by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowJune 7, 2008 8:41 pm UTC 3 Comments
I can’t decide if it would be good to have more events like Tony Stewart’s Prelude to the Dream. If there were too many, it wouldn’t be as special, I guess. But it’s a shame more fans can’t get there to experience it live.
23,000 some fans did make it though. According to the track announcer, people from 46 states ordered tickets to the ’08 Prelude as did fans from Denmark, Germany and Australia. For a race on dirt in the middle of a bunch of cornfields in western Ohio, that had about a fifty percent chance of getting rained out. Amazing.
OK, not just any dirt race. Darrell Waltrip didn’t drive the water truck this year but he did do a half dozen laps in a dirt late model with a lucky young fan along as passenger.
Eldora veterans – from their younger, pre-superstar days – were there. Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Dave Blaney, Ryan Newman, David Reutimann, Matt Kenseth and Ken Shrader. Others with lots of experience on the dirt raced as well. Clint Bowyer was fast. Kenny Wallace and old-timer Red Farmer made the trip and were quick. Mark Martin, J J Yeley and Aric Almirola wrecked. Bill Elliot had mechanical woes.
Kyle Busch and Jimmy Johnson brought there own late models. Robby Gordon drove a Scott Bloomquist-prepared car to second place. Johnson and Robby G have plenty of time driving in the dirt. Johnson in motocross and Gordon off-road.
During the driver intros, homeboy Tony got the loudest cheers. But Jeff Gordon had plenty of fans too. Even Kyle Busch heard more cheers than boos – until he stoked the booing with his “I can’t hear you” pose. From then on, the only cheers Kyle got were when he either hit or broke something. Both of which happened a lot.
Our seats were in turn three – which was the down-wind corner – so by the time the cars got to us, the twenty mile an hour breeze had brought the dirt kicked up in turn one to us and we got a double dose of dirt track in our faces each lap. I’ve got to get a pair of those yellow plastic goggle/glasses they were selling before next year’s race.
I wouldn’t miss it if I were you.
Photo credit: Split Second Sports and Panther Creek Design & Photo