ROSSBURG – The weather forecast for Saturday says it’s is supposed to be 70 degrees and sunny, which is perfect for Eldora Speedway’s 63rd season-opening race.
The season kicks off with the Sunoco American Late Model Series, the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds and the Eldora Stock cars competing on the legendary half-mile clay oval.
Eldora will use its early season post-time with the admission gates opening at 2 p.m., hot laps 4:30 p.m. and a complete racing program beginning at 6 p.m.
Tickets can be bought at www.EldoraSpeedway.com, by phone at 937-338-3815 or at the box office at the race track. It’s $12 for adults and kids 12 and younger are free.
Rusty Schlenk, of McClure, won the 2015 Eldora Late Model opener and is expected to defend. Also, 17-year old Josh Rice of Kentucky, fan-favorite Jeep Van Wormer of Pinconning, Michigan and Richmond, Indiana’s Steve Casebolt and “Insane” Duane Chamberlain are all expected to race in the season-opener.
The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds will be competitive as the division always is. Last year Jonathan Taylor and 2016 champion Travis Stemler from Ionia, Michigan, each won two races. Taylor and his brother, Evan, tow-in from Pennsylvania to compete at Eldora, and Stemler is stepping up to Late Models for 2016, which means the championship race is wide open.
The Eldora Stocks also return this weekend and Rob Trent won the 2015 championship by just three points over Frank Paladino. Both are from Lima. Paul Pardo, from New Paris, swept the stock car races last August on Family Fireworks Night.
This is the first of several highly-anticipated events as part of Eldora’s 63rd season.
The four major events start with the 22nd annual Dirt Late Model Dream presented by Ferris Mowers (June 9-10-11); the expanded 33rd annual Kings Royal (July 14-15-16), the Fourth Annual NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (July 19-20) and the 46th annual World 100 (Sept. 8-9-10).
Tickets also are available for the #LetRaceTwo Weekend featuring the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and the USAC National Sprint Cars (May 6-7) and the 35th Four Crown Nationals (Sept. 23-24) where $100,000 will be awarded to any driver winning all four races on Saturday.