More than two dozen drivers will be looking to get real dirty in order to clean up at the inaugural "Mudsummer Classic" at the Tony Stewart-owned Eldora Speedway in Rossville, Ohio on July 24.
NASCAR released the format for the Camping World Truck Series event on Tuesday morning, a format that goes deep into NASCAR's roots in terms of qualifying and racing in the first NASCAR national series race of any kind to be held on dirt in more than four decades.
NASCAR's last national touring series event held on dirt was on Sept. 30, 1970 in Raleigh, N.C., when Richard Petty won the Home State 200 at the one-mile State Fairgrounds Speedway.
"NASCAR and Eldora Speedway have collectively worked together to come up with a format that embraces the history of dirt track racing while also ensuring that full-time competitors have an opportunity to be a part of this special event,” Chad Little, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series director, said in the official news release about the event's format. “This will also add an exciting element for the fans and we look forward to putting on a great show at this unique venue."
To start off, there will be the traditional two-lap qualifying effort for what is expected to be more than 40 entrants for the highly anticipated event. When the final field is set for the main event, there will be 30 trucks and drivers vying for the win.
But it's what's in between that will really make things interesting.
"The race will feature a traditional two-lap qualifying session, five qualifying races, one last-chance race and a champion’s provisional to determine the 30-truck starting field. The top 20 in owners’ points entering the race event will have a guaranteed starting position," NASCAR's release said.
(Pay close attention, this can be a bit confusing at first read.)
From the official NASCAR release:
Two-lap qualifying determines starting position for the qualifying races
· Five qualifying races
· Eight laps each; only green flag laps count
· Five trucks transfer from each qualifying race
· Lineup for the qualifying races will be based on qualifying speeds with four locked-in trucks (trucks in the top 20)
· The top-five trucks in qualifying will start on the pole for their respective qualifying race
· Highest finishing non-locked-in truck will transfer to race from each qualifying race
· At the completion of the qualifying races, 25 trucks will have earned spots into the feature.
Last Chance Race
· 15 laps; only green flag laps count
· The top-four finishers will transfer to the feature and start in positions 26-29
· The lineup will be based on the finish from the qualifying races
· Starting position No. 30 will go to the most recent past series champion who has not already qualified. If the 30th starting position is not filled by an eligible champion, it will be assigned to the next highest finishing truck in the Last Chance Race.
Main Event Format
· The race length and format are also new for the series. The race will be 150 laps divided into three segments. The segments will be 60, 50 and 40 laps.
· There will be pit stops between each segment, with teams having the opportunity to change tires and work on their trucks.
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