When NASCAR published their schedules for the 2021 season, fans were noticeably shocked that Eldora Speedway was removed from the Gander Outdoor Truck Series schedule. Of course NASCAR made up for it by scheduling a Cup Series dirt race at Bristol in the spring, but what was the deal with Eldora being scrapped?
NASCAR fans will also get the joy of seeing the Truck Series race on the dirt at both Bristol Motor Speedway and Knoxville Raceway in 2021. It's sad that it had to come at the cost of Eldora Speedway though.
Why was Eldora Speedway dropped?
While some believe the move had to do with NASCAR not being happy with Tony Stewart creating the Superstar Driver Experience series, it seems like that's not the truth at all. In fact, according to Smoke himself, it was his decision to not renew his tracks Truck Series date at Eldora Speedway.
“I know there has been a lot of misconceptions that NASCAR took us off the [Truck Series] schedule, that’s now how this happened," Stewart said in an interview with Tobychristy.com. "NASCAR didn’t take us off the schedule, we just didn’t renew our contract. We have our list of reasons for it, we’ve got some big things that we are trying to do with [Eldora Speedway] and we felt that we needed to go in a different direction.”
Speaking of that different direction, it almost feels like Stewart didn't renew his date with NASCAR in order to separate himself from the organization. That way, he could focus on SDE and turn Eldora into his crown jewel race of the new series. If nothing else, that's a huge power play for Stewart, and could mean immediate success for the new organization.
In the end, the success of his new series will ultimately depend on how many NASCAR fans are salty enough to jump ship, but securing Eldora for himself is a brilliant start. It is also a huge loss for NASCAR and the Truck Series, which could have the series reeling for years to come.Published 13 Jan 2021, 12:24 IST