Kyle Larson came from a lap down to win Wednesday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway. Larson drove the No. 24 DC Solar GMS Motorsports Silverado to his first victory in three tries in the annual summer visit to the historic dirt track. However, it was not smooth sailing to the checkered flag for Larson who was penalized for intentionally causing a caution on lap fifty-two when he spun after a tire went down. He went a lap down but was able to make it up and charged into the lead with thirty-two laps to go. Last year’s winner Christopher Bell made a late charge but made contact with the wall in the closing laps and would take the checkered flag in second. Rico Abreu, who also experienced problems earlier in the race, charged back to finish third. Jake Griffin and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top-five. Dirt late model driver Bobby Pierce looked as if he might pull off the upset, leading one hundred and two of the one hundred and fifty lap race, but experienced clutch and transmission problems on the final restart, eventually spinning out trying to pass Larson with only a few laps to go. Pierce would end the night a disappointing twenty-fifth. Pierce, Reddick, Ken Schrader, JR Heffner and Ben Rhodes won preliminary qualifying races while Cody Coughlin and Abreu made their way into the feature by finishing first and second in the last chance race in a night that was filled with action from start to finish.
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A fire broke out early last Monday morning damaging about forty percent of the ThorSport Racing Shop in Sandusky, Ohio. The shop houses four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams including two-time series champion and current series point leader Matt Crafton, Cameron Hayley, Rico Abreu, and Ben Rhodes.
According to ThorSport Racing Tea Manager David Pepper, the portion of the building destroyed by the fire housed the company’s car fabrication shop, however the entire 100,000 square foot facility is currently unusable. For all that was lost, some items were rescued.
Firemen helped push race trucks out, allowing the team to salvage 15 of the 18 race trucks in its fleet, and assisted team members getting the haulers out of the building so the teams would be able to compete this past weekend at Iowa Speedway. Competitors and local Sandusky residents have offered assistance, everything from food for the teams, parts and pieces for the trucks and even bringing equipment to the tracks for the team to use.
Despite preparing their race trucks in a nearby Kroger grocery store parking lot in the shadow of the damaged race shop, the team placed three trucks in the top ten at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night and all four trucks in the top twenty.
Despite being currently homeless, the team is focusing on continuing to race the entire schedule, including the upcoming race at Gateway Motorsports Park on Saturday.
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