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SBD/July 24, 2013/Events and Attractions
Tonight's NASCAR Truck Series Dirt Race Seen As Banner Event, Return To Roots
Published July 24, 2013
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WORTH THE WAIT? SPORTING NEWS' Bob Pockrass wrote tonight's race will be a "great event, but it won’t be the cure for the sport's ills or the greatest thing to happen" since NASCAR last raced on dirt in '70. It would be "foolhardy to guarantee that this will be a great race with a big impact on the sport." There is a "big question of whether the Eldora race will be worthwhile financially after the initial enthusiasm wears off." NASCAR is "trying to make it successful for the track, but anyone who thinks that the track is going to be bathing in cash or hoping for a Cup race in the future, forget about it." Still, NASCAR is "desperate for something to connect to its roots," and the event has "raised the energy level for a series that badly needs it." But NASCAR’s "fan of the future doesn’t want an experience so authentic that they have to wash their clothes twice to get the dirt out" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 7/23). In Daytona Beach, Godwin Kelly writes, "Let's see how this goes -- or blows." If it is "a success ... we'll see more of it" (NEWS-JOURNALONLINE.com, 7/23). FOXSPORTS.com's Jeff Hammond wrote, "I hope this race might open the door to some new fans for the Truck Series" (FOXSPORTS.com, 7/23).
BLAME IT ALL ON MY ROOTS: In Tennessee, Allen Gregory writes tonight's race is "basically an attempt by NASCAR officials to breathe some much needed nourishment into their roots." It has "already overshadowed Sunday’s high-stakes" Sprint Cup Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For a sport "needing a B12 shot of energy, some unscripted action at a roots-racing cathedral might be as much fun as unwrapping a mysterious present" (BRISTOL HERALD COURIER, 7/24). ESPN.com's David Newton wrote the race is as "anticipated as much for the uncertainty of how the trucks will perform as the historical significance." It could "range from being the greatest show the series has seen in years to a train wreck." In "some ways, it is like the first Cup race" at IMS. There is the "curiosity factor that creates more interest" (ESPN.com, 7/23). Driver Ryan Blaney said, "It's hard to say we weren't looking forward to this one. The date has been the 'wild card' all season long for our team, knowing it's going to be a wild one out there" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/24).
MAN BEHIND THE MAN: FOXSPORTS.com's Tom Jensen noted Eldora Speedway GM Roger Slack was "reportedly offered a position to work on the planned Formula One race in New Jersey, but turned it down to come to Eldora instead." Stewart said, "I’m more than confident in Roger and our staff up there that they’ve got everything squared away and ready to go and prepared" (FOXSPORTS.com, 7/22).