‘TRACK TIME’, POINTS RACING AND RECOGNITION COMPLETE SUNDAY’S BALTES CLASSIC
WIX Filters Sponsored Event Features $3,000 to Win Late Model Chase, Final Tune-up for World 100
ROSSBURG, OH (August 27) – A last chance opportunity to gain valuable ‘track time’ prior to the World 100, a return to the ‘traditional start’, the determination of 2012’s Stock Car champion, and recognition of the track founders are among the story lines for Sunday’s (September 2) WIX Filters Baltes Classic at Eldora Speedway.
For the Sunoco sponsored American Late Model Series (ALMS), the 30-lap chase will be yet another, albeit the final, opportunity to gain track time prior to the following weekend’s signature World 100 (September 7 & 8). With limited exposure to the famed .500-mile clay oval throughout the season, every opportunity to race is considered to be a ‘learning curve’ towards the World, which enters its 42nd running the weekend following Labor Day.
After a novel three-wide start in last year’s WIX Filters Baltes Classic, track officials have announced that this year’s $3,000 to win chase will return to the traditional double-file start. In addition, the move this year to double-file restarts will continue.
Former Eldora and ALMS champion Brian Ruhlman is the defending champion of the event which serves as a salute to Earl and Berneice Baltes, creators of the Eldora legacy, which began with the debut of Eldora Speedway in 1954. The highly respected and admired couple made the tough decision to sell Eldora in the fall of 2004 to three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, but continue to support and visit the acclaimed facility on a regular basis. They will be introduced to the crowd prior to the start of the event that carries their namesake.
Tight point races for the UMP DIRTcar Modifieds and Eldora Stock Cars will continue into Sunday; however, for the Stock Cars, it will their final point night and a 2012 champion will be determined at the conclusion of the 15-lap A-Feature for them.
Going into the finale, five drivers have a mathematical chance to grab the coveted title. Three-time champion Barney Craig (1992, 1993, 1999) carries a six-point margin over the 2006 champion Shawn Phillippi, while Earnie Woodard, who is seeking his first-ever championship, sits 17 markers behind Craig in third. Two time title holder Rob Trent (1998, 2011) and Dean Pitts, another driver seeking his first Eldora championship, remain in the battle, but it would take severe tough luck on the top three for them to complete the mission.
An even tighter contest follows the Modifieds into Sunday’s battle. Four-time feature winner Joey Kramer holds a slim two-point margin over Rob Williams, who captured his first-ever Eldora victory earlier this year. Another two points behind Williams sits Matt Westfall, who in turn has a single-point edge over Ryan Sutter. None of the four have an Eldora championship title to their credit. Their crusade will continue through the UMP National Championships in October.
Complete race schedules and event information, including ticket purchases for the WIX Filters Baltes Classic and World 100 may be found on the track websitewww.eldoraspeedway.com or by calling the track office at (937)338-3815 during normal business hours. Campsites for the World 100 are also available through those resources.