Eldora speedway

By Larry Boos

ROSSBURG, OH (Sept. 28) – After a one-year hiatus, a 29-year tradition returns this Saturday to Eldora Speedway to close out the winged Sprint Car season on the one-half mile clay oval. Headlining the twilight Sprintacular card will be the touring All Star Circuit of Champions as they revisit Eldora’s high banks for the first time since June 20, 2009. Completing the UNOH (University of Northwestern Ohio) sponsored tripleheader will be the NRA (National Racing Alliance) Sprint Invaders and the Legends cars.

Ironically, when the All Stars pull into town, defending and current points leader, Tim Shaffer, will do so with nary an Eldora All Star win to his credit. This is a score that the Aliquippa, PA veteran hopes to settle.

It could be a tough road; however, as parity reigns supreme for the All Stars at Eldora.

Of the 130 completed race meets since May 3, 1981 when Brad Doty captured the initial All Star win, there have been 41 different winners. Kenny Jacobs remains high on the win list with 21 victories, while Joey Saldana is the only other driver with double digit wins at 11 triumphs.

The equality that the All Stars brings to the plate is evidenced by the number of drivers that have single wins – 18.

In addition to Shaffer, drivers considered to be in the hunt to capture their introductory All Star checkered flag at Eldora Speedway include young upstart David Gravel, along with seasoned veterans Kyle Sauder, Jim Nier and Rob Chaney.

Regardless of the outcome, the All Stars will begin another chapter of Eldora history.

For the NRA contingent, it will mark the 19th consecutive year for the 360 C.I. brand of winged Sprint Cars at Eldora, with a parity status of their own. With 106 events completed to date, 34 different drivers have experienced the thrill of victory. Veteran Tim Allison, who has been there throughout the tenure, sits atop the win list with 14 wins, just one win ahead of Phil Gressman’s total of 13. However, It has been since 2006 that Allison has seen a win.

For the Legends, a 5/8-scaled replica of American automobiles from the 1930’s and 1940’s and powered by Yamaha motorcycle engines, it will mark their third appearance to the massive one-half mile clay oval. Jack Dossey was the most recent winner with the group paid a 2009 visit.