Bristol Motor Speedway
Notebook: Indy 500 winner gets Prelude ride
From track, correspondent and series reports
Eldora Speedway's Old Spice Prelude to the Dream may have an additional driver. Besides a bottle of frosty milk in victory lane, the Indianapolis 500 winner will also receive an invitation to race a Dirt Late Model against the likes of Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne at Eldora Speedway's June 4 Old Spice Prelude to the Dream.
“We’ll have a car waiting for him or her, and we’d love to have whoever puts their name on the Borg-Warner trophy at Indianapolis come about two hours east and compete in a Dirt Late Model to raise money for charity," said Stewart, Eldora's owner who has three top-five finishes in five Indy 500 starts. The Dirt Late Model provided for the Indy 500 winner will feature logos from this year’s 500-mile race, as well as the famous wing and wheel logo of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Last year, nearly 20,000 fans at Eldora watched Carl Edwards hold off strong charges from Kyle Busch and Gordon to take his first win at the half-mile clay oval. Thousands of others watched live on HBO Pay-Per-View, with the collective audience raising $800,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Tony Stewart Foundation. Those three drivers and more will be back for this year’s event, as will HBO Pay-Per-View, with the goal to raise $1 million to support construction of Victory Junction Gang Camp II in Kansas City, as well as the Tony Stewart Foundation.
The Indy 500 winner wouldn't be the first to compete at Eldora. Many past champions have competed at Eldora since 1954, including A.J. Foyt, Bobby Unser, Johnny Rutherford, Mario Andretti, Parnelli Jones, Al Unser Jr., Tom Sneva and Gordon Johncock. Juan Pablo Montoya, who won the 2000 Indianapolis 500, made his Eldora debut in last year’s Prelude. A few thousand general admission tickets are available (call the track at 937-338-3815), or for pay-per-view information, go to www.hbo.com. — From track reports
I-44 TAKING A FEW WEEKS OFF: I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Mo., has cancelled its May 24 and 31 programs to change over from its red clay surface. "The new dirt is being put on to help with this economy crunch and will help the racers," the track website said. In other weekly track news, Gordon Park Speedway in Grovetown, Ga. has suspended operations while searching for a new promoter. If interested, call (706) 830-0325. — Correspondent and track reports
IRS MINISERIES BEGINS MAY 23: The Inaugural Rapid Refund Week for the Independent Racing Series is scheduled for May 23-31 with five events at five Ohio dirt tracks. The Carl Grover Racing Engine-sponsored miniseries, fearing five $5,000-to-win events at Raceway 7, Muskingum County Speedway, Cannonball Motor Speedway, Skyline Speedway and Sharon Speedway, will include an independent point fund. Also, the series announced that it's considering raindates for the May 16-17 rainouts at McKean County Raceway in East Smethport, Pa., and Stateline Speedway in Busti, N.Y. — Chris Tilley
RUMBLE SERIES BONUSES ADDED: The Rumble Dirt Series, sponsored by Seubert Calf Ranches, has announced its hard charger and pole awards for its first season. Fegers Race Cars will post $200 at each event for the "Lightning Lou Fegers" Hard Charger award. The "Go Hard or Go Home" Pole award will provide $300 to each polesitter in memory of late driver John Seitz from Don Shaw of Shaw Trucking and Brad Seng of S&S Transport. — From series reports
DAVENPORT PLANS TWO-TRACK DOUBLEHEADER: Davenport (Iowa) Speedway plans to run its weekly IMCA Late Models along with the traveling World Dirt Racing League drivers on May 23. IMCA drivers will complete on the quarter-mile oval with WDRL competitors on the half-mile at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. The unique event is being promoted by Bob and Julie Wagener of Drt Trak Racing and is sponsored by Aaron's Sales and Lease. — Phil Roberts
ODDS AND ENDS: The United Late Model Series has scheduled its Jim Duffy Memorial makeup event for May 22 at McKean County (Pa.) Raceway. ... With Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn., closed through May, Mountain Raceway Park in Maryville, Tenn., is temporarily picking up Fastrak Crates. The track will consider running the class weekly, as well. ... Montpelier (Ind.) Motor Speedway has scheduled two NeSmith Chevrolet-sanctioned Crate events for June 28 and July 26. The races pay $600 to the winner. ... The O'Reilly Southern All Stars have moved the Dixie (Ga.) Speedway event to Aug. 2. The event was originally scheduled for June 28.