Team Mopar "Dream" preview

Team Mopar®'s Kasey Kahne and Ron Capps Will Compete in 'Old Spice Prelude to the Dream' * Team Mopar®'s Kahne and Capps will drive for charity but still want to claim victory Center Line, Mich. -- Team Mopar® USAC and World of Outlaws...

Team Mopar®'s Kasey Kahne and Ron Capps Will Compete in 'Old Spice Prelude to the Dream'

* Team Mopar®'s Kahne and Capps will drive for charity but still want to claim victory

Center Line, Mich. -- Team Mopar® USAC and World of Outlaws Sprint team owner Kasey Kahne along with Team Mopar driver and NHRA standout Ron Capps will compete in the fourth annual "Old Spice Prelude to the Dream." The special event, televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View, will be held on Wednesday night, June 4 at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

The Prelude features an all-star cast of NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors and other invited drivers in a series of heat races and a 30-lap feature at the fabled half-mile dirt track. All drivers will be aboard late-model stock cars -- weighing in at 2,300 lbs. and powered by engines generating well over 800 horsepower to ensure a wild, dirt-slinging affair.

Kahne, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Dodge Motorsports superstar driver and team owner of Kasey Kahne Racing, which fields Mopar's factory-backed teams in the World of Outlaws Sprint, USAC Mopar Midget National Championship and USAC National Sprint Car Series, will campaign a special Budweiser/Mopar entry. Capps, driver of a HEMI®-powered Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car and currently eighth in the NHRA Funny Car points standings, will drive a NAPA Auto Parts/Mopar ride.

Joining Kahne and Capps will be Dodge Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Bobby Labonte and Ryan Newman, former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion (and Eldora Speedway owner) Tony Stewart, as well as Cup series regulars Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Denny Hamlin, J.J. Yeley, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, and Dave Blaney. Former Cup champion Bill Elliott also has a ride for the event, along with a pair of versatile, drive-anything racers, Ken Schrader and ageless Red Farmer. The NASCAR Busch Series will be represented by veteran Kenny Wallace and young Aric Almirola, while the NHRA drag-racing world will send straight-line star Cruz Pedregon in addition to Capps. Rounding out the field will be NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner and ex-Modified driver Ray Evernham, Kahne's "boss" on all nights but this one.

Team Mopar's Kahne and Capps drive for charity but still want to claim victory

Organized by Stewart in 2005 as a charity event, the Prelude benefits both the Victory Junction Gang Camp II (in Kansas City) and the Tony Stewart Foundation. Past winners include Wallace (2005), Stewart ('06) and defending champion Edwards.

Adding to the evening's uniqueness is its HBO Pay-Per-View broadcast, anchored by veteran Mike Joy. Color commentary will be provided by NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip and Kyle Petty and pit reporting by Dick Berggren and Matt Yocum. Last year's Prelude is thought to have been the most-watched dirt-track race in history, and the '08 version will likely draw even more viewers. As with the Eldora ticket receipts, the Pay-Per-View proceeds support the event's charitable mission.

"2007 was our debut for this prestigious event," says Tammy Ross, vice president, HBO Pay-Per-View & Sports. "We are thrilled to once again distribute this event live, without commercials, on pay-per-view so fans can see the top drivers in the world compete on dirt at Eldora to benefit a worthy cause."

"With all of us there, we can raise a lot of money for charity," said Kahne. "The fans really turn out -- it's always a packed house -- plus there's the Pay-Per-View thing."

"All this is for Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Camp and the Tony Stewart Foundation, both great causes, and I know everyone who races in the Prelude, including me, not only enjoys the intense yet fun competition, but we're thrilled to be able to give back to help these causes," said Capps, who is competing in the event for his fourth straight year. He posted a best finish of fourth in 2006.

"It's very exciting," added Capps, who will pilot his 330-mph, 7,000-horsepower Funny Car at the NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., the weekend following the Prelude. "It's neat to see how this event has grown. As a kid growing up I was a fan of Eldora Speedway, and to have Tony Stewart invite me for the first time in 2005 to race against a few of the biggest names in NASCAR was an incredible honor. With all these drivers from different disciplines, it's become what IROC was and I'm just very honored to be part of it and to be back this year at Tony Stewart's invitation."

Given his past exploits at the track, Kahne will certainly be among the favorites. Having moved from his native Washington to the Midwest as a teenager, Kasey won at Eldora in both USAC Midget and All-Star Circuit of Champions winged Sprint Car competition, as well as turning plenty of laps aboard USAC Sprints and Silver Crown machines. He is, however, acutely aware that a handful of his Prelude rivals also won at Eldora in their formative years, specifically Stewart, Yeley, Gordon, Blaney and Schrader. Their shared background in dirt-track racing creates a fight for bragging rights.

"I want to beat J.J., and I want to beat Tony, and I want to beat Jeff, and the other guys who have raced at Eldora," Kahne declared. "I'm sure they feel the same way. And, obviously, now we all want to beat Carl Edwards, because he won the last one."

As for the straight-line racers battling it out with the experienced oval and dirt-track racers, Capps said "I think for a lot of them the goal was not to finish behind the drag racer. We had fun with that last year. Kenny Wallace has raced on dirt a lot, and I was able to finish in front of him two years ago. We had a great battle. He made it known last year that he wasn't going to finish behind me. So that was a lot of fun."

'Old Spice Prelude to The Dream'

The live, commercial-free broadcast of the "Old Spice Prelude to the Dream" will begin at 7 p.m. EDT on June 4, with an immediate replay and subsequent replays throughout the week and the following weekend. HBO Pay-Per-View's racing telecast has a suggested retail price of $24.95 and is available to more than 61 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming in the pay-per-view industry. Ordering information and up-to-the minute racing information is available at www.hbo.com.

-credit: mopar

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About this article
Series Charity , NHRA , Stock car
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Darrell Waltrip , Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Kyle Petty , Ron Capps , Kevin Harvick , Kenny Wallace , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Cruz Pedregon , Kasey Kahne , J.J. Yeley , Ray Evernham , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Dave Blaney , Aric Almirola , Red Farmer , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin