Bell, Abreu return to Eldora for Sunday’s historic Johnny Appleseed Classic


ROSSBURG – Christopher Bell and Rico Abreu return to Eldora Speedway Sunday night for the long standing Johnny Appleseed Classic.

Bell won last year’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora and now drives full time for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Abreu, who is the two-time Chili Bowl champion and a past Eldora winner, drives for Sandusky-based ThorSport in the Camping World Truck Series.

Both drivers will step away from the trucks to compete in the NRA Sprint Invaders Series, which makes its first appearance of 2016 at Eldora on Sunday.

Tickets are $15 and kids younger 12 are admitted free. They can be purchased by calling 937-338-3815 or going to

This Sunday there will be four divisions of racing with each competing in a full slate of preliminary Heat races, B-Features as necessary and A-Features. Joining the NRA Sprint Invaders will be the Sunoco American Late Model Series (ALMS), the United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) DIRTcar Modifieds and Eldora Stock Car divisions.

The Late Models return for the first time since the season opener on April 16, which was won by “Insane” Duane Chamberlain of Richmond, Indiana. This is a big race for the Late Model division as it’s the final tune up before the $100,000-to-win Dirt Late Model Dream presented by Ferris Mowers on June 9-10-11.

The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds have had three races with Nathon Loney, from Danville winning the latest race held on May 21. David Mielke, of Gladwin, Michigan, won the season opener while Brian Ruhlman, from Clarklake, Michigan, scored a victory in the Saturday Night Speedfest.

Jeff Koz, from Lima, leads the standings by three points over Brian Post.

The Eldora Stock cars return for their sixth race of the season after the 63rd season opener and double-features during Saturday Night Speedfest and Family Fireworks Night.

Paul Pardo, from New Paris, has won two races, while Rob Trent, Jordan Conover and Earnie Woodard have each scored a victory. Trent is tied with 2014 champion Frank Paladino for first place in the point standings.

This race has a bit of history to it as well. As a tribute to American nurseryman legend Johnny Appleseed, the event was first promoted in 1970 at Mansfield by Eldora founder, Earl Baltes. In 1988, Baltes moved the event to Eldora, where it has remained a fixture.

Originally the races were run during the fall season to honor Appleseed’s (John Chapman) September birth date, but the Classic was moved to its current Memorial weekend time slot in 2008.

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