GILLETTE & DRIVERS ANSWER CALL TO DUTY Rescheduled Prelude to the Dream Back on HBO Pay-Per-View Fifth Annual Charity Dirt Late Model Race at Eldora Speedway to be Known as Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream Wednesday, Sept. 9 Live on...
GILLETTE & DRIVERS ANSWER CALL TO DUTY
Rescheduled Prelude to the Dream Back on HBO Pay-Per-View
Fifth Annual Charity Dirt Late Model Race at Eldora Speedway to be Known as Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream
Wednesday, Sept. 9 Live on HBO Pay-Per-View®
Proceeds from Telecast to Benefit Four Military-Themed Charities
LONG POND, Pa. (July 31, 2009) -- Thanks to Gillette, the world's leading grooming brand, the rescheduled Prelude to the Dream on Wednesday, Sept. 9 from Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio is back on HBO Pay-Per-View. Now known as the fifth annual Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream, the all-star dirt Late Model race returns after its June 3 date was washed out by rain.
Headlining the returning driver lineup are the Gillette Young Guns: Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. All will join Tony Stewart, the two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and owner of Eldora Speedway, in a battle for dirt supremacy that will be presented live to the entire nation on HBO Pay-Per-View, with proceeds from the telecast going to support four military-themed charities:
* Wounded Warrior Project: www.WoundedWarriorProject.org
* Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund: www.FallenHeroesFund.org
* Operation Homefront: www.OperationHomefront.net
* Fisher House: www.FisherHouse.org
The live, commercial-free broadcast featuring 25 drivers piloting 2,300-pound dirt Late Model stock cars capable of putting out over 800 horsepower will begin at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT), 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 71 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.
"We're grateful for Gillette's support and the participation of nearly all the drivers who originally committed to the June 3 race," said Stewart, whose four previous Prelude to the Dream events have collectively raised more than $2 million for charity. "Without Gillette, its Young Guns and all the other drivers who reconfigured their schedules, the fifth annual Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream would not have been possible.
"And more important than just staging a race, Gillette's support allows us to continue to show the race live on HBO Pay-Per-View. It's the proceeds from the broadcast that will allow us to make a sizeable donation to four very deserving charities. And in light of what's going on in our world today -- with our troops engaged in combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places around the world -- we felt it was time to do something for those who came back from serving their country with severe injuries, and for those families whose loved ones never made it back. Thanks to Gillette and all of the Prelude's drivers, we're able to make this happen."
The four charities -- Wounded Warrior Project, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Operation Homefront and Fisher House -- all cater to severely injured military personnel or fallen heroes and their families.
"As the title sponsor for this year's Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream, we look forward to working with Tony Stewart, Eldora Speedway and HBO to put on a great race, as well as show our support for all the honorable men and women who were injured serving our country," said Michelle Potorski, associate marketing director, Gillette North America. "With all the Gillette Young Guns participating, we hope that one of them will be able to join our celebration in victory lane."
In addition to the aforementioned drivers joining Stewart in this year's Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brian Vickers, Robby Gordon, David Reutimann, Bill Elliott, Dave Blaney, Aric Almirola, Kenny Wallace, Ken Schrader, Marcos Ambrose, Ron Capps, Cruz Pedregon, Ray Evernham and David Stremme have also re-committed.
Drivers from all types of disciplines, some with lots of dirt track experience and others with hardly any, will participate in hot laps, qualifying, heat races and the 30-lap feature on the half-mile clay oval, all of which will be televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
"We are privileged to bring this unique and compelling race at Eldora to fans across the country," said Tammy Ross, vice president, HBO Pay-Per-View & Sports. "We are excited to see Gillette aboard as the top drivers in the world go all-out to benefit our courageous service men and women who have been injured."
With no points and no pressure, the Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream is a throwback race, allowing drivers to step back in time and compete for the reasons they all went racing in the first place -- pride and a trophy. And they'll do it on the same surface that racing legends A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti competed on nearly 50 years ago.
Other interesting storylines include:
* More Than 15 Driving Titles Represented at the Prelude: A total of 22 major championships have been won by drivers in the Prelude to the Dream: Sprint Cup  -- Elliott (1988), Stewart (2002, 2005), Kenseth (2003), Johnson (2006, 2007, 2008); IROC  -- Harvick (2002), Kenseth (2004), Stewart (2006); Nationwide Series  -- Harvick (2001, 2006), Vickers (2003), Edwards (2007), Bowyer (2008); IndyCar Series  -- Stewart (1997); NHRA Funny Car  -- Pedregon (1992, 2008).
* Dirt Veterans vs. Dirt Neophytes: Stewart, Kahne, Newman, Blaney, Bowyer, Elliott, Schrader and Wallace grew up on dirt tracks, while Vickers, Busch, Harvick, Almirola, Hamlin and Logano spent the majority of their racing upbringing on asphalt.
* What Happens When a Drag Racer has to Turn the Steering Wheel?: Capps is a 13-year veteran of the NHRA and Pedregon is a 15-year NHRA driver, where straight-line runs over 300 mph are commonplace. They'll have to turn right to go left as they sling their dirt Late Models around Eldora.
For those who want to see the Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream in person, a handful of tickets are available online at www.EldoraSpeedway.com or by calling the track office (937) 338-3815.
Snapshots of each charity supported by this year's Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream are as follows:
* Wounded Warrior Project (www.WoundedWarriorProject.org): Mission -- To raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.
* Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (www.FallenHeroesFund.org): Mission -- To support severely wounded military personnel and veterans, ensuring that those who sacrifice for our nation receive the best care possible. These efforts are funded entirely with donations from the public, and hundreds of thousands of individuals have contributed to the Fund.
* Operation Homefront (www.OperationHomefront.net): Mission -- Provides emergency assistance and morale to our troops, to the families they leave behind, and to wounded warriors when they return home.
* Fisher House (www.FisherHouse.org): Mission -- To provide "a home away from home" for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes are normally located within walking distance of the treatment facility or have transportation available. There are 40 Fisher Houses located on 18 military installations and 10 VA medical centers. Three more are under construction.