Monday, November 12, 2012

NASCAR Truck Series headed to dirt

   The NASCAR Truck Series will race next season on the half-mile dirt track at Eldora Speedway near Rossburg, Ohio, multiple sources confirmed to The Observer and 

   An official announcement of the move could come any time.

   The race is set for the Wednesday before the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and will feature four heat races and a 100-lap main event, sources said.

   The race would be the first on dirt for any of NASCAR’s three national series – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Trucks - in its "modern era."

   The track, owned by Cup driver Tony Stewart, does not have energy-absorbing SAFER barriers installed and no permanent medical facility on property.

   Sources said NASCAR is expected to waive its policy – adapted beginning in 2005 – that SAFER barriers be installed at all oval tracks hosting its three national series. Why NASCAR is willing to make an exception in this case is unclear.

   Eldora Speedway, built in 1954 by Earl Baltes, has a permanent seating capacity of approximately 20,000. Stewart has hosted a charity race featuring many NASCAR drivers at the track since 2005.

Who needs to do what to win a NASCAR title

   Here are the clinching scenarios for NASCAR's three national series - Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks:

   -Brad Keselowski leads five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson by 20 points going into Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Keselowski clinches his first Cup championship with a finish of 15th or better; or 16th and at least one lap led; or 17th and the most laps led, even if Johnson wins and leads the most laps. All other drivers have been eliminated from championship consideration.

   -Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who leads by 20 points over second-place Elliott Sadler, will clinch the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship with a finish of 16th or better; or 17th or better with at least one lap led; or 18th or better with most laps led at Homestead. In the owners championship battle, the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota guarantees a clinch of the title with a finish of 28th or better; or 29th or better with at least one lap led; or 30th or better with the most laps led. The No. 18 currently leads the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford by 33 points.
   -James Buescher has an 11-point lead over Timothy Peters heading into the Camping World Truck Series finale. Buescher guarantees himself his first championship with a finish of seventh or better with no laps led; or eighth or better with one lap led; or ninth or better with the most laps led.