By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
With numerous dirt ringers in the Eldora Dirt Derby, Logan Seavey came close to pulling off the upset at Eldora Speedway. Seavey, the 2017 POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Champion, was an early race favorite, battling with NASCAR regulars and dirt ringers alike.
As the laps wound down, Seavey’s No. 51 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra faded. The truck that dominated early, leading 53 of the 153 laps, that featured him on the front row with his dirt midget car owner, and eventual race-winner Chase Briscoe, slipped on a restart on lap 145. On the ensuing restart, Seavey slipped further down the running order, ultimately finishing eighth in his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start.
Seavey first took the top spot following the start of Stage 2. The 21-year-old’s crew chief, Mike Hillman, Jr.’s left him on track during the Stage 2 break. Seavey cruised away on the restart, leaving dirt ringer-turned NASCAR regular Stewart Friesen in the dust. Several back-to-back accidents ultimately took away any chance of the Toyota Racing Development driver capturing the Golden Shovel trophy.
“I knew once it started laying some rubber there that tires are actually going to start wearing out,” Seavey said. “You know it was going to hurt you to have laps on your tires. You know I thought we had a perfect strategy until the rubber laid down. That second stage, you know I just really tried to cruise around as slow as I could because I knew it played a factor. You know it obviously did there at the end.”
“I just didn’t need those cautions. I thought we had a pretty good lead and we were getting through lap traffic pretty good. That’s just how racing goes. You never know what’s going to happen at the end. We just kind of got eaten up after those restarts and Chase (Briscoe) just beat me on the start. I spun the tires a little bit and everybody went by me after that. Overall, awesome race. I think we showed that we could run with these guys. I just didn’t anticipate the rubber laying down and having so much tire wear like we did.”
The eighth-place finish is he first top-10 for Seavey in NASCAR and comes in his first career NASCAR start.
Now Seavey, who just a few years ago had open heart surgery for heart failure and returned to racing weeks later, will now return to the P1 Insurance National Midget Series where he currently leads the Championship Points Standings. He has four victories and 15 podiums in 20 combined starts between P1 and POWRi.
Now the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports team will return to the round-robin of NASCAR regulars as the Truck Series heads to Pocono Raceway July 28 for the Gander Outdoors 150.