From asphalt to dirt, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes a transition to the high-banked clay oval of Eldora Speedway on Wednesday for the second consecutive season. The only dirt track on the schedule, Eldora, in Rossburg, Ohio, will challenge even the most seasoned of veterans as it remains unique to the truck series among national series schedules.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon and NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Tyler Reddick are scheduled to compete.
In 2012, Reddick became the youngest driver to start in the World 100. At 16 years old, he was one of 123 entries in the annual dirt Late Model event and started on the outside pole, leading the first three laps. Although Reddick now focuses primarily on trucks, he recently made his first 2014 dirt Late Model start on July 4, and then won his second start the following day at Highland Speedway in Illinois.
Larson has frequented Eldora on numerous occasions. In his first visit in September 2011, he became the second driver to sweep all three USAC features in the 4-Crown Nationals, finding Victory Lane in the National Midget, Sprint Car and Silver Crown Series events.. Since then, Larson created his own sprint car team, Larson Marks Racing, in 2014 and experienced his first win as an owner when driver Shane Stewart won the World of Outlaws STP Series at Eldora earlier this year.
Dillon returns to Eldora as the defending race champion. In 2013, Dillon became the first driver in 43 years to win a NASCAR national series event on dirt. Richard Petty was the last to accomplish the feat in September 1970 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.
In the inaugural event, Dillon led a race-high 64 laps on his way to Victory Lane. He returns to the track with limited seat time in the truck series, but that has not stopped him in the past. After winning the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, Dillon has made six series starts, posting five top-10 finishes. In three starts this season, he has yet to finish outside the top 10.
Eldora has been good to Larson, Dillon and Reddick in the past and their familiarity of the track may prove to be the key to success.
* Revving up tax break attack: Racetrack owners are expanding their efforts to protect the "NASCAR tax break" from critics who portray it as pure corporate pork. The provision, which allows motor sports tracks to use a shorter depreciation schedule, is among the more than 50 tax preferences that expired at the end of 2013 after Congress failed to pass a so-called "extenders" bill,
Fiscal watchdogs say the motor sports tax break, enacted in 2004, is the kind of narrow giveaway that gives the U.S. tax code a bad name, and lump it in with other extenders provisions.
With that in mind, motor sports officials have accelerated their own lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill to battle back against a shorthand - "NASCAR tax break" - they say is misleading. John Saunders, the president of the International Speedway Corporation (ISC), acknowledged that motor sports advocates have a tough fight against "a sexy sound bite."
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