CHARLOTTE, N.C. - FOX Sports is adding a pair of young Wednesday night dirt racers and past Eldora Speedway winners to its broadcast team at Tony Stewart's half-mile dirt track in Ohio.
Veteran dirt aces and current NASCAR stars Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson will make their FOX Sports broadcasting debuts in the July 18 NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES race at Eldora (9:00 PM ET on FS1), with Bell covering pit road and Larson serving as an analyst in the FS1 booth.
Bell, the reigning Truck Series champion, won the Chili Bowl Nationals championship in 2017 and 2018 and the 2013 USAC National Midget championship. Larson won the 2011 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora, becoming just the second driver in history to win in all three types of USAC cars in a single night, as well as the 2011 Belleville Midget Nationals championship.
"Eldora is my favorite race track in the country and the Truck race at Eldora is one of my favorite events of the season, so when this opportunity presented itself, I quickly jumped on it," said Bell, driver of the No. 20 Rheem Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. "I'm looking forward to joining Hermie [Sadler] and Kenny [Wallace] in the pits to help cover the storylines from one of the best nights in racing."
Calling the one-of-a-kind race is Truck Series voice Vince Welch alongside analysts Larson and Michael Waltrip. Bell, Hermie Sadler and dirt racing legend Kenny Wallace cover everything unfolding in the pits. John Roberts hosts pre-race coverage on NASCAR RACEDAY-NCWTS (8:30 PM ET on FS1) alongside analysts Todd Bodine and Phil Parsons.
Bell, who won the 2015 NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES race at Eldora, and Larson, the 2016 victor, are on-hand for all Truck Series action telecast on FS1 from Eldora July 18, including single-truck qualifying (4:30 PM ET), qualifying races (7:00 PM ET), the race (9:00 PM ET) and post-race coverage (11:00 PM ET).
"After watching the Truck race last year at Eldora, I thought it would be really cool to have some drivers on the broadcast with a dirt background," said Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. "I'm really excited that FOX liked the idea and decided to run with it. Eldora is a great track, and this is a really unique race, so I look forward to hopefully providing some more insight into what it's like to not only race a truck at Eldora, but some of the nuances of racing on dirt. This race is a great chance to show NASCAR fans the excitement of dirt racing, and hopefully shows dirt fans the intensity of NASCAR racing."
FOX Sports Truck Series producer Mark Smith, who has helmed the Eldora race broadcast since its inaugural run in 2013, says the inclusion of Bell and Larson adds a unique perspective to the broadcast.
"Eldora is such a special event, and since we have access to two of the best dirt racers in the entire country, why not add them to the FOX Sports race telecast? We look for them to help us not only understand the art of dirt racing better than anyone else can explain, but to translate the challenges of racing a Truck on dirt to the millions of dirt-racing fans out there. They might be a little nervous about being part of a TV broadcast for the first time, but both of them lit up when we sat down to discuss this opportunity."
Smith says the genesis of the concept came in the form of 140 characters from Larson several months ago.
"I originally got the idea from Kyle," Smith recalled. "When FOX announced its 'Drivers Only' NASCAR XFINITY SERIES broadcast, he tweeted something out about how cool it would be to have an all-dirt drivers broadcast. So, I guess FOX Sports and I asked him to put his money where his mouth was. We're all looking forward to this unique opportunity."
Bell and Larson join a star-packed roster of NASCAR drivers who have served as driver analysts in the FOX Sports booth since 2015. For four consecutive seasons, FOX Sports has opened its NASCAR XFINITY SERIES analyst chair to active MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES drivers, including for the 2017 and 2018 "Drivers Only" broadcasts, held at Pocono Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway, respectively. In addition, several drivers routinely serve as analysts on FS1's NASCAR RACE HUB.
Kevin Harvick helped call the 2017 race from Eldora and is scheduled in the FOX Sports booth for the Truck Series races from Kentucky (July 12 at 7:30 PM ET on FS1), Bristol (Aug. 16 at 8:30 PM ET on FOX) and Talladega (Oct. 13 at 1:00 PM ET on FOX).
--- FOX Sports ---