Austin Dillon wins first NASCAR truck race on dirt

Austin Dillon became the first-ever winner of a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on dirt Wednesday night when he claimed the victory in the Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

“It’s amazing,” Dillon said “I love this dirt racing; it’s so much fun. . . . “This is real racing, right here.”

Dillon started the race in the 19th position and took the lead from Kyle Larson on lap 89 of the 150-lap feature race and remained up front the rest of the way.

“We had the best truck, for sure,” Larson said. “I just got over-excited in lap traffic and got in the back of somebody and Austin got by.”

In the closing laps, Larson had to battle Ryan Newman for the second spot. In the end, Larson captured the runner-up position, and Newman took third, despite a brake issue late in the race.

“You really don’t need brakes here,” Newman said.

Ken Schrader started the race from the pole after turning in the fastest lap during traditional qualifying, becoming the oldest driver to win a NASCAR pole, and won the first of five heat, or qualifying, races to cement his top starting spot for the feature race.

Five eight-lap heat races determined the first 25 spots on the starting grid, with the final five of 30 starting positions determined by a 15-lap “last chance” race.

Schrader led the first 15 laps of the feature event before he was overtaken by Timothy Peters. Peters led until losing the top spot to Larson on lap 36.

The yellow flag waved twice in the final 11 laps, with the last caution coming out with two laps to go, resulting in a green-white-checker restart. Dillon was able to get out in front on both restarts, leaving Larson and Newman to duke it out for second.

“Just didn’t have a good short-run truck,” Newman said of his inability to move up two additional spots for the race win.

Joey Coulter finished fourth to be the highest-finishing series regular, and Brendan Gaughan rounded out the top-five.

— Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR

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Tags: Austin Dillon Eldora Speedway

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