Prelude Returns To Eldora
April 4, 2008 | 11:38 A.M. EST
The all-star race will feature such racing icons as Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Denny Hamlin, Bobby Labonte and more. All will pilot 2,300-pound dirt late model stock cars capable of putting out over 800 horsepower.
The live, commercial-free broadcast 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 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.
“The Prelude is a fun, but unbelievably competitive race,” said Stewart, a multi-time racing champion and proud owner of Eldora Speedway. “Last year’s race was probably the best yet as Carl Edwards held off Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon for the win.
“Eldora has always tried to go above and beyond for its fans, and last year with the addition of HBO Pay-Per-View, people across the country got to see what racing at Eldora is all about. HBO Pay-Per-View is back this year, and thanks to our partners at Old Spice, we’re ready to top the $800,000 we raised last year.
“Corporate involvement, along with the commitment of the best race car drivers in the world, has allowed us to create an event that is as exciting as it is charitable. Experience is everything when it comes to dirt track racing, and there won’t be a better way to spend a Wednesday night in June.”
“Old Spice has been a proud sponsor of Tony Stewart since 1999, helping him look and smell good both on and off the track, even after his car hits the dirt at Eldora,” said Carl Stealey, Old Spice associate marketing director. “Sponsoring the Prelude to the Dream is a natural fit for the brand, and we’re thrilled to help such a good cause.”
In addition to the aforementioned drivers, J.J. Yeley, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Ryan Newman, Bill Elliott, Dave Blaney, Aric Almirola, Ron Capps, Cruz Pedregon, Ray Evernham, Red Farmer, Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace have also committed to the Old Spice Prelude to the Dream.
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 HBO Pay-Per-View.
“2007 was our debut for this prestigious event,” said 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 no points and no pressure, the Old Spice 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 Foyt and Andretti competed on nearly 50 years ago.
Other interesting storylines include:
Jimmie Johnson’s Return to Dirt: Johnson is very familiar with racing on dirt, just not on clay and not while going in circles. Johnson’s racing pedigree began with motorcycles and off-road trucks before transitioning to stock cars in 1998.
Dirt Veterans vs. Dirt Neophytes: Stewart, Gordon, Kahne, Newman, Blaney, Bowyer, Elliott, Farmer, Yeley, Schrader and Wallace grew up on dirt tracks, while Burton, Busch, Harvick, Almirola, Hamlin and Martin spent the majority of their racing upbringing on asphalt.
What Happens When a Drag Racer has to Turn the Steering Wheel?: Capps is a 12-year veteran of the NHRA and Pedregon is a 14-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.
“Tony Stewart’s support has been huge for Victory Junction,” said Kyle Petty, who together with wife Pattie founded the Victory Junction Gang Camp in memory of their late son Adam. “Tony was one of the first drivers to get on board with us, and beyond the money he and his foundation has donated to the camp, he’s brought notoriety, which has helped fuel interest in the camp. Now, there’s so much interest that four years after opening the camp in Randleman, N.C., we need to open a second camp.
“The Victory Junction Gang Camp II in Kansas City will allow us to serve more kids, but also allow more kids from the West Coast and the middle of the country to enjoy camp. If a family is in California or Nevada or Washington, the costs to get them to North Carolina are almost double. By having a second Victory Junction Gang Camp in Kansas City, we’ll be able to bring what we’ve built in North Carolina a little closer to kids in the rest of the country.
“What last year’s Prelude did for the camp was unbelievable,” continued Petty. “It was an incredibly cool event that raised a lot of money. Tony Stewart has always been a big supporter of the camp, and the event that he’s created with the Prelude and its broadcast on HBO Pay-Per-View has become one of the camp’s biggest contributors. And as we get ready to break ground on Victory Junction Gang Camp II in Kansas City, the Prelude’s impact on our overall goal at Victory Junction – enriching the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses – is even greater.”
Kansas City-based Sprint, a key partner to the Old Spice Prelude to the Dream since the event’s inception in 2005, has also been a long-standing supporter of Victory Junction Gang Camp and its initiatives.
For those who want to see the Old Spice Prelude to the Dream in person, tickets are available online at www.eldoraspeedway.com or by calling the track office (937) 338-3815. Act fast – the race has sold out in each of its three previous years.