Eldora Speedway to host NASCAR drivers

Historic Eldora Speedway Adds to its Legend NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Drivers to Compete at Half-Mile Clay Oval June 8 ROSSBURG, Ohio (April 19, 2005) - Already one of the premier grassroots motorsports venues in the country, Eldora Speedway...

Historic Eldora Speedway Adds to its Legend
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Drivers to Compete at Half-Mile Clay Oval June 8

ROSSBURG, Ohio (April 19, 2005) - Already one of the premier grassroots motorsports venues in the country, Eldora Speedway added to its impressive history Tuesday when it announced the Nextel Prelude to the Dream, set for Wed., June 8.

Owned by NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Tony Stewart - the 2002 series champion who pilots the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing - Eldora will welcome many of Stewart's Nextel Cup brethren for a round of dirt track competition, Late Model style. The unique event is sandwiched between the June 4 World of Outlaws race and the $100,000 to win Dirt Late Model Dream June 10-11.

For some NASCAR drivers, the June 8 Nextel Prelude to the Dream on Eldora's clay surface will be a return to their roots. For others, it could mean their first foray away from the traditional pavement races of NASCAR.

Stewart, a multi-time race winner at the legendary Eldora Speedway, will headline the list of entrants on June 8. Joining Stewart will be Bobby Labonte, Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and 2000 Nextel Cup Series champion; Matt Kenseth, the 2003 Nextel Cup Series champion; Kevin Harvick, recent Bristol (Tenn.) race winner and five-time Nextel Cup race victor; Kyle Petty, an eight-time winner in Nextel Cup; a pair of Kennys in Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace, who will showcase their collective dirt track experiences at the Nextel Prelude; and finally, Ohio native Dave Blaney, who compiled an impressive Eldora record in Winged Sprint Cars before heading south to NASCAR, most notably with two wins in the prestigious $50,000 to win Kings Royal, six overall World of Outlaws feature victories and three All-Star Circuit of Champion main event triumphs.

"This is going to be a great event," said Stewart. "Eldora has always tried to go above and beyond for its fans, and that's something we plan to continue with this event. Nextel really stepped up in being the title sponsor and has already shown phenomenal commitment in helping us give the local, grassroots fans a special and memorable evening. We'll have some of the best race car drivers in the world competing right here at Eldora. There won't be a better way to spend a Wednesday evening in June."

Additional Nextel Cup drivers are being recruited for the Nextel Prelude to the Dream, as well as some top names from within the World of Outlaws.

The busy night will also mark the debut of the Fastrak Champions Series to Eldora. Organized by Stan Lester and based out of Carnesville, Ga., Fastrak was designed to offer a cost-conscious alternative to the escalating expenditures of dirt Late Model racing.

On the outside, a Fastrak car resembles what has become the accepted form of a standard dirt Late Model, as it features a tube-frame, enclosed cockpit and full fenders. However, the power plant is restricted to one of three General Motors crate engines, being that the engines are factory-produced and sealed. Costly modifications are not permitted, which maintains a level playing field for all competitors in terms of engine development.

The Nextel Prelude event for Fastrak will be a non-points event, but Lester and his staff have indicated that the legacy of competing at Eldora has prompted immense interest from within the Fastrak membership.

Tickets for the Nextel Prelude to the Dream go on sale at 9 a.m. EDT on Mon., May 2. Ticket orders can be placed by calling 1-937-338-3815 or by going online to www.eldoraspeedway.com.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Kenny Wallace , Dave Blaney
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing