ROSSBURG — Christopher Bell won the Mud Summer Classic on Wednesday night at Eldora Speedway in his third career start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
The 20-year-old Norman, Okla., dirt racer held off 18-year-old Bobby Pierce by 0.761 seconds in a green-white-checker finish in NASCAR’s lone dirt race in its top three series.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Bell said. “If you would have told me two years ago that my first win at Eldora was going to be in a truck, I’d have told you you were crazy.”
Bell fended off Pierce in a series of late restarts in the caution-filled race, running the outside line on the half-mile clay oval in his No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota. Bell led the final 49 laps and 106 of 154 in the event slowed by 13 cautions.
“That’s pretty awesome that me and Bobby came here and ran 1-2,” Bell said. “It’s pretty cool that a couple of dirt guys can run 1-2 at a dirt track.”
Pierce, from Oakwood, Ill., finished second after starting from the pole in his series debut.
“I didn’t want to be the guy in second,” Pierce said. “I was hoping I could get him back on that last run, but Bell did a great job.”
Tyler Reddick was third, followed by Erik Jones, Daniel Hemric, Austin Dillon, John Hunter Nemechek, Cameron Hayley, points leader Matt Crafton, Ty Dillon and 60-year-old Ken Schrader.
Reddick cut Crafton’s series lead to 14 points.
Kyle Busch also fielded the winning track last year for Darrell Wallace Jr.