ROSSBURG – It’s already home to NASCAR’s only dirt track race, but Tony Stewart and the Eldora Speedway officials still are finding new ways to make history at the Darke County racetrack.
Prior to Wednesday’s fourth annual Aspen Dental Dirt Derby NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Stewart hosted the Flip It for Good heads or tails game at Little E, which is Eldora’s go-kart track located next to the main raceway. With 561 participants, Eldora Speedway set a Guinness World Record for the largest game of heads or tails.
“This is just such an awesome experience,” said Sherry Spain from Elida, who won the record-setting competition. “Plus it’s going to such a great cause being for the drivers, the children and the animal rescue. It’s something that that I follow, and things like that are dear to my heart as well. There was no doubt to participate. Never thought I would win.”
Each of the 561 participants donated $10 to the Tony Stewart Foundation to partake in the completion. The foundation said it will use the $5,610 raised to help children, animals and injured drivers throughout the United States.
During the world record attempt, an official from Guinness World Records counted each contestant as they entered the infield at Little E. Once the more than 500 participants were inside, they went to the east or west side of the track to make their choice of heads or tails.
Stewart, the official coin flipper, flipped a coin. The contestants who correctly guessed which side the coin would land on proceeded to the next round while the incorrect guessers were eliminated and exited the infield.
“I always bet on heads first,” said Stewart, a NASCAR driver and owner of Eldora Speedway, “but I lose a lot of money doing that.”
After beginning with a tails, the competition lasted several rounds until only Spain remained. In all 10 contestants received prizes.
As the champion, Spain received a photograph with Stewart, a diecast car autographed by Stewart, an Eldora swag package, got to be on stage during the Dirt Derby drivers’ meeting, waved the green flag to begin the qualifying heats, attended the drivers’ introduction ceremony and received two tickets to watch the race from Tony’s Turn 4 Suite.
“Big choice now because I came with just two other people so somebody’s got to sit at the race by themselves,” Spain said.
Spain said she’s a regular at Eldora events, enjoying the 360 sprint car races and World of Outlaws. She’s also attended races at Little E to watch her son race go-karts.
She left the Flip It for Good event excited to see Wednesday night’s Dirt Derby and also excited to be a part of a world record.
“That’s a different experience as well,” she said. “Nothing that I ever thought I would be involved in or be able to be a part of.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.