ROSSBURG – The eighth annual Baltes Classic will be conducted on Sunday as Eldora Speedway kicks off one of its busiest weeks of the year.
The racing, which takes place the night before Labor Day, will feature the Sunoco American Late Model Series, the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds and the Eldora Stocks competing at “The House Earl Built.” Formerly contested as the “Johnny Appleseed Classic,” Eldora renamed the event Baltes Classic in 2008 to honor Earl and Bernice Baltes, who founded the historic half-mile in 1954.
Earl Baltes passed away in March, but Bernice still attends the races and is expected to be at Eldora Sunday night. Ticket information can be found at www.eldoraspeedway.com or by calling 937-338-3815.
Sunday night’s race begins a busy week at Eldora as Labor Day is on Monday then the famous World 100 pre-race party in the Fan Zone is Sept. 9. The World 100 Weekend begins on Sept. 10 followed by another party after the race. The final preliminary night is Sept. 11 while the 45th World 100 will take place Sept. 12.
Some national Late Model drivers competing in the World 100 may attend Sunday’s Sunoco American Late Model race in preparation for the big three-day show.
They will compete against Eldora favorites including points leader Matt Westfall from Pleasant Hill and Duane Chamberlai,n who won at Eldora during July’s Mud Summer Classic.
Matt Miller from Waterville won the ALMS race held in May while Rusty Schlenk of McClure won the season opener in April.
Jonathan Taylor from Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, came from 14th to win the Family Fireworks Night UMP Modifield race in August. Veteran Jerry Bowersock leads the points standings, but six drivers are within six points of him.
Paul Pardo swept both Eldora Stock races in August, winning the first race from the fourth starting spot, but having to work his way through the field in the second race after being placed 14th on the grid.
Rob Trent leads the point standings with five top-five finishes, but defending champion Frank Paladino is just five points back. Pardo is now in third place.