Asphalt veteran Crafton rallies late to win on the dirt at Eldora Speedway

The Eldora Dirt Derby, looking more like a demolition derby in the early going, rallied with a strong finish.

Matt Crafton, who bought a modified to get more experience on dirt tracks, held off Stewart Friesen and Chase Briscoe on a restart with 10 laps to go for his first win in 27 races. And surprisingly it came on dirt for the asphalt veteran.

The race struggled early with cautions. It prompted some to wonder what channel Fox would shift the race to once it went past 11 p.m. (it ended at 11:37). The race started on Fox Sports 1 with qualifying, shifted to FS2 for heat races and finally Fox Business for the feature. The Dirt Derby was scheduled for FS1, but was booted by the men’s national soccer team.

A record 10 cautions slowed the action early. As many as 33 of the first 60 laps ran under caution.

Favorite Christopher Bell suffered damage in the first stage when he looped his No. 4 Toyota Tundra coming out of Turn 1. Kaz Grala was unable to stop and delivered a strike to Bell. The hit crushed Bell’s front right wheel well but his crew kept his truck competitive until a flat tire dropped him out of contention. He finished ninth.

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