From Eldora Speedway
ROSSBURG, OH (June 25) – Showing an allegiance to their roots of racing, NASCAR drivers Dave Blaney, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart have announced their intentions to compete in Eldora Speedway’s fabled Kings Royal weekend (July 16 & 17). Blaney will be wheeling against the World of Outlaw (WoO) regulars, while Stewart and Kahne will take on the National Racing Alliance (NRA) Sprint Invaders.
Each of the three has seen their successful NASCAR career spiral through the skills honed on grassroot speedways of America.
Eldora Speedway has played an important part in their step towards fame.
Of the trio, Blaney carries the most impressive Eldora record. Long known among the racing fraternity as “The Buckeye Bullet”, second generation driver Dave Blaney has amassed 16 career wins at Eldora. Six of those have come within the WoO wars at Eldora, so he will be on familiar turf during the Kings Royal.
The Ohio native needs no introduction to the pomp and circumstance of the Kings Royal, as he has sat atop the throne and worn the crown twice (1993, 1995). His final Eldora victory lane appearance came in 1997 when he snatched the $100,000 Historical Big One paycheck.
Stewart’s pre-NASCAR prowess at Eldora came in non-winged action through the United States Auto Club (USAC). Under the USAC banner, Stewart, who also carries the title as owner of Eldora Speedway, captured a pair of feature wins during the 1995 Four Crown Nationals. Checkered flag runs were earned in the Sprint Car and Midget divisions that weekend.
Very little track time in winged Sprint Cars appeared on the two-time NASCAR Cup champion’s early resume. With a desire to perfect his driving style, Stewart has been donning the aerodynamic wing repeatedly over the past few years. He captured the NRA sanctioned Old Spice Sizzler a few years ago, and has three Prelude to the Dream wins behind the wheel of a dirt Late Model, so his desire to excel at Eldora has not waned.
Kahne, the youngest of the trio, went straight from the short tracks to NASCAR-land. With plenty of Eldora experience under his belt, he has a pair of wins to his credit. In 2000 he captured a USAC Midget win during the fall Four Crown Nationals and in 2003 he returned to the massive one-half mile clay oval to reign supreme over an All Star Circuit of Champions field.
All three tested the Eldora clay during the June 9 Prelude to the Dream, and are anxious to shift gears from full bodied to open wheel racing. They are prepared to race, knowing that the WoO and NRA gentry will show no mercy.
Each night will be a full show for both sanctioning bodies. Friday’s (July 16) event has been dubbed the Knight Before the Kings Royal, with full points for the WoO fraternity. In addition to the points to be earned by the NRA Sprint Invaders, they will be chasing for the Jimmy Johnston Memorial trophy.
Saturday’s (July 17) chase is highlighted by the annual run for the $50,000 Kings Royal paycheck and the aforementioned trip to the throne and wearing of the crown.
Complete event information is detailed on the track’s website www.eldoraspeedway.com