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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup

Gordon, Bowyer and Earnhardt Jr. Liked What They Saw

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The NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule should include at least one dirt track.

That was the general consensus on Friday afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when several drivers were polled about their reactions to the Mudsummer Classic Truck Series event that was contested on Wednesday at Eldora Speedway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was on a flight to New York during that race but was so excited to watch it that he set his DVR to record it and avoided spoilers throughout the evening. Even though his recorder stopped after the second segment, Earnhardt says he enjoyed what he saw and that NASCAR put on an ‘extraordinary’ event.

Now that the first dirt NASCAR race since 1970 went off without incident, Earnhardt is hopeful that this could lead to a Sprint Cup race on dirt too.

“I really enjoyed what I saw,” Earnhardt said. “I think it would be fun to go run there if they ever did an exhibition or something. What I saw was exciting and something that I hope to see more of. ”

Earnhardt added that he’s not sure how the heavier Sprint Cup or Nationwide cars would fare on dirt but that NASCAR should have multiple dirt events spread across the entire season schedule.

“Eldora was the perfect place to test this out and obviously, it seems to be something that the fans really enjoyed,” Earnhardt added.

Entertaining the fans was the most important element to Wednesday night according to Clint Bowyer, who called the race from the Hollywood Hotel TV booth for Speed on Wednesday night. He says that NASCAR was built on catering to fan demand and right now they’re calling for more clay.

Fans who attended the event live were shouting “we want Cup cars,” at NASCAR officials after the trophy presentation and demand has only increased over the past few days.

“It’s all about the fans and what they want,” Bowyer said. “Whatever it takes. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter as long as they’re happy and allowing me to have a place to make a living and have a lot of fun while doing it.”

Jeff Gordon has competed in the Prelude to the Dream Eldora Late Model event on numerous occasions but had mixed feelings about the prospects of a Cup race on clay. But the four-time Series champion did say that he enjoyed watching it and that NASCAR should at least consider running a Cup race on dirt.

“I thought it was way cool,” Gordon said. “I’ve had people that are huge NASCAR fans — and people that aren’t big NASCAR fans at all — tell me that they watched it and were blown away. It made me think, ‘why not have more races on dirt?’

Gordon concluded that he didn’t think NASCAR would host a Cup dirt race while he was still driving but that the event would have his vote.

“I think it would be very cool to do.”

You and everyone once else, it seems.

Should NASCAR consider hosting a Sprint Cup event on dirt? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page or on Twitter at @MattWeaverSBN and @PopularSpeed.

Matt Weaver

Matt Weaver is the Executive Editor of POPULAR SPEED. He has covered NASCAR since 2011 and full-time since 2013. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He has been published all across the country and routinely makes radio appearances on Sirius XM Satellite radio and NBC Sports Radio Network.

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