The second annual 1-800 CarCash MudSummer Classic was a Kyle Busch Motorsports show from practice to time trials to qualifying to the checkered flag. Erik Jones, who had never raced on dirt prior to Wednesday night at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, was fastest in practice, won the pole, led his heat race wire-to-wire and led the first 24 laps of the race, but when problems hit the No. 51 ToyotaCare Toyota Tundra, his KBM teammate Darrell Wallace Jr. picked up the pieces and dominated the remainder of the race, winning the third Camping World Truck Series race of his career and second of the season.
After leading the first 24 laps of the event, Jones cut a tire on Lap 25, spinning and bringing out the first caution of the race. He worked back through the field, but an encounter with the wall caused suspension damage; after repairs, Jones’ Tundra returned to the track six laps down, finishing 29th.
"We had a fast ToyotaCare Tundra from the start - it was cool to sit on the pole here - just wish we wouldn't have cut that tire," said Jones on the KBM website. "I think we could've ran up front all night and been battling for the win at the end. Once we got back in traffic, it's hard to pass and we couldn't make it up. We ended up making contact with the wall and breaking something in the suspension. It's disappointing when you have such a fast truck and things don't play out. We're ready to head to Pocono - I know we'll have a fast Tundra there."
Wallace Jr. started the No. 54 ToyotaCare Tundra from the sixth position, working his way up to third by the time the caution flew for Jones. Wallace Jr. took the lead for the first time on Lap 48, leading the remaining laps of Segment One (60 laps) as well as all of Segment Two (50 laps). In Segment Three (40 laps), Wallace Jr. had to battle Kyle Larson, who took the lead on Lap 127 and hit the wall as he completed the pass. The caution waved for a separate incident on that same lap, and Wallace Jr. was able to retake the lead for good on the restart on Lap 132, although Larson put up a spirited fight with a damaged truck until two laps to go.
“This is awesome. I am still trying to figure out how this happened,” said Wallace Jr. post-race. “All day I was like ‘I don’t know what I am doing.’ This year was a little different for us. We went and tested a few weeks ago and this time we knew what to test for. We weren’t that sideways last year, so I was able to practice that during the test. We just got better throughout the day. I said from the start of the race our Toyota Tundra was really good and it showed. We were able to start sixth, get out to the lead fairly quick and control our own destiny. So proud to work with my guys, these guys never give up no matter what race we go to - road course, dirt, Martinsville, one of our best tracks, or Gateway, a track we’d never been to - and they always want to win. Excited to go to Pocono Raceway, but very cool to be here at Eldora Speedway and to get the golden shovel and iconic trophy with such a great fan base.”
Ron Hornaday Jr. was runner-up to Wallace Jr., followed across the finish line by Ryan Blaney, Ken Schrader and Ty Dillon.
The Camping World Truck Series gets back on track on Saturday, August 2nd at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania, with Jones and Wallace Jr. back behind the wheels of their Toyota Tundras. Keep up with the action at www.kylebuschmotorsports.com.
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