For the first time ever, FOX Business Network will offer live coverage of Wednesday’s NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES race from Eldora Speedway, with pre-race coverage beginning at 9:00 PM ET. FOX Sports GO, now accessible to more than 95 million users in the U.S. through their participating pay-TV providers, also offers uninterrupted coverage from Eldora.
The race, originally scheduled for FS1, is the only dirt race of the season across NASCAR’s three national series (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series). Wednesday’s edition marks the fifth consecutive NCWTS race contested at Eldora Speedway, a half-mile clay oval in Rossburg, Ohio, owned by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.
Kevin Harvick, a former champion who currently drives the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford co-owned by Stewart, is a regular FOX Sports driver analyst. Harvick will help call the race on FOX Business Network alongside FOX Sports play-by-play announcer Vince Welch and analyst Michael Waltrip. Harvick appeared on Monday’s MORNINGS WITH MARIA on FOX Business Network with co-host Dagen McDowell to preview the race and to discuss his increased visibility in the FOX Sports television booth and a possible on-camera career post-racing. Harvick has qualified for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs and currently sits fourth in points.
McDowell: FOX Business is going to be broadcasting the Truck race on dirt. Please tell the viewers why they should be watching Wednesday night.
Harvick: “Wednesday night is a very unique event, just for the fact the national series hadn’t been on dirt in a very long time, but that’s really what built our sport, or was a part of building our sport into what it is today. To have the trucks go back to Eldora Speedway and race on dirt creates a very unique event. It’s a lot of fun to watch. You get a lot of dirt racers and a lot of the guys who have had to get better at dirt racing who didn’t have a lot of experience on the dirt who race trucks every week. It’s a great mix of dirt racers and every-week truck racers — and Kyle Larson and some of the Cup guys coming in to run as well.”
McDowell: Tony Stewart, as the owner of Eldora, is very dedicated to making sure that the track is in tip-top condition.
Harvick: “That’s really what Tony likes to do. He likes to sit on the tractor and make sure the race track is right. He’ll ride around, and if it doesn’t look right, he’ll plow it up, and the next thing you know, it won’t be as dusty and there’ll be a little moisture in the top of the race track or the bottom of the race track. Tony is very passionate about what he does with the race track, and that bleeds over into the racing. That’s really what has kept Eldora Speedway in the marquee dirt-racing spot.”
McDowell: Do you want to do TV full-time when you stop racing?
Harvick: “It is definitely something that I’d like to do, and FOX has allowed me to kind of dabble in sitting in a booth and doing different things in the studio. For me, it’s great because I can do my full-time job on Sunday racing the car, and on Saturdays (NASCAR XFINITY SERIES events) and sometimes Wednesday night at the dirt track, to sit up in the TV booth and get some experience while I’m actually still doing my real job.”
To watch the interview in its entirety, CLICK HERE
FOX Sports Race Producer Shares Challenges of Producing a Race on Dirt
NCWTS producer Mark Smith shared some thoughts on the evolution of the race at Eldora Speedway.
How has the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES race at Eldora Speedway evolved over the last five years from a production standpoint?
“We somewhat threw the kitchen sink at it in the first year with extra cameras, X-mo replay machines and more. Then we figured out that while it was one of our biggest races of the year, we still should treat it like every other race and not get away from what makes our broadcasts great – showing racing and not all the fancy bells and whistles.”
What is the biggest challenge of producing a race on dirt once a year versus on pavement the rest of the season?
“The biggest challenge for me personally is not getting too excited for this event. I come from a dirt racing background, as does my director, Roger Vincent, so I’d be lying if I said I didn’t circle this on the calendar every year.”
How is the race production itself different from a regular race?
“Race production is a bit different because there are qualifying races, a last-chance qualifying race and stage breaks. This year, stage breaks became the norm all three NASCAR national series, but we have been doing them at Eldora since the first Truck Series race there. The most important job we have comes during the qualifying races and the last-chance race — keeping viewers aware of who is in the race and who is not and why. This type of racing may not be self-explanatory to the weekly NASCAR viewer, but to the fans that attend their local short tracks each week, it is the norm, so we have to make sure everybody understands.”
Are any different cameras or equipment needed for a dirt race?
“This year we have added the ‘Visor Cam’ that FOX debuted at Sonoma Raceway in June with Danica Patrick. Chase Briscoe will wear that and help provide some great views as to what it’s like racing on the dirt. The biggest things viewers will see is how rough a ride it is on dirt and where he is looking while behind the wheel. And like last year, our resident dirt racer and FOX NASCAR analyst, Kenny Wallace, is back as part of our broadcast team.”