The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Eldora Dirt Derby took place last Thursday night. It was the 15th race of the season for the truckers with only two races until the Playoffs begin at Bristol. Many drivers needed a good points day or a win to solidify themselves in the championship hunt. While it was a fun event, for the most part, some fans were not happy with how the race went down but they were happy with the outcome.
With that said, here are this week’s Four Takeaways From The Dirt Derby
- Friesen finally gets win – A favorite among the dirt racing fans, the Canadian finally took the checkered flag last Thursday night. It was a popular win for Friesen and his fans who waited so long to get into victory lane. Something to note, during the post-race press conference, team owner Chris Larsen stated, “We started this out as something on the side, something else to do for fun.” Now they are winners and championship contenders in the Truck Series. It really is amazing to see how far Friesen and his No. 52 Halmar Racing team has come in the past four years since his first race at Eldora in 2016.
- Too many cautions laps – This was certainly the talk of the night on Social Media among race fans and racers. There were way too many caution laps wasted especially late in the race. They could have gone back to racing with seven to go but didn’t resume until two to go. At the track, you could hear the fans voicing their opinion as it came across TV. To put it into perspective, there were 68 laps ran under caution. That’s 45% run under yellow with an average green flag run of 6.3 laps. I hope we never see this again, as it is one of the biggest races of the season in the Truck Series aside from Daytona, Talladega, Bristol and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
- Not an exciting race – Speaking of Eldora, it really wasn’t that exciting compared to years past. While there is nothing wrong with Chase Briscoe winning both stages and leading 93 laps after starting on the pole, for some fans, it lacked some of the intensity that we usually see. There was only one lead change throughout the race and that came under caution, when Briscoe made a pit stop and Friesen stayed out. It was all about track position and it seemed like it was tough to pass and the second groove never came in.
- Heated Tempers – You know that the Playoffs are on the horizon when tempers flare after the race is over. Ben Rhodes and Tyler Dippel had an altercation in the garage area due to on-track activity. The action has certainly been heating up over the past few weeks as drivers are trying to make the Playoffs and fight for a championship. It will definitely be interesting in the weeks to come, especially when the Playoffs began at Bristol.