The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Eldora Speedway tonight with a lineup full of dirt racing superstars who are now racing full-time in the series like Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell and Stewart Friesen. As road course racing brings on road ringers, this race brings in dirt ringers. Drivers like two-time Chili Bowl winner Rico Abreu, Ken Schrader, Max Johnston, Bobby Pierce and J.R. Heffner, along with a few others all entered in this year’s edition of the Aspen Dental Dirt Derby.
The entry list full of ringers made me think of a few dirt drivers I’d like to see race in the Aspen Dental Dirt Derby.
The name Dale McDowell has became a staple in dirt racing. The Chickamauga, GA native has 19 starts in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards with all those starts coming at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Michigan International Speedway and Daytona International Speedway. He has a best finish of second coming at Michigan in 1991.
Despite not making a start in ARCA since 1993, McDowell is still showing his hand behind the wheel of a Dirt Late Model most recently sweeping a trio of specials in Georgia and Tennessee. He’s also an active owner of Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, GA, just on the Tennessee/Georgia border. He’s had success at Eldora in the past also winning the 2005 World 100 and 2014 Dirt Late Model Dream.
This is one dirt driver who has the possibility to take the same path drivers like Bell, Briscoe and the other drivers who have gone from dirt to Daytona in real life. Parkhurst is just 16 years old, but is already a development driver for Richard Childress Racing. She has been going through the record books one win at a time in a career that started in 2013.
In her rookie season, Parkhurst finished 8th in final standings at Millbridge Speedway in Salisbury, NC. Her seven-race season was highlighted by two second-place finishes and two third-place finishes along with four heat race victories. Parkhurst has had much success since that rookie season and looks to continue that success as she gets older.
Cruz Skinner is an Alabama dirt phenom at just 15 years old and has a lot of victories to his name. Skinner has been making his name known around the South at tracks like Talladega Short Track, Boyd’s Speedway, Moulton Raceway Park, along with many other tracks.
Skinner has had much success on big stages in series like the Schaeffer’s Southern Nationals Series and the NeSmith National Late Model Series. He’s had strong runs in the Ice Bowl at the Talladega Short Track, across the street from the Talladega Superspeedway. On top of spotlight races, Skinner has over 350 victories on dirt, which is something that definitely can translate into success in the Aspen Dental Dirt Derby. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Skinner is racing a Truck around Eldora on a Wednesday night in July sometime in the future.
Josh Richards last raced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series back in 2012 driving for Richie Wauters at Martinsville Speedway. Richards was at one time considered a rising star by Kyle Busch, but before he could reach his full potential, he was out of a ride. He has eight starts behind the wheel of a trucks owned by Kyle Busch and Billy Ballew with his best finish coming at Talladega in 2011 where he finished 13th.
Since then, Richards has been driving late models, and has been very successful at it. He currently leads Scott Bloomquist by 220 points in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. He has visited victory lane six times this season in the series and looks to add more as the races begin to tick away. Richards would be a perfect fit as a dirt ringer in this race.
Davenport has had much success behind the wheel of a Late-Model over the years and most recently he’s been successful in both the Schaeffer’s Southern Nationals Series and the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. Davenport holds four victories in the Southern Nationals Bonus Series just one victory off of Chris Madden.
The 2015 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion has been racing dirt since 1991. Like McDowell, Davenport has had success at Eldora winning the ‘Dirt Late Model Dream’ in 2015, 2014 UMP Twin 25 and 2014 World 100. Davenport would capitalize on the spotlight in the Aspen Dental Dirt Derby as he has done his whole career.