ROSSBURG – Just days after a record-breaking World 100 event, Eldora Speedway’s fall schedule continues with the nation’s five powerhouse open-wheel racing divisions converging on the famed half-mile, high-banked, clay oval this weekend for the 36th running of the 4-Crown Nationals Weekend presented by NKT.tv.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series kicks off the weekend with their sixth and final visit of 2017 on Friday night followed by a four-division event on Saturday featuring the United States Auto Club National Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown Series along with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Series.
Eldora Speedway and series officials have made adjustments to Saturday’s on-track schedule to help the high-profile event flow more smoothly. The USAC Silver Crown Series entries will utilize the upper pit area to reduce the amount of “crossover time” between the upper and lower pit areas. The USAC Midget Series format will forgo individual qualifying in exchange for a heat race starting position draw with passing points determining the feature event line-up. The Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars will adjust its format to single lap qualifying, heat races, one dash event and a 25-lap feature race.
The Outlaws return to Eldora this Friday fresh off a cross-country commute that wrapped up an eight-race, three-week west coast swing. Series’ point leader Donny Schatz has won two of the previous five main events at Eldora, grabbing a win in the final night of the #LetsRaceTwo Outlaw and USAC doubleheader on May 13. On July 15, Schatz became the first driver in Eldora history to win back-to-back Kings Royal titles as he drove a flawless race to win the coveted crown for the fourth time in his career.
Kerry Madsen has also posted an Eldora Speedway win in 2017, taking top honors in the Jokers Wild feature event on July 13. Christopher Bell drove to a popular win on July 14, putting a Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing entry on the Eldora stage in The Knight Before the Kings Royal event. On May 12, Logan Schuchart won his first career feature at Eldora, taking the checkered flag in the first of two #LetsRaceTwo Outlaw feature events.
Brownsburg, Ind., native Joey Saldana has won three of the previous seven World of Outlaws appearances during the 4-Crown Nationals, picking up wins in 2008, 2011 and 2014. Other 4-Crown Weekend World of Outlaws winners include Jason Sides (2009), Jac Haudenschild (2010), Greg Wilson (2015) and 2016 winner, Shane Stewart.
USAC has a long and storied 4-Crown Nationals history, having taken part in the event since the Inaugural race in 1981. The legendary Jack Hewitt sits high atop the 4-Crown winner’s list with 19 career triumphs, including his magical sweep of all four divisions – USAC National Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown Series along with the UMP Modified Series – in a single night in 1998. Veteran USAC competitor and fan favorite Dave Darland also will look to add to his current win total (seven) in this weekend’s event.
In 2016, Rico Abreu picked up his second 4-Crown Nationals USAC Midget Series triumph while Justin Grant earned his first career 4-Crown weekend victory in the USAC Sprint Car Series feature last season. Chris Windom capped off his 2016 USAC Silver Crown Series title at Eldora last season during the 4-Crown Nationals with a win in the season finale. Ian Madsen also was victorious in the 2016 4-Crown Nationals weekend, picking up his fourth career Arctic Cat All Stars win at Eldora last September.
On Friday, the Eldora Stock Cars will return to action for the final time in 2017 as a division champion will be crowned. Heading into Friday’s event, 10 drivers are mathematically eligible to potentially win the title. 2014 Eldora Stock Car champion Frank Paladino holds a one-point lead over Gary Rahe, Jr., heading into Friday’s finale. Donnie Jeschke, Rob Trent, Earnie Woodard, Brandon Archey, Anthony Goode, Ed Houndshell, Casey Barr and Jeremy Creech currently round out the top 10 in the point standings.
In addition to the on-track action, the Vintage American Race Cars club again will provide race fans with an opportunity to re-visit history over the weekend. VARC will host a display of vintage racecars in the Fan Zone outside turns three and four during this weekend’s 4-Crown Nationals.
The future of the sport will take part in the 4-Crown weekend at Eldora as well as over 225 USAC .25 Midget competitors and their families are expected to compete on Little Eldora Speedway. Admission to “Little E” is free for the weekend with on-track action slated to begin at noon on Friday and Saturday. The USAC .25 Midget feature events will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Fan who are unable to make the trip to Eldora Speedway for this weekend’s 4-Crown Nationals can catch all of Saturday’s racing action live via an online streaming pay-per-view. Ordering information can be found by visiting http://live.eldoraspeedway.com/.
There is still camping available for this weekend’s 4-Crown Nationals, but fans are reminded that Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4 are sold out. Lot 5 is the free lot and available on a first-come/first-served basis. All spots at Eldora Village will be sold ($20) upon arrival to the campgrounds. Northside Camp & Park will be utilized for USAC and All Star hauler staging on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, however, there will be some first-come/first-served camping available for $20 per space.
The 36th Annual 4-Crown Nationals presented by NKT.tv kicks off Friday with the final appearance of the year by the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and Eldora Stock Cars. Hot Laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. with racing to follow.
On Saturday, the USAC National Midget, Sprint Car and Silver Crown Series will be joined by the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Series for the 4-Crown Weekend finale. A USAC driver autograph session will take place in the multi-purposed building located in the Fan Zone at Eldora Speedway at 3 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 5:20 p.m. with racing to follow.
Pit passes are sold day-of-show only and can be purchased for $30 on Friday and $35 on Saturday. Minimum age for pit access if 14. Reserved seating for adults is $29 on Friday and $34 on Saturday. General admission is $25 on Friday and $30 on Saturday. Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free.
Tickets can be purchased at www.eldoraspeedway.com or by calling 937-338-3815.