NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson will return to the Camping World Truck Series, and to the dirt, when the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver competes for GMS Racing in next week's stop at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) July 14, 2016
The Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby is scheduled for Wednesday, July 20th (9 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM).
It will be just the second Truck Series start this year for Larson, 23, and his 12th overall in the series. He finished fourth with the GMS team earlier this season at Martinsville Speedway.
Larson has two previous Truck starts at Eldora, finishing second in 2013 and 26th the following year. The well-known dirt track was also the site of a record-equaling run by the Elk Grove, California, native. In 2011, Larson became only the second driver to win all three races on the same night in the Four Crown Nationals.
"We ran three different types of cars there in one night -- Midget, non-wing Sprint cars and Silver Crown," he said. "That was my first time at Eldora. I won a Midget race the next year there and then I've crashed really hard there a couple of times.
"It's a cool, historic race track with very prestigious races going on there. … If I could win a Truck race there it would be pretty special."
His 26th-place finish in '14 is misleading. The young driver was battling with eventual race winner Darrell Wallace Jr. in the closing laps when he continued to make hard contact with the wall, damaging his truck and taking him out of contention.
It likely played a role in his decision not to return to the event as a driver last season.
"I don't know; I honestly didn't have a ton of fun" he said of the '14 effort. "It was slick and slow. I guess I made it exciting to watch on TV, hitting the wall and stuff. … This year with Rico (Abreu) running and (Christopher) Bell being in it, and I thought there would be some more of those guys in it, I just thought it'd be fun to get back out and run the race again.
"I'm hoping it rains a lot before the race so the track can be wet and sticky and rough."
Larson said talks earlier in the year enabled him to land the Martinsville ride and that at the time the group had "a few other races that were options I could run. I chose Eldora as one of them.
"GMS is a really good team, they have really great trucks, great people there," he said, "and an awesome race shop."
DC Solar, which sponsors Chip Ganassi Racing driver Brennan Poole in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, will sponsor the Larson entry at Eldora. The company also sponsored Poole in last year's Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.