Photo: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

Previewing the NASCAR CWTS Eldora Dirt Derby

By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer

11 races into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season only four series regulars have scored a victory (Christopher Bell three times, John Hunter Nemechek twice, Johnny Sauter and Kaz Grala once). Even though Bell has two more wins than Sauter, Sauter leads the points standings, having a 28-point advantage over Bell. The Truck Series regulars will have their hands full once again in Wednesday night’s race with many dirt specialists entered in the field.

The last time the Truck Series visited the only dirt track on the schedule, Eldora Speedway, Kyle Larson took home the victory in thrilling fashion. Larson held off late charges by Bell and Bobby Pierce to win by 0.767 seconds. Bell, Rico Abreu, Jake Griffin, and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top five that day.

Bell is the only former winner at Eldora in the Truck Series entered in the race. He won in 2015.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular Ty Dillon is entered in the field. NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Brandon Hightower is also expected to compete.

Truck Series Championship

Chase Briscoe, Bell, Ben Rhodes, Nemechek, Grala, Noah Gragson, Ryan Truex, Crafton, and Sauter are the only drivers with Playoff points. Bell has 19 Playoff Points, Nemechek has 11, with Sauter having 10, Grala has five, while Briscoe, Crafton, Gragson, Rhodes, and Truex have one each.

Gragson and Truex are the only drivers with Playoff Points behind the cutoff.

At Eldora, the first stage ends on lap 40, the second stage on lap 90, and the final stage on lap 150.

What to Watch For in the Eldora Dirt Derby

There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:

  • Australian Sprint Car racer Max Johnston will make his NCWTS debut in the No. 02 Brandt Chevrolet Silverado for Young’s Motorsports.
  • Sheldon Creed will make his first NCWTS start of 2017 in the No. 20 United Rentals Chevrolet Silverado for Young’s Motorsports.
  • USAC Champion Chris Windom will make his NCWTS debut in the No. 36 Baldwin Brothers Chevrolet Silverado for the Mittler Brothers.
  • JR Heffner will be in the No. 44 Chevrolet Silverado in cooperation with Faith Motorsports.
  • Jeffrey Abbey will make his NCWTS debut in the No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports.
  • Harrison Burton will be in the No. 51 Hunt Brothers Pizza Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
  • Bobby Pierce returns to the NCWTS in the No. 63 Gotta Race / 866-Get-A-Pro Metal Roofing Chevrolet Silverado for the Mittler Brothers.
  • Caleb Holman returns in the No. 75 Food Country USA / Lopez Wealth Management / Tide Pods Chevrolet Silverado for Henderson Motorsports.
  • Justin Shipley returns in the No. 80 Roger’s Ford F-150 for Tracy Wallace.
  • Rico Abreu returns to the NCWTS in the No. 89 Curb Records Toyota Tundra for ThorSport Racing.
  • Ty Dillon returns in the No. 99 K&L Ready Mix Chevrolet Silverado for MDM Motorsports.

Where and When to Watch (All Times Eastern)

Practice 1: Tuesday, July 18, 7:00 p.m., not televised.

Practice 2: Tuesday, July 18, 9:00 p.m., not televised.

Qualifying: Wednesday, July 19, 5:00 p.m., on Fox Sports 1.

Qualifying Races: Wednesday, July 19, 7:30 p.m., on Fox Sports 2

Race: Wednesday, July 19, 9:30 p.m. on Fox Business Network, SiriusXM Channel 90, and the Motor Racing Network.

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Seth Eggert has followed NASCAR his entire life. Seth is currently pursuing a writing career and is majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is an avid iRacer and video gamer. Seth also tutors students at Mitchell Community College in multiple subjects. He has an Associate's Degree in History.