Home, Sweet Home for ThorSport Racing
Sandusky, Ohio, isn’t the first city that comes to mind when you think of powerhouse NASCAR teams. But it’s home to the longest-tenured NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team at 23 seasons and counting.
ThorSport Racing will field five entries in Wednesday’s Eldora Dirt Derby with two-time series champ Matt Crafton, Kentucky race winner Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger, Sunoco Rookie Myatt Snider and Chase Briscoe in his return to the series.
Crafton is the defending race winner – but the 2017 Eldora win was also his last win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. So far this year, he’s put together four top-five efforts including a third-place finish last weekend in Kentucky. He hopes to ride that momentum into Eldora, where he’s never finished outside the top 10.
Last week’s victor Ben Rhodes provided both Ford and ThorSport with their first checkered flags of the season. Wednesday marks Rhodes’ third visit to Eldora, where he struggled with a 23rd-place finish in his first outing and was relegated to a 30th-place finish last year after a crash.
Briscoe hasn’t been in a truck since the closure of Brad Keselowski Racing following the 2017 season, but he left on a high note, winning the season finale in Miami. He’s a proven dirt racer who knows this week could give him the chance to shine, saying, “Growing up racing dirt and being a dirt guy, Eldora is our Daytona. Any time you get to run at Eldora, it’s special.”
Enfinger’s lone race at Eldora in the Truck Series was last year when he placed fourth. Snider is making his maiden voyage to the dirt track.
Newman Will Hit the Dirt Track for Jordan Anderson Racing
Jordan Anderson Racing announced last week that Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Newman will pilot the team’s No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado at the half-mile Eldora Speedway.
Anderson, who calls Newman his hero, is excited for Newman to run the race in a truck he owns in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
They made the announcement during the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course test and unveiled the paint scheme that Newman will run in the Dirt Derby. Newman will be sponsored by VRX Simulators.
Anderson said, “For Ryan to be a part of this, it not only brings his wealth of knowledge to the table but his experience, his credibility and everything he has done in this sport. On top of that, he’s the guy that I looked up to as a kid… It’s cool to have things come full circle for a guy that I looked up to and really tried to emulate my racing career after his where I went to college and did everything.”
This will be Newman’s seventh career Truck Series start and second at Eldora. Newman finished third in the inaugural race in 2013.
Newman said, “It’s going back home. It’s going back dirt racing. I enjoy all of that. I have a lot of friends and family up in that area. But ultimately, it’s just a good experience. It’s a lot of fun. I’m glad NASCAR has put a truck race on the dirt.”
Newman has not finished outside of the top five in a truck race. He also won in his series debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2008.
Moffitt’s Sponsorship Struggle Not A Worry This Week
This season has been one for the books for Brett Moffitt and the No. 16 Hattori Racing team. The team, who has struggled to find sponsorship throughout the weeks, has three wins this season and sits in third place in the points standings.
Even better news came last week when iRacing, the leader in online sim racing, joined forces with the team to sponsor Moffitt’s Toyota Tundra at Eldora Speedway on July 18. As part of iRacing’s 10th anniversary, the partnership with Hattori Racing and Moffitt keeps the team in contention for the 2018 championship and Moffitt couldn’t be more thrilled.
“To have this support from iRacing to step up and partner with this race team is really special. I have some dirt experience running modifieds back in Iowa but have never run a truck on dirt, so racing at Eldora on iRacing is definitely going to be a benefit. It’s pretty cool to be part of iRacing’s 10-year anniversary. I was just a teenager when iRacing first went live to the public and I joined right away. I raced online a ton for a few years and really enjoyed the racing and community aspects of iRacing. It will be fun to get back in it again with the fans to see how far they have come and to experience running the Toyota Tundra at Eldora before we race there later this month,” Moffitt said in an interview.
Eldora Speedway Quick Facts
As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Rossburg, Ohio for the Eldora Dirt Derby on Wednesday, July 18 (TUNE IN INFO), here are some interesting facts about the speedway.
Track Length: .500-Mile
Track Surface: Clay
Track Configuration: Oval
Banking: Turns – 24 degrees; Straights – 8 degrees
Grandstand Seating Capacity: 17,000+
Qualifying Record: Ken Schrader, Toyota; 91.329 mph (19.709 sec.); July 24, 2013
Race Record: Austin Dillon, Chevrolet; 67.401 mph (01:08:06); July 24, 2013
Race Winners: 5
Pole Winners: 5
Winning Truck Owners: 4
Most Top Fives: 2 – Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick
Most Top 10s: 5 – Matt Crafton
Most Lead Changes: 9 (7/22/15)
Fewest Lead Changes: 3 (7/20/16)
Most Leaders: 5 (7/23/14)
Fewest Leaders: 2 (7/20/16)
Most Cautions: 13 (7/22/15)
Fewest Cautions: 6 (7/24/13)
Most on the Lead Lap: 24 (7/23/14)
Fewest on the Lead Lap: 15, twice (most recently, 7/19/17)
Most Wins By a Manufacturer: 3 (Toyota)
Closest Margin of Victory: .0761 seconds (7/22/15)
Greatest Margin of Victory: 5.489 seconds (7/23/14)