Tony Stewart to award $1 million prize at Eldora Speedway | Sports

Tony Stewart went to mattress at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday after pulling an all-nighter at Eldora Speedway.

Stewart has $1 million to offer away Thursday night time and is set that his monitor in Rossburg, Ohio, will likely be in the very best situation doable for the return of The Eldora Million.

“I’m simply thrashing,” Stewart told The Associated Press on Wednesday afternoon by phone, the sound of him moving from various trucks and tractors in the background. “We’ve only had two events so far this year because of weather, and we’ve got to get the track ready to give this money away.”

About 130 vehicles have been anticipated within the night time’s preliminaries. The Thursday night time characteristic pays a whopping $1,002,022 to the winner — the second-largest purse in motorsports behind the Indianapolis 500.

Marcus Ericsson collected $3.1 million from a record-breaking whole purse of $16 million for successful the Indy 500 on May 29; Ryan Blaney received $1 million for successful NASCAR’s All-Star race one week earlier.

The Eldora Million is a 101-lap dirt-track late mannequin race run on a half-mile clay oval in western Ohio. On a per-mile foundation, Stewart’s occasion pays greater than any race within the United States.

The winner will earn $19,842 per mile, greater than thrice what Ericsson earned at $6,200 per mile. Blaney earned $5,333.33 per mile.

Eldora paid out $1 million as soon as earlier than, in 2001 when the late Earl Baltes owned the monitor. Donnie Moran scored the $1 million payday.

Since buying the speedway in 2004, Stewart has aimed to match the prize.

“I said from the first day I took ownership of Eldora that we wanted to make Earl proud by continuing to push the limits of race promotion,” Stewart said. “I can’t think of a better way to honor their legacy than by bringing back The Eldora Million one more time for both our longtime drivers and fans, as well as a whole new generation who have only heard about it.”

The two nights of The Eldora Million are adopted by two nights of the Dirt Late Model Dream. The 4 nights of racing — climate allowing — has created one of many richest open competitors occasions in motorsports historical past, with posted prize cash in extra of $1.9 million.

Moran, winner of the one different operating of The Eldora Million, just lately mirrored on the payday that earned him the nickname “Million Dollar Man.” That payout has stood as the most important for a dirt-track late mannequin race for 20 years and will not be damaged till Stewart crowns a winner Thursday night time.

Moran introduced a brand new automotive and engine to Eldora in 2001 and lured his sister and brother-in-law out of retirement to assist his workforce. He informed them they might receives a commission or take a share of his winnings, and so they gambled and went with the winnings.

But what Moran remembers most was that his spouse ignored her physician’s recommendation to remain residence due to problems she was experiencing whereas pregnant with their fifth baby. She went anyway.

“When it hit me that I had actually received was once I was on the rostrum and I obtained to offer her a hug. That was a magic second that I’ll always remember the remainder of my life,” Moran said. “She had watched most of the race sitting on the ground, I think, but she came through fine. We had our daughter, Savannah, a few days later. Today she works for Tony Stewart at Eldora as one of the trophy girls.”

As for the money?

“It kept me racing for quite a few years and paid off some bills,” Moran said. “I was basically a self-funded team, so it really helped.”

Stewart is hoping his reiteration of The Eldora Million helps another grassroots racer. He has had to buy two new tractors in the last week and asked another track to send its workers to help him prep the Eldora surface, which has been soaked by rain all week.

“We always said one day we wanted to do the Million again and we’re fighting everything to make it happen,” Stewart said. “I’m living, breathing, everything this racetrack right now and I hope Earl is looking down proud of the job we’re doing to carry on his legacy.”


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