MAY 26TH ‘JOHNNY APPLESEED’ NEWS & FACTS
* Eldora Speedway’s Oldest Event, Johnny Appleseed Classic, Features 4 Classes
* Will Tim Allison Dynasty of NRA Sprint Racing at Eldora Fall in 2013?
* Matt Miller Relying on ‘Rule of Threes’ to Guide Him to Eldora Victory
* Parity in the Modified Division is Replaced by Domination in the Stock Car Class
ELDORA SPEEDWAY’S OLDEST EVENT, JOHNNY APPLESEED CLASSIC, FEATURES 4 CLASSES
ROSSBURG, OH (May 22) – Sunday evening’s (May 26) time honored Johnny Appleseed Classic by Miller Lite will be a busy scene at Eldora Speedway with four divisions of racing on the historic .500-mile clay oval; each competing in a full slate of preliminary Heat races, B-Features as necessary and A-Features. Headlining the quartet in their first appearances of the 2013 season will be the Sunoco American Late Model Series (ALMS) and the NRA Sprint Invaders. Joining them, as they continue their Eldora championship season, will be the UMP DIRTcar Modified and Eldora Stock Car divisions.
Begun in 1970 at Mansfield Raceway as a tribute to American nurseryman legend Johnny Appleseed, the annual event continued there through 1987. The next season, Eldora creator Earl Baltes, who also owned the Mansfield facility at the time, moved the Classic to Eldora Speedway, where it has remained a fixture since.
The dirt Late Model division has always been the headlining division for the Appleseed, which, remarkably, has only had one rain cancellation in its storied 43-year history. Originally held during the fall season to honor Appleseed’s (John Chapman) September birth date, the race was moved to its current Memorial weekend time slot in 2008. It now serves as a tune-up of sorts for the rich $100,000 to win Dirt Late Model Dream, which is held two weekends later; June 6, 7 & 8, this year.
Thirty-four dirt Late Model drivers have claimed Johnny Appleseed victories and only seven have been victorious more than one time. Shane Yoder leads that parade with his three consecutive wins from 1994-1996, while John Lawhorn (1981, 1989), Larry Yantis (1984, 1985), Larry Scott (1986, 1987), Kris Patterson (1993, 1998), Brian Ruhlman (2002, 2005) and defending champion Matt Miller (2011, 2012) are the only other multiple winners. Of that group, Lawhorn is the only driver to have registered an Appleseed win at Mansfield and Eldora.
Sunday’s schedule kicks off with hot laps at 6:00 p.m., with the evening’s first of many green flags set to fall at 7:30 p.m.
WILL TIM ALLISON DYNASTY OF NRA SPRINT RACING AT ELDORA FALL IN 2013?
ROSSBURG, OH (May 22) – Tim Allison (Cridersville, OH) is riding a seven-year stretch atop the all-time NRA Sprint Invader win list at Eldora Speedway, and with knowledge that the streak could be in jeopardy this season, he is gunning for a victory Sunday evening (May 26) during the Johnny Appleseed Classic.
In 2006, Allison first tied Phil Gressman for the most victories (13) in July and then one month later grabbed another triumph to award him sole possession of the honor. But, since then, Allison has been winless on the .500-mile clay oval.
Gressman has not been racing with the NRA in recent years, but Kyle Sauder, who sits in third with 11 checkered flags, has returned to the NRA Sprint Invader tour, after an absence of several years. That could bode bad news for Allison. With four NRA events on the 2013 Eldora menu, three wins by Sauder (Archbold, OH) would move him into a tie with Allison, while a sweep of the action would move him into the top spot; replacing Allison.
Three times before (1999, 2000, 2002) Sauder has collected three Eldora wins in one season.
However, repeating that fete and mounting a charge against Allison has a major roadblock in the name of Randy Hannagan (Pittsboro, IN). The two-time and defending NRA champion last year did just what Sauder needs to do this year – won three of the four completed NRA events. Track owner and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart denied Hannagan of a clean sweep last year.
With a win Sunday night, Allison can breathe a little easier; knowing that the top spot is his for at least another year.
Joining the NRA Sprint Invaders in a busy four-division program will be the Sunoco American Late Model Series, UMP DIRTcar Modifieds and Eldora Stock Cars.
MATT MILLER BANKING ON ‘RULE OF THREES’ TO GUIDE HIM TO ELDORA VICTORY
ROSSBURG, OH (May 22) – A widely acknowledged proverb, the ‘Rule of Threes’, dictates that good things come in threes; a truth that Matt Miller is hoping to fulfill Sunday evening (May 26) in Eldora Speedway’s Johnny Appleseed Classic by Miller Lite.
Competing in the Sunoco American Late Model Series (ALMS) portion of the four-division program, Miller is well on the road to proving the adage to be correct. The Whitehouse, OH native has captured ALMS feature wins in each of the past three years and is appropriately driving a car adorned with the number 3. Two of those three ALMS wins have been in the most recent Appleseed Classics, so a victory Sunday would make it three in a row and a continuation of the ‘Rule of Threes’.
In addition to the ALMS competition, the NRA Sprint Invaders, UMP DIRTcar Modifieds and Eldora Stock Cars will provide a busy night of action that takes its first green flag at 7:30 p.m.
PARITY IN THE MODIFIED DIVISION IS REPLACED BY DOMINATION IN THE STOCK CAR CLASS
ROSSBURG, OH (May 22) – With three point awarding race meets in the books thus far into Eldora Speedway’s young season, it has been one of parity for the UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, while for the Eldora Stock Cars it has been domination.
Three different Modified drivers, Brian Post (April 27), Jon Henry (May 4) and Jerry Bowersock (May 18) have moved themselves to Eldora’s coveted Victory Lane, while Barney Craig is the only driver, in an equal number of race meets, to claim Stock Car honors.
Complete event information, along with ticket and campsite purchase opportunities, may be obtained by visiting the track’s website www.EldoraSpeedway.com, or by calling the speedway office at (937) 338-3815. Additionally, race fans and race teams can get behind-the-scenes access by following @EldoraSpeedway on Twitter, hitting ‘Like’ at Facebook.com/EldoraSpeedway and view video highlights at YouTube.com/EldoraSpeedwayInc. The new Eldora Speedway app for the iPhone, iPad and Android is now available for download via iTunes and Google Play.