Dirt racing star, Nick Hoffman discusses his run the the NASCAR race at Eldora Speedway
Nick Hoffman is a dirt track racer from the St. Louis area that made the move to Mooresville, NC in pursuit of a racing career. When he’s not behind the wheel of a dirt late model or dirt modified, Hoffman is still working. He’s the owner of Elite Chassis.
Hoffman went in big in July. He rented a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series machine from MB Motorsports. He partnered with the Missouri based NCWTS team and Hoffman made his debut in a NASCAR dirt race.
He went on to grab a top-10 run in the 2018 Eldora Dirt Derby.
What was your impression of the trucks at Eldora?
“The NASCAR race wasn’t bad,” Nick Hoffman explains to RacingNews.co . “We were kinda too tight all weekend. It was ok and we were able to finish pretty decent there.”
“But, we know what to do if we go back next year. We’ll come back with a little bit better piece as far as being able to steer better.”
“Those asphalt guys have gotten really good at the dirt racing stuff, especially there. It’s pretty neat to be a part of and to get my first top-10 in NASCAR was kinda cool. It’s definitely something to build on.”
Did you test before you took the truck to Eldora?
“No, I just jumped straight into that thing. Actually, you know the race was on a Wednesday. On Friday, the week before, that thing thing wasn’t even painted yet. That was kinda a last minute deal.”
“Mittler and I had talked about about doing it a couple weeks prior. Nothing really got lined out exactly perfect. It kinda turned into a last minute deal.”
“I’ve raced trucks before. I ran them when I was 18. I got a couple starts. So, it wasn’t all new to me. But, obviously a truck on the dirt was totally new. It was pretty cool. Just something to build on.”
What did that cost you to run that?
“As far as the team standpoint, the tires are $6,000. The entry fee for a driver is $1,600. Throughout the whole deal, you’ll have $20,000 in it pretty easy.”
“Most of the time, it just depends on who you drive for. If you go run a Kyle Busch Motorsports truck it’s $120,000 a race. That’s what a driver will pay to run them.”
“It all varies depending on what kinda equipment you wanna get in. Anything from $30,000 to $120,000 is pretty common in NASCAR.”
$20,000 but you finished top-10. So, do you come out positive? Probably not.
“Oh no. That race only pays $25,000 to win. It don’t pay nothing really.”
“So, pretty much all those teams are in a hole when it’s all said and done. A new body for them trucks is anywhere from $10,000 – $15,000. No matter what, you’re going to have to put a new body on that truck by the end of that deal.”
“That’s really no way to make money as far as racing. They make money as far as sponsors bringing money to the table.”
“It’s a pretty cool deal. And from what I understood is the most-watched NASCAR Truck Series race other than I think Daytona. It’s pretty cool to see all the dirt racing fans come out and support that deal.”
You have a fortune 500 company on your dirt late model. You’re one of the only drivers in the pit area to have a non-racing related company as the primary sponsor to begin with. How did that come about?
“The guys I drive for own the Jones Oil Company,” Nick Hoffman details to RacingNews.co . “They own 13 Marathon gas stations in the Indiana area.”
“They’ve dealt with Marathon for a long time. They obviously have a pretty good relationship with them. It came about through that deal.”
“They’ve sponsored some race cars before. Drag cars with Alan Johnson and stuff. That was kinda all their deal. They got connected with Marathon to do this corporate sponsorship on the race car.”
“It’s really cool. For me, I didn’t really have anything to do with it. It’s more their deal than it was mine. But, just to be able to drive this thing and have a big corporate sponsor helps me out as far as publicity and that type of stuff.”
“It’s pretty cool to make everything look so professional.
In addition to Marathon. Rocket Fuel is also featured on the machine. That’s the new Jones owned gas station that was recently opened in Bedford, Indiana. Propane Direct is another logo featured on the machine. That is a Jones division as well.
“A lot of it revolves around little companies that they have through Jones Oil Company.”
On Thursday night at Florence Speedway, Hoffman grabbed his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series pole position. Hoffman ended the night with a 10th place effort.
“Just with the rain and stuff, it was rough,” Hoffman said of the first night of Florence Speedway. It’s just a bit of the survival of the fittest.”
“I just wasn’t prepared to do that for 50 laps. I actually didn’t get the memo that once we came back to the pits on lap 22 there that we were going to go back out and only race for 3 laps.”
The race on the first night saw some rain fall on lap 22. The cars were sent to the outside pit area. As soon as they did that, the rain stopped. 5 minutes later, the cars were back on the track to complete the race.
As soon as the green flag dropped, it started to rain again. It was a race to halfway where the race would be declared official.
“Nobody told me that. I just figured we were trying to make it halfway. Then, if we made it to halfway, great. Then we’d just race to 50. I didn’t get that memo. So, I kinda took it easy those first couple laps. Then, they through the checkered. That was kinda screwed up there, I guess.”
On Friday night, Hoffman battled to a podium finish. He finished 3rd as McCreadie went to victory lane. Saturday were a pair of heat races that set the lineup for Sunday’s $50,000 payout in the North South 100.
Nick Hoffman started on the second row for the $50,000 to win show at Florence Speedway. He fell back early in the 100 lap main event. However, with 40 to go, he started found the cushion and started moving back toward the front of the field.
He was in a battle for 4th when he jumped the cushion in turn four. Hoffman was sent to the back as he brought out the caution. He pulled off.