Countdown to the Mopar Million Sprint at Eldora Mopar and Eldora Speedway Prepare to Make Sprint Car Racing History CENTER LINE, Mich. - In less than three weeks the Mopar Million Sprint at Eldora will commence, bringing the start of one of the...
Countdown to the Mopar Million Sprint at Eldora
Mopar and Eldora Speedway Prepare to Make Sprint Car Racing History
CENTER LINE, Mich. - In less than three weeks the Mopar Million Sprint at Eldora will commence, bringing the start of one of the most anticipated events in sprint car racing history. The event is one-of-a-kind, with an unprecedented $1 million purse, international interest, and some of the most prestigious names in the sport. While some controversy has surrounded the event, all of that drama can only lead to one conclusion: the Mopar Million Sprint at Eldora will make its mark on sprint car racing history, providing competitors and fans alike with the high-intensity entertainment that the sport of open wheel racing is famous for.
Sponsoring the historical event is a season highlight for Mopar, a division of DaimlerChysler. In addition to being the title sponsor of the largest race of the year, Team Mopar will also have three competitors participating in the event. USAC National Sprint Car Series points leader J.J. Yeley, Cory Kruseman and Jay Drake will compete under the Mopar banner. Additional teams among the 150 entrants may also utilize stout Mopar V-8s for the event. The prestige of having a high profile marketing partner is not lost on Eldora Speedway owner Earl Baltes.
"The people at Mopar have made quite an impact in racing in recent years," Baltes said. "We're very proud that they have chosen Eldora Speedway as a marketing partner."
When the idea of the Mopar Million Sprint at Eldora was introduced, Baltes spent a lot of time listening - to race fans, that is. After much discussion and several fan-based inquires, Baltes announced at the 2003 O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals that the race would be a non-winged event, with the entry list capped at 150 entrants. The conception of the Mopar Million has commenced, and the anticipation and excitement of the approaching event is evident to Baltes.
"Everyone here [at Eldora Speedway] is really looking forward to the Mopar Million Sprint at Eldora," Baltes said. "The event has been in the works for a long time, and we spent a lot of time asking the fans what they wanted. They responded, and now this race is for them. The Mopar Million complements our other major events we've hosted through the years, and we're just proud to have the support of the teams and fans to be able to offer a race of this magnitude."
The unique format for the event, which will pay out $800,000 in prize money to the participants of the "A" main, is relatively familiar to the Eldora Speedway staff. Baltes has been surprised at the number of entries for the event, having turned away several after the field had been set.
"To be honest, we never thought we would reach our cut-off limit of 150 teams, but that has happened and we've even had to return some entries," Baltes said. "This tells us that the interest among the racers is there. We would love to have everyone that wanted to compete be on hand, but there are limitations to everything and we just feel that 150 sprint cars is about all that we can handle comfortably."
Fan response to the Mopar Million Sprint at Eldora has been outstanding leading up to the running of the event. Baltes expects a standing-room-only audience for the two-day event, with some fans even traveling across oceans to attend the historical event.
"As for the fans, the feedback has been pretty positive," Baltes said. "So far, we've sold reserved seats to fans from 47 states, Canada, England and Australia. I guess they really want to see non-winged sprint car racing."
For more information regarding the Mopar Million, Eldora Speedway and tickets for the event, please visit www.eldoraspeedway.com. Reserved seating can be purchased in advance by calling 937-338-3815.
Mopar is based in Center Line, Mich., and is the exclusive original equipment supplier of parts for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep® vehicles.