NASCAR started out on short tracks in the south and on the sands of Daytona Beach. For twenty years there were dirt tracks on the schedule until in 1970 the “modern era” began, which was driven by the then new title sponsor Winston.
Over the next 42 years, less and less short tracks were on the schedule as the top series of NASCAR grew and the tracks they raced on grew right along with them.
Places like North Wilkesboro Speedway, Greenville-Pickens Speedway and Myrtle Beach Speedway were dropped from the schedule. Some say (including me) that it was just a travesty.
In 1995 NASCAR started a new racing series that involved trucks. The Craftsman Truck Series was born racing primarily on short tracks all over the nation. Short tracks like Mesa Marin Speedway, Tucson Raceway Park and Louisville Speedway made up most of the schedule, with a couple of road courses and one mile tracks making up the rest of the twenty-race schedule.
Fast forward to 2012 and the schedule only had five short track races at three different short tracks left on the schedule. Rockingham Speedway was the one cool new addition to the schedule this year, but the series had moved on to bigger tracks just like the Sprint Cup Series.
In 2013 NASCAR is trying to start getting back to the basics of where they came from. For the first time in 43 years, a NASCAR National Touring Series will be run on a dirt track.
Eldora Speedway in Ohio owned by Tony Stewart; will host the Camping World Truck Series. Both Stewart and Austin Dillon recently tested trucks at the speedway, and today it was officially announced that Eldora had been added to the 2013 schedule.
This writer is extremely excited by this, as the true roots of racing are being returned to. July 24th, 2013 may prove to be a great night for NASCAR as it returns to its roots. Another new addition to the schedule is Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Ontario, Canada. This marks the first road course for the trucks since 2000. Also in the rumor mill are two other short tracks being added to the schedule in the future.
Both of these tracks used to be NASCAR staples, the tracks being Greenville-Pickens and Myrtle Beach. Heat races have also been rumored to be getting a look at to mark a true return to racings roots. With these developments, things may get even more exciting for the national touring series.
Earlier this year, Lancaster Speedway in Lancaster, South Carolina hosted a $20,000 to win dirt Late Model race that was one of the most exciting of the year for me. The starting field, while stout talent wise, was a little thin car wise. The race will see a second edition as the “Carolina Crown” will return even bigger with a $30,000 first place prize.
As the biggest paying dirt Late Model race in the south, this should become a great event. The promoter has even added a new twist with the Fast Dash for the top six heat race finishers. The event is also being shortened from 75 laps to 60, so the action should be even more furious than this year’s edition.
The 2013 Carolina Crown is scheduled for March 28th-30th. This writer is definitely planning on being in Lancaster again next year for this event.
That will be it from me this week, until next time, keep the shiny side up!
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