ROSSBURG – Eldora Speedway will kick off this weekend’s Dirt Late Model Dream on Thursday by honoring the man who had the vision to create the prestigious event 22 years ago.
Along with serving as the opening day of this year’s Dirt Late Model Dream Weekend, Thursday also has been officially designated as the first ever National Earl Day in honor of Eldora Speedway founder and legendary race promoter Earl Baltes. Race fans both at the track and worldwide are encouraged to help celebrate Baltes’ legacy by flipping up the bills of their caps in the famous Earl Baltes fashion and posting photos on social media using the hashtag #NationalEarlDay.
Baltes, who passed away in March of 2015 at the age of 93, was a pioneer in dirt track racing. He carved out Eldora Speedway from a cornfield in 1954 and spent 50 years building it into a dirt racing mecca. With Baltes at the helm, Eldora became famous for hosting many of dirt track racing’s biggest events. All the while, Baltes became beloved by racers and fans alike for both his enduring personality and his quirky style of wearing his cap with the bill flipped up.
Among Baltes’ many contributions to dirt track racing was the creation of an annual $100,000-to-win Dirt Late Model race. What began as a dream became reality in 1994 when the first Dirt Late Model Dream was held. That dream has continued to grow ever since under both Baltes and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, who purchased Eldora Speedway from Baltes in 2004. This weekend’s Dirt Late Model Dream will feature the event’s highest payout yet with a total of $384,350 being doled out over the weekend.
The Dirt Late Model Dream presented By Ferris Mowers begins Thursday with the first of two preliminary nights. Thursday and Friday will both feature twin preliminary programs with Thursday’s two features each paying $5,000 to the winner. Friday’s features will each pay $10,000 to win. Saturday’s slate features six Dream heat races, consolation races and the 100-lap, $100,000-to-win main event.
Tickets are still available for this weekend’s action with single-day ticket prices starting at $20 and children (12 and younger) admitted free to general admission seating all three days. Live online streaming pay-per-view coverage of Thursday, Friday and Saturday night will be available for fans unable to attend in person. More information can be found at www.EldoraSpeedway.com or by calling 937-338-3815.