart Friesen’s lead is down to just under two and a half seconds.

Stewart Friesen wins the first race by over two seconds. Bobby Pierce spins out just after the checkered flag flew.

Bobby Pierce and Norm Benning did not qualify for the main race but will have one more chance to transfer with the last chance race later.

Stewart Friesen
John Hunter Nemechek
Grant Enfinger
Jeffrey Abbey
and Justin Shipley will move to to the main race.

The next heat includes
Chase Briscoe
Matt Crafton
Ben Rhodes
Austin Cindric
Max Johnston
Wendell Chavous
Cody Coughlin

Chase Briscoe brings the field down for the green flag and edges out for the lead.

Lap three Chase Briscoe has a lead of just under a second over Matt Crafton.

Lap six Chase Briscoe’s lead is down to just over half a second on Matt Crafton.

Lap seven Matt Crafton challenges Chase Brisco for the lead with Briscoe holding on to the lead of the race.

On the white flag lap Matt Crafton passed Chase Briscoe for the lead with Ben Rhodes right behind him. Chase Briscoe takes third.

Cody Coughlin and Wendell Chavous will have to run in the last chance race to earn a spot in the main event.

Matt Crafton
Ben Rhodes
Chase Briscoe
Austin Cindric
and Max Johnston will move on to the main race.

The drivers in heat three:
Kaz Grala
Ryan Truex
Harrison Burton
Justin Haley
Ray Ciccarelli
J.J. Yeley
Tommy Regan

Kaz Grala brings the field down for the green flag and gets out in front of the field for the lead.

Lap three Kaz Grala already has a lead of over a second on Ryan Truex.

Lap five Kaz Grala’s lead is over two seconds on Ryan Truex.

Kaz Grala got into the wall but holds on to the lead of the race.

Lap seven Kaz Grala has a lead of over two seconds on Ryan Truex.

White flag lap Kaz Grala has a three second lead on Ryan Truex.

Kaz Grala wins race number three.

Ray Ciccarelli and Tommy Regan will have to run in the last chance race for a chance to run in the main race.

Kaz Grala
Ryan Truex
Justin Haley
J.J. Yeley
and Harrison Burton move on to the main race.

Heat four racers:
Christopher Bell
Caleb Holman
Johnny Sauter
Sheldon Creed
Ken Schrader
Korbin Forrister

Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and pulls out for the lead.

Lap five Christopher Bell has a lead of nearly a second on Caleb Holman.

Lap seven Christopher Bell holds on to his near one second lead on Caleb Holman.

Lap eight Christopher Bell has pulled out to a lead of a second on Caleb Holman.

Christopher Bell takes the checkered flag for the win of heat number four.

Korbin Forrister will have to run in the last chance race for a spot in the main event.

Christopher Bell
Caleb Holman
Johnny Sauter
Sheldon Creed
and Ken Schrader will move on to the main race.

In the fifth and final heat race:
Noah Gragson
Rico Abreu
Chris Windom
Ty Dillon
Brandon Hightower
Mike Harmon

Mike Harmon has pulled out of the race. All five remaining trucks will move to the main race but will have to race to determine starting order.

Noah Gragsn brings the field down for the green flag and takes over the lead.

Ty Dillon passes Noah Gragson for the lead of the race.

Lap four Ty Dillon has a lead of over half a second on Noah Gragson.

Lap six Ty D9llon has a lead of nearly a second on Noah Gragson.

Lap seven Ty Dillon’s lead is now over a second on Noah Gragson.

Ty Dillon takes the white flag.

Ty Dillon wins the fifth and final heat.

Noah Gragson is second; followed by Rico Abreu, Chris Wndom, and Brandon Hightower.

Drivers in the last chance race:
Bobby Pierce
Cody Coughlin
Ray Ciccarelli
Korbin Forrister
Mike Harmon
Norm Benning
Wendell Chavous
Tommy Regan

Two drivers will transfer from the last chance race and the remaining five spots in the field will be filled with provisionals. One driver will go home.

Bobby Pierce, Ray Ciccarelli and Norm Benning have to move to the back of the field for making unapproved adjustments to their trucks.

The drivers will make 15 trips around the half mile track.

Cody Coughlin jumps out in front of the field to lead the race but gets passed by Mike Harmon for the lead.

Cody Coughlin retakes the lead of the race. On lap four he has a lead of over a second on Korbin Forrister.

Lap seven Cody Coughlin continues to lead the race by nearly two seconds on Korbin Forrister.

Lap eight Bobby Pierce has closed the gap between him and leader Cody Coughlin to less than a second.

Lap nine Cody Coughlin’s lead is down to less than a quarter of a second on Bobby Pierce.

Lap 10 Bobby Pierce passes Cody Coughlin to take over the lead of the race.

Lap 12 Bobby Pierce has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Cody Coughlin.

Bobby Pierce takes the white flag with Cody Coughlin in second.

Bobby Pierce wins the last chance race to earn a spot in the main race. Cody Coughlin will also transfer to the main event.

The remaining drivers moving over the run in the main event are:
Wendell Chavous
Norm Benning
Korbin Forrister
Mike Harmon
Ray Ciccarelli

Tommy Regan did not make the field.

The starting line up for the Eldora Dirt Derby 150:
Stewart Friesen
Matt Crafton
Kaz Grala
Christopher Bell
Ty Dillon
John Hunter Nemechek
Ben Rhodes
Ryan Truex
Caleb Holman
Noag Gragson
Grant Enfinger
Chase Briscoe
Justin Haleyh
Johnny Sauter
Rico Abreu
Jeffrey Abbey
Austin Cindric
J.J. Yeley
Sheldon Creed
Chris Windom
Justin Shipley
Max Johnston
Harrison Burton
Ken Schrader
Brandon Hightower
Bobby Pierce
Cody Coughlin
Wendell Chavous
Norm Benning
Korbin Forrister
Mike Harmon
Ray Ciccarelli

Monster Energy Cup Series racer Kevin Harvick joins Vince Welch and Michael Waltrip in the broadcast booth for the race.

Stage one of the race is 40 laps long, stage two is 50 laps long, and stage three is 60 laps long for a total of 150 laps or 75 miles.

Stewart Friesen brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and jumps out in front of the field as the drivers get three and four wide behind him.

Only one lap into the race and the windshields are already covered in dirt. A lot of mud on the grilles as well. The drivers risk having their trucks overheat from all the mud on the grille blocking the air intake.

Bobby Pierce brings out the first caution flag on lap five when he spins out. J.J. Yeley was also involved.

Some of the drivers come down pit road to get their grilles cleaned off.

Ken Schrader was penalized for putting fuel in his truck before the end of the stage.

Stewart Friesen brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 12 and holds on to the lead of the race.

Lap 14 Stewart Friesen has a lead of nearly a second and a half over Matt Crafton.

There will be a competition caution on lap 20 to check track conditions.

Lap 17 Stewart Friesen’s lead is nearly two seconds on Christopher Bell.

The second caution flag comes out on lap 18 when several trucks make contact with one another. Norm Benning, Korbin Forrister, Harrison Burton, Johnny Sauter, and Ben Rhodes were all involved. This will also serve as the competition caution. Drivers may come down pit road to clean the windshield and grilles only.

Chase Briscoe has a transmission issue, it will not stay in high gear – it keeps jumping into third gear.

Johnny Sauter had to make two trips down pit road to clean the grille. He reported that his truck was overheating.

Caleb Holman takes his truck to the garage – his truck is stuck in first gear.

Stewart Friesen brings the field down for the green flag restart of the race on lap 33 and holds on to the lead but is getting chaleenges from all sides.

Lap 34 Matt Crafton passes Stewart Friesen for the lead.

Kaz Grala and Christopher Bell bring out the third caution flag of the race when they make contact after Christopher Bell spins out.

There is no five minute clock at Eldora, the teams can work to repair the trucks.

Stage one ends under a caution flag with Matt Crafton the winner.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Matt Crafton
Stewart Friesen
John Hunter Nemechek
Chase Briscoe
Ty Dillon
Austin Cindric
Ryan Truex
Justin Haley
Grant Enfinger
Justin Shipley

Drivers may now pit for fuel and fresh tires.

Some of the drivers come down pit road, while other stay out on the track.

Pit road is very small and tight, the drivers have to work to squeeze into the area. There is not race off of pit road, the drivers cannot lose spots during a pit stop.

Stewart Friessen brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 42 with Stewart Friesen taking the lead.

Lap 44 the fourth caution flag come out for a number of trucks making contact. Max Johnston and Ben Rhodes are involved. John Hunter Nemechek was challenging Stewart Friesen for the lead when the caution flag came out.

There are 23 trucks on the lead lap.

Johnny Sauter is in the garage with the hood up. The crew is making a radiator change.

Ben Rhodes noted in an interview that it should be called the demolition derby instead of the dirt derby with all the crashes.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 54 but gets passed by Stewart Friesen who takes over the lead of the race.

Lap 60 drivers are making contact with each other as they battle for position all around the track.

Lap 61 Stewart Friesen has a lead of over a second and a half on John Hunter Nemechek.

Lap 65 Stewart Friesen has pulled out to a lead of over two and a half seconds on John Hunter Nemechek.

The caution flag comes out on lap 68 for Sheldon Creed spinning out.

Thought to be out of the race with crash damage, Christopher Bell is in tenth place.

Stewart Friesen brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 78 with Stewart Friesen getting out in front and trucks three wide behind him.

Ty Dillon challenges Stewart Friesen for the lead but so far Friesen holds on to the lead.

Lap 80 Stewart Friesen has a lead of over a second on Ty Dillon with 21 trucks on the lead lap.

The dust is flying so thick that it is hard to see the trucks from any distance going around the track.

Ray Ciccarelli brings out the sixth caution flag on lap 84 when he spins out right under the flag stand after making contact with Sheldon Creed.

Stewart Friesen brings the field down for the green flag restart with just two laps remaining in stage two. Stewart Friesen is still out in fron of the field.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Stewart Friesen
Ty Dillon
John Hunter Nemechek
Christopher Bell
Grant Enfinger
Justin Shipley
Rico Abreu
Matt Crafton
Justin Haley

Pole sitter Stewart Friesen has led 67 laps so far.

Stewart Friesen is on pit road with a flat tire.

NASCAR puts out the red flag on lap 91 but the trucks are still moving around the track.

Staying out on the track, Christopher Bell is leading the race and will lead the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 92. Bell holds on to the lead of the race. Stewart Friesen is in sixth place.

The trucks are getting four wide across the track looking for traction.

Lap 98 Christopher Bell is still out in front by nearly two seconds on Chase Briscoe. Stewart Friesen is in third.

Lap 99 Stewart Freisen passes Chase Briscoe for second but is over two seconds behind lead Christopher Bell.

Fifty to go, Christopher Bell leads the race with 20 cars on the lead lap.

Rico Abreu makes an unscheduled pit stop for a flat tire.

Lap 103 Christopher Bell’s lead is down to a little over a second and a half on Stewart Friesen.

Lap 105 Christopher Bell’s lead is down to less than a second and a half over Stewart Friesen.

Lap 106 Stewart Friesen is less than a second behind Christopher Bell.

Lap 108 Stewart Friesen has caught Christopher Bell and is challenging for the lead.

Lap 112 there are 18 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 113 Stewart Friesen passes Christopher Bell to take over the lead of the race.

Lap 116 Stewart Friesen has a half second lead on Christopher Bell.

Ty Dillon brings out the eighth caution flag of the race with a flat tire.

Rico Abreu and Justin Shipley take their trucks to the garage.

Stewart Friesen brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 125 and gets out in front of the field. Christopher Bell is reporting a possible flat tire and falls through the field.

The caution flag comes out on lap 126 when Ray Ciccarelli spins out. This is the ninth caution flag of the race.

Stewart Friesen brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 19 laps remaining in the race and holds on to the lead with a gagle of drivers trying to challenge Friesen for the lead.

Lap 133 Matt Crafton passes Stewart Friesen for the lead.

The caution flag comes out with only 15 laps remaining in the race when Ray Ciccarelli spins out once again.

Matt Crafton brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 10 laps remaining in the race. Matt Crafton edges out Stewart Friesen for the lead.

Eight laps to go and Matt Crafton has a lead of over half a second on Chase Briscoe.

Five to go and Matt Crafton has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Chase Brisco.

Four to go, Matt Crafton’s lead is nearly two seconds on Chase Briscoe.

Matt Crafton takes the white flag with a lead of nearly two seconds.

With a lead of over two seconds Matt Crafton wins the Dirt Derby and the Golden Shovel trophy.

Crafton_Kentucky_I_2011By NSCRDVA at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19862989

The unofficial results of the Dirt Derby in Eldora:
Matt Crafton
Stewart Friesen
Chase Briscoe
Gramt Enfinger
John Hunter Nemechek
Bobby Pierce
Noah Gragson
Justin Haley
Christopher Bell
Austin Cindric
Cody Coughlin
Ty Dillon
Norm Benning
Jeffrey Abbey
Harrison Burton
Wendell Chavous
Ken Schrader
Mike Harmon
Chris Windom
Ryan Truex
J.J. Yeley
Ray Ciccarelli
Johnny Sauter
Brandon Hightower
Justin Shipley
Rico Abreu
Sheldon Creed
Korbin Forrister
Max Johnston
Ben Rhodes
Kaz Grala
Caleb Holman


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