T.J.’s Takeaways from the Eldora Million

The start of the Eldora Million. (Dan McFarland photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

(July 13, 2023) — The Eldora Million is in the history books with Logan Schuchart likley swimming through money like Scrooge McDuck in his money vault (okay, maybe not. But the visual of this made me chuckle). With that here are my takeaways from the biggest payday in Eldora History.

  • When watching hot laps on the opening night of the Eldora Million on Wednesday it was evident that Logan Schuchart would be the car to beat based on the first two corners of practice. As I witnessed Schuchart cut through turns one and two so crisply and be the fastest in that practice session it was just a preview of the dominating performance we witnessed on Thursday.

    Schuchart, who has been so close to winning a sprint car major, ended up doing so at the most opportune time from a financial perspective scoring the $1,002,023 dollar payday. The first major victory was also done with a statement about how dominant they were the entire weekend.

    Every time the Shark Racing 1S hit the race track it was the car to watch. Schuchart was very fast throughout Wednesday night’s program, Thursday night Shark Racing was 1-2 in practice with teammate Jacob Allen. Schuchart dominated his heat race and was never seriously challenged during the 50 lap affair.

    The victory was universally celebrated from the unbelievably large crowd for a Thursday night at Eldora Speedway. One would be hard pressed to find a more popular outcome on Thursday. Having Schuchart’s grandfather Bobby Allen up there to celebrate with his grandson was a happy moment for the sport that warmed the heart of multiple generations.

  • There was a lot of speculation if there would be a lot of carnage on Wednesday night at the Million due to the deep inversions. While Wednesday’s program went off relatively clean, Thursday’s program saw a large number of torn up race cars.

    From the first heat race that took over 30 minutes to complete to the feature where a multiple car pileup just after the break dramatically changed the outlook of the race from second on back.

    Once the cleanup was complete the remainder of the 30 lap second segment of the Eldora Million was clean and green, but the Million might be remembered as much for the carnage as it is for the feel good story of the winner.

  • One aspect of the Eldora Million I enjoyed the most was the crowd. The large throng of people were there for the race more than party that you see during some of the other big races. It was a very large, locked in racing audience.

    I could feel the audience taking in every pass and all the action on track. I felt the crowd gave the Million a tremendous amount of energy on Thursday, and almost every driver seemed to indicate the same during their interviews as well.

    The event felt completely different than any other race I’ve covered at Eldora with anticipation of one race team winning that amount of money. That alone will make it one of the most memorable races I have ever covered.