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Trucks to make inaugural trips to Eldora

January 03, 2013, Alan Cavanna,

NASCAR plans return to racing roots on dirt track

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will make history in 2013 -- in more ways than one. The series will have a race on the dirt of Eldora Speedway and make its first international trip to Canada.

The race at Eldora will mark the first time a major NASCAR series has raced on dirt since 1970.

“It's really a dream come true,” said Tony Stewart, owner of the speedway and three-time Sprint Cup champion. “To imagine that 42 years later we're going to be taking a national NASCAR series back to a dirt track is a huge honor for us.”

"It's really a dream come true."

-- Tony Stewart, Eldora Speedway owner

Eldora will likely be the most anticipated stop on the 22-race schedule that kicks off at Daytona on February 22.

Stewart said talk about bringing the series to the Rossburg, Ohio, track started more than a year ago.

Last summer, both Stewart and former Truck Series champion Austin Dillon participated in the first test at the track.

“Austin was actually the first guy on the track in a truck,” Stewart said. “He kept waiting on me to go out.  I said, ‘I would like you to go out because that's something down in the history books.’ ”

The Eldora race will run at night on Wednesday, July 24.

In September, the series will cross the border into Ontario, Canada. The race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park will mark the first road-course race for the trucks since 2000. 

NASCAR officials said it was important to maintain a presence in the country after the Nationwide Series dropped a race in Canada from its schedule.

“What we feel like this enables us to do is give us that taste as drivers evolve up to the Truck Series,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “It gives them the ability to race not only on ovals, but road courses that they'll see at the Sprint Cup level.”

The Camping World Trucks Series will return to Rockingham Speedway for a second time in April.

The season concludes in November at Homestead.