Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fast Track Facts: Eldora Speedway

credit: NASCAR Media
In mid-July, one of the most anticipated events of the Camping World Truck Series season takes place at historic Eldora Speedway in New Weston, OH: the annual Eldora Dirt Derby. Learn a little more about “The Big E,” as Eldora is known, in this week’s Fast Facts.
  • Eldora Speedway was built by Earl Baltes in 1954. It was originally a quarter-mile track, expanded to three-eighths-mile in 1956, and finally to a half-mile in 1958. Three-time Cup Series champ Tony Stewart purchase the track from Baltes in 2004.
  • The clay oval has 24-degree banking in the turns and 8-degree banking in the straightaways. The one-lap record for the track is 12.707 seconds, set by World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series driver Craig Dollansky in 2002. Eldora Speedway has 17,905 permanent seats, plus “unlimited” seating on the hillside.
  • Eldora Speedway hosted its first United States Auto Club (USAC) sprint car race in 1962. In 1971, the track hosted the first World 100 dirt late model race, offering a $4,000 purse for the winner. These days, the winner takes home a purse of more than $45,000 from the annual Labor Day weekend show.
  • In 1978, when the WoO Sprint Car Series was formed, Baltes quickly booked several events at the track for the new series. Inaugural champ Steve Kinser was given the nickname “King of the Outlaws.” One of the circuit’s biggest races is held annually at Eldora: the Kings Royal, which pays the winner $50,000.
  • From 1981 until 2006, Eldora hosted the one-night 4-Crown Nationals events for USAC Midgets, Sprint Cars and Silver Crown cars, plus the United Midwest Promoters (UMP) Dirt Modifieds. In 2007, Stewart changed the format to a two-night event, with the UMP Mods joining the WoO Sprint Cars on Friday night and the three USAC classes racing on Saturday.
  • In 1994, the Dirt Late Model Dream debuted with a $100,000 purse for the winner. It has been run each year with the exception of 2001, when Baltes hosted the “Eldora Million,” putting $1,000,000 on the line for the winner of the event. Scott Bloomquist is a six-time winner of the Dream.
  • In 2005, Stewart debuted the “Prelude to the Dream,” a charity race featuring auto racing stars from multiple series in borrowed Late Models. The “Prelude” was held from 2005-2012, with Stewart winning three times.
  • Learn more about Eldora Speedway and check out its annual schedule of events at www.eldoraspeedway.com


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