By Larry Boos
ROSSBURG, OH (August 31) – Eldora Speedway officials confirmed today that the Larry Rice High Performance Award that was initiated at last year’s Four Crown Nationals will return in 2010. Designed to honor the dedication and achievements of Larry Rice, who passed away in May of 2009, cash awards of $750 each will be presented to the USAC (United States Auto Club) Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown drivers who advance the most positions in their respective A-main events on September 25.
Rice was highly respected within the industry, first as a racer and more recently as a broadcaster.
Rice’s career was etched through the roots of USAC and the many forms of open wheel racing that the Indianapolis based sanctioning body served up. During a 24-year span, the popular Rice competed in 650 USAC sanctioned events; and earned USAC National titles in 1973 (Midget), 1977 (Silver Crown) and 1981 (Silver Crown). While under USAC sanction, in 1978 he was named the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year.
Eldora’s unique Four Crown race was the first event to gather USAC’s premier divisions under one banner and Rice was a strong supporter of the concept. He doubled up at the 1985 Four Crown with victories in the Sprint and Silver Crown features, and returned in 1987 to etch yet another Silver Crown into his storied resume.
After hanging up his helmet, Rice remained involved with the sport as an esteemed broadcaster with ESPN, and then ventured into the motorsports insurance business.
Eldora Speedway, in cooperation with USAC and the Four Crown event, are preserving that legacy.
This year’s Four Crown Nationals actually gets underway on Thursday evening (Sept. 23) in the Eldora Ballroom with a Jack Hewitt Roast, and then carries over to Friday (Sept. 24) with a full program for the World of Outlaw (WoO) Sprints, along with hot laps and time trials for USAC’s Midget and Silver Crown divisions.
Saturday’s chase will include time trials for the USAC Sprints, along with the heat races, B-Mains and A-mains for the USAC headline divisions.
Complete event information and time schedules may be found on the track’s website www.eldoraspeedway.com.