The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway never disappoints. It was the 13th race of the season and with three races to go until the Playoffs begin, some drivers are on the bubble and other drivers are locked in.
Here are four takeaways from the sixth annual Eldora Dirt Derby.
- Grant Enfinger Comes Up Short – At Eldora, you wouldn’t think of Enfinger as a dirt racer but he did have some prior dirt experience racing in ARCA at tracks such as Illinois State Fairgrounds and Duquoin where he had some success. Throughout the night, he was quietly racing inside the top-10. Enfinger started 10th and finished seventh and second in both stages, respectively. After some pit strategy late in the race and late race cautions, Enfinger found himself up front with eventual race winner Chase Briscoe. Both of them battled side-by-side in the overtime finish until he fell .038 seconds short of getting his second win and locking himself into the Playoffs.
- Noah Gragson and Johnny Sauter Have Forgettable Night – While Gragson finished sixth Wednesday night at Eldora, it didn’t come easy and he had his challenges early in the night. Gragson was put in the last chance qualifier and qualified 27th. At the end of Stage 1, he worked his way up to 18th. He continued to have his challenges as he restarted 25th in the second stage. Gragson would only end up 23rd in Stage 2. The No. 18 Safelite driver benefited from late cautions and various pit strategy and found himself finishing sixth. Nonetheless, Gragson is looking to put Eldora behind him and looking ahead to Pocono. Like Gragson, Sauter was also in the last chance qualifier. He was locked in, regardless, as he could have used a champion’s provisional. Sauter finished fourth in the last chance qualifier, giving him a 29th place starting spot. His night didn’t get better as Sauter was the first caution of the night at Lap 11. Sauter continued to struggle throughout the night not placing in the top 10 in either stage. At the end of the night, Sauter was glad to be done with Eldora as he finished 16th.
- Logan Seavey Shines At Eldora – Seavey, a dirt track midget star, had a career night at the dirt track in Rossburg, Ohio. He made his Truck Series debut driving the famed No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Tundra for Kyle Busch. Seavey handled the pressure well as he started on the pole for the second heat race. He led seven laps until he was passed by his KBM teammate Todd Gilliland in the final laps of the heat race. By finishing second, Seavey found himself starting seventh for his first ever Truck Series race. His night continued to shine as he took the lead for the first time on Lap 92 and held on for 53 laps, as a late race caution cut Seavey’s three second lead. More cautions continued to fall and with that, it hurt his track position as other drivers were on fresher tires. Ultimately, Seavey finished eighth. If it weren’t for the late race cautions, we all could be talking about a different winner. Nonetheless, Seavey caught some eyes and attention from race fans and owners. It will be interesting to see if he’ll get anymore Truck Series starts in the future.
- Three Races Left Until The Playoffs Begin – Now that one of the wildcards is over for the series, there are three races left until the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs begin at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The Playoff field is pretty much set in stone as five drivers have a win and are locked in. These drivers are Sauter, Brett Moffitt, Gragson, Justin Haley, and Ben Rhodes. As the series heads to Pocono this weekend, the action will start to heat up on the track as three drivers sit on the bubble of not making it. These are Matt Crafton, Stewart Friesen and Grant Enfinger. These three drivers will have three more chances to lock themselves in on wins. If not, barring any more issues or troubles they have, they could lock themselves in on points if there aren’t any new winners until the Playoffs begin.