ROSSBURG, OH – Think of Wednesday night’s sixth annual Eldora Dirt Derby 150 as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Daytona or Watkins Glen. It’s an annual wildcard race, one that could potentially shake up the playoff standings.
Instead, Wednesday night’s race saw the three playoff wildcard drivers escape the carnage and all bring their Trucks home with top five efforts.
Last weekend, a playoff bubble driver in Ben Rhodes took his No. 41 Ford to victory in his home race at the Kentucky Speedway. That win stamped his name into the 2018 playoff field leaving just three wildcard spots left.
That’s why when Stewart Friesen and Matt Crafton finished second and third respectively last Thursday night, they were happy but also worried that another spot wasn’t available anymore. Luckily for them though, they were heading towards a dirt track next.
Friesen, is a dirt racer by nature and Crafton is becoming one. He was actually the defending winner of the race in Eldora. So, if either were going to win this season, it was this race.
Unfortunately, neither did win but luckily for them, a part time driver (Chase Brisoce) did reach victory lane though. It kept all three spots open and allowed them to pull away even further from the cut off line with two more top five results.
Friesen, brought No. 52 Chevrolet home third for his second straight top three finish while Crafton was fourth in his No. 88 Ford. Like last week though, they fell a spot down again as Grant Enfinger came home runner-up in his No. 98 Ford and now moves to the top of the wildcard standings.
Enfinger, is 120 points above the cutoff. Friesen (+111) and Crafton (+99) are sitting pretty still. Myatt Snider is nearly 100 points behind them with just three races to go in the regular season.
Just Pocono, Michigan and Bristol are left in the regular season, which bodes well for these three drivers. I don’t think anyone else can make it in on points, meaning someone ninth of back has to win a race. With how those drivers ninth on back are racing this year mixed with how well Enfinger, Friesen and Crafton are running, I think the eight drivers are set.