NASCAR was slinging mud this week, but in a good way.
The Camping World Truck Series held the second annual 1-800 CarCash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio to the delight of the capacity crowd and fans watching on television. In one of the most exciting races of the season – just as it was last year – Darrell Wallace, Jr survived an amazing onslaught from Kyle Larson to win the race. Larson ended up finishing 26th after hitting the wall on what he estimated to be at least 70 times. His car finally couldn’t hold on anymore as he fell back at the end.
The reason that NASCAR even races at Eldora in the first place is because it is now owned by Tony Stewart, who purchased it and made renovations to upgrade the facility. And Stewart is getting exactly what he wanted from the Camping World Truck Series event.
— Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) July 24, 2014
Now it is time to take it a step further. Stewart and his people need to find a way to convince the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to go to Eldora and race on a weeknight. Stewart would love nothing more than for this to happen, as he told reporters on Wednesday before the truck race.
They could easily make this work for the Sprint Cup Series in the future – the week before the truck race was the Sprint Cup Series’ week off this season. They could have done a Wednesday or Thursday night race at Eldora. But instead of making this a points race like they do in the Camping World Truck Series, they could make this a voluntary exhibition race. That way, drivers who would rather not participate and might want a week off could do so without any penalty.
Making it an exhibition would also allow for some of the best racing, as the drivers wouldn’t be afraid to lay it all on the line, just like they do in the All-Star Race each year in Charlotte. Only this time, they would be letting it all fly on the dirt, with cars going sideways and bouncing off each other and the walls. It would be a chance for these guys to still race during an off week, but have fun at the same time. After all, these guys just love being behind the wheel of the car.
Think about the possibilities with heat races among the top drivers in the sport. As fun as the qualifying races are for the Daytona 500 and the All-Star Sprint Showdown is, these would be exponentially more exciting to watch. And that would be even before the feature race, where things could get really interesting.
We all know that there are great drivers in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. But we also know those drivers have egos. Imagine a dirt short track race coming down to a shootout between the likes of Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson. Now imagine that this race means nothing in the standings, so wrecking is really no big deal. We could be in for the best racing we have seen in years, as cars would be bumping and banging not only with each other, but with the walls.
Not only would the speedway be packed with fans, but people would be make it a point to be watching on television as if this was the Daytona 500. It would instantly move up to one of the favorite races of the year for fans and drivers alike.
I know Stewart would love to bring the Sprint Cup Series to Eldora at some point, so I just hope this seed gets planted the way he was intending.