NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Tony Stewart is a NASCAR and NHRA team owner, co-creator of the SRX Racing Series, and the owner of Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
While weather has been an issue at the half mile dirt track this season and they have only run two races so far this season, “Smoke” himself worked through the night to get the track ready for the “Eldora Million”.
“I’m just thrashing. We’ve only had two events so far this year because of weather, and we’ve got to get the track ready to give this money away,” said Stewart in an interview as he worked on preparing the track.
The purse of $1,002,022 million is the largest payout for a single race to a race winner outside of the Indianapolis 500. Some 130 drivers will be entering the preliminary races in an attempt to make the feature race…and a chance at the prize money.
The winner will join Sweden’s Marcus Ericssson who won over three million for winning the Indianapolis 500 and Ryan Blaney who won one million as the winner of the NASCAR All Star Race as big race winners for the year.
The feature Eldora Million race is a 101 lap race in late model cars.
The last $1 million race at Eldora was in 2001 wen Earl Baltes still owned the track with Donnie Moran winning the race. Stewart bought the track in 2004.
Stewart spoke on purchasing the track and the Eldora Million saying, “I said from the first day I took ownership of Eldora that we wanted to make Earl proud by continuing to push the limits of race promotion. I can’t think of a better way to honor their legacy than by bringing back The Eldora Million one more time for both our longtime drivers and fans, as well as a whole new generation who have only heard about it.”
The two night competition for the Eldora Million will be followed by the “Dirt Late Model Dream”.
Stewart has purchased two new tractors and has solicited the aid of a few workers from other tracks in order to get Eldora ready in time for the race after a week of rain has soaked the track.
Stewart noted, “we always said one day we wanted to do the Million again and we’re fighting everything to make it happen. I’m living, breathing, everything this racetrack right now and I hope Earl is looking down proud of the job we’re doing to carry on his legacy.”