Stewart ready to bring fans a week of exciting racing at Eldora


By Drew Terhall

ROSSBURG — It’s going to be an eventful week at Eldora Speedway from July 12 – 15. The week will kick of with the Eldora Million on July 12 and 13.

The winner of the 50-lap race on July 13 will earn $1,002,023, second to the Indianapolis 500 which has a payoff of $3,666,000. Eldora Speedway owner Tony Stewart said he has been planning to do a race like this for awhile.

“People have already done million dollar races, now we wanted to do something for the sprint car community as well. This will definitely be huge,” Stewart said.

With a financial commitment like this, drivers are going to have to earn the million dollar prize. The race will have a different format to it. Stewart said he is dead set against using a format where drivers who qualify well start on the pole for the main event and don’t have to race against anyone.

There were no specifics given about what the format will look like. But, it was designed to make the drivers truly compete against each other.

“We created a format that’s going to make it where you have to race somebody, you have to pass cars no matter what. There’s no free rides, no easy way, no easy path. You have to pass cars to get into good spots for Thursday,” Stewart said.

Stewart has gotten feedback from one driver about the new format. He said he talked to Joey Saldana about the format and Saldana was excited about drivers having to work for the prize.

He also believes this format will bring more excitement to the race for the fans. Stewart said the best of the best will be in this race, the format will just help make it more thrilling for the fans.

“I don’t care what anybody’s thoughts are. We’re going to do it that way because that’s the way we feel like is best for the fans,” Stewart said. “If our all-star series is an example, people love our format. People from Australia and New Zealand comment on how they like our format. We know how to promote these races in a way that’s exciting for fans.”

Stewart said he will not be able to make it for the race, but wished he would be here for the atmosphere. After the Eldora Million, the 40th Kings Royal will take place on July 14 and 15.

The speedway is poised to be packed for the week. With the races back to back and with the four-day posted purse to exceed $2 million, the stage is set for a historical week at Eldora.

“Judging off of ticket sales and camping spaces, how long they’ve been sold out, I think this is going to be a week that everybody is going to remember,” Stewart said.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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