Thursday, June 09, 2005

NASCAR Drivers Get Dirty!

Kenny Wallace got to do what he does best Wednesday night, only this time he got to do it in the dirt. Wallace won the inaugural Nextel Prelude to a Dream late model modified stock car race at Eldora Speedway. He didn't win any points for the race and he walked away with a below average $10,000 winner's paycheck, but he had a great time.

The race was just a 25-lap sprint, and the nearly 20,000 fans in attendance saw plenty of action, including a surprise pole-winning performance by 70-something-year-old stock car legend Red Farmer he admits to being "somewhere between 75 and 70", and a surprise appearance and strong fifth-place performance by semi-retired NASCAR great Bill Elliott. The race raised nearly $75,000 for Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp.

"The people have spoken and it will happen," said Tony Stewart, speaking on the success of the race. Stewart bought the legendary race track during the offseason.

With nearly a dozen of Stewart's Nextel Cup buddies in the field, Wallace predicted the pressure will be on even more Cup drivers to take part in next year's race."I think you'll see a Nextel Cup dirt race here next year," Wallace said.

In my opinion this is why NASCAR is so popular. With a huge race this weekend in the Pocono's drivers took time to give to their fans and to charity. This is another big move in increasing the popular image of NASCAR and it comes from the drivers. It's not coming from executives or advertisers, it's coming from the guys who actually participate in the sport. Are your listening T.O.?

The finishing order was Wallace, followed by Stewart and sprint car ace Danny Lasoski.