World 100 – Notes and Quotes for Wednesday
World 100 – Notes and Quotes From Wednesday, September 7, 2016
ROSSBURG, Ohio (September 7, 2016) – Eldora officials and DirtOnDirt.com have compiled the following notes from around the legendary half-mile ahead of this Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s World 100:
First In Line: Canadian driver Ricky Weiss and Australian Craig Vosbergen were the first two haulers in the staging area for race teams assuring them of a coveted parking spot in the infield pit area.
Instagram and Snapchat Takeover: Eldora’s popular Ms. Eldora ambassadors, Braytin and Mallory, will be taking over Instagram and Snapchat accounts (@EldoraSpeedway) this weekend using the hashtag #World100.
50/50 To Benefit NDLMHoF: The Tony Stewart Foundation 50/50 Raffles held during World 100 weekend will also benefit the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame. Volunteers representing the NDLMHoF will be selling tickets on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The 50/50 Raffle held at the Aspen Dental Dirt Derby also benefited the NDLHoF.
Dennis Erb, Jr. Dream-ing For A World 100: Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., considers Eldora Speedway’s Dream XXII as one of the most special moments in his racing career. Regaining the lead multiple times, the former UMP DIRTcar Summernationals champion went on to capture the famed racetrack’s crown jewel for his richest career victory. He’s hoping to find some of that same magic at this weekend’s World 100.
“To go over there as many times as I’ve been going over there, I’d had some wins on some preliminary nights and the Fall Nationals, but to finally win a big race, I was just really excited about it,” Erb said. “It makes you feel good, for sure.”
For many years, it had been said that the state of Illinois was cursed, in that a driver hailing from the midwestern state had never won an Eldora crown jewel. But Erb put an end to that talk back in June.
“You hear about that all the time, every time we go over there,” Erb said. “To finally get a win over there for the state and the people and the fans … to be able to be the first one to do that feels good too. I was glad to be able to do that.”
Erb’s Dream victory has carried over into a consistent summer. Closing Labor Day weekend with a pair of top-five finishes, along with a sixth-place run in Sunday’s Hillbilly 100 at Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va., he’s feeling confident heading back to the Big E.
“We had a real good car over there back in June,” Erb said. “Hopefully with the stuff that we’ve been working on, we’ll be back up front again.
Fun For Francis: It’s been more than a decade since Steve Francis of Ashland, Kentucky made his way to Eldora Speedway victory lane, hoisting the globe trophy to celebrate his World 100 victory on the Big E stage. But that doesn’t take away from the prestige of the 46th annual event. If anything, Francis is more excited than ever to return to the famed Rossburg, Ohio, oval this weekend.
“The first time I went to Eldora I was probably a 10-year-old kid,” Francis said. “I’ve been going to that thing for a lot, a lot of years and it’s still the granddaddy of all of them. It was the first big race that we had. If I could happen to win that thing again late in my career, it’d be something really special.”
But Francis won’t be behind the wheel of his familiar Tim Logan-owned No. 15 this at Eldora. With the team opting to take the weekend off to get ready for next weekend’s Lucas Oil Series-sanctioned Knoxville Nationals, Francis will be piloting a car for driver Chad Stapleton of Edinburgh, Ind. And after suffering an injury earlier this season, he’s looking forward to a fun, low-pressure weekend.
“Chad and I have always been kind of buddies,” Francis said. “He’s a little out there, but he’s a lot of fun to hang around with. He has good equipment, he just likes doing what he’s doing, running his regional thing. A mutual friend of ours said, ‘Just call Chad and run his car that weekend.’ The next thing I know Chad sent me a text about 10 minutes later and we just put a deal together to run this race.
“We just kind of have fun with it. That’s the main thing I’m looking forward to now. With the up and down year we’ve had, getting hurt and all that stuff, I just want to go have fun and enjoy myself at the races.”
While tire suspensions and injuries will keep several drivers out of this year’s World 100, Francis said he didn’t think their absence was going to make Eldora any less of a challenge. Having good luck plays a large factor in a solid World 100 weekend.
“Eldora plays into so much luck,” Francis explained. “How that wheel spins and where it lands and starting position and what you get in to with somebody else. You’ve got to have a fast car to win Eldora, but you’ve got to have a lot of things go your way too.”
What’s on Francis’s mind as he looks ahead to Eldora? The fact that this might be six-time race winner and long-time competitor Billy Moyer’s last World 100 weekend.
“With Moyer and it supposedly being his last, it’s kind of a sentimental thing,” Francis said. “We’ll see how that plays out. I still say that Billy Moyer is a true racer and he’s probably a little bit like me. When he says he’s going to retire, that means from being at it every week. That doesn’t mean you won’t maybe see him guest appearing in (Moyer Jr.’s) car or something like that. And I hope that’s what he does do.”
Moran’s Mystery: After posting a top-10 finish in June’s Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway, is looking forward to tackling the Big E again this weekend for the 46th annual World 100. But he’s not just excited about the racing; he’s anxiously waiting to unveil a new car design for DirtonDirt.com’s Best Appearing Car contest.
“I’m obviously pretty excited about it,” Moran said. “We had a good run at the Dream. The car that we’re actually taking we didn’t race this weekend. It’s the one that we raced at Florence. We started putting a body on it and getting it ready, so we got our older car back out. There are just a couple different things on it that I’m really excited about, a new design and some cool T-shirts. Hopefully we get that DirtonDirt.com top design.”
While it ended on a high note, Moran’s Dream weekend can be remembered as nothing short of a rollercoaster. Fighting engine problems, he was forced to scratch from Friday’s preliminaries, only to face more troubles with a broken liftgate on his hauler. But the second-generation driver rebounded with a career-best seventh-place finish in the Eldora crown jewel.
“It was an up and down weekend,” Moran said. “We had our motor problems on Friday night. With our Jay Dickens engines, we got everything figured out and he’s done a heck of job in helping us out. We were decent in the feature at the Dream, just missed a couple of things. There are a couple of things now that we’re going to do different that I think will help us. It’s hard to tell until you get there.”
Since that June weekend, Moran has had a strong summer, capturing multiple regional victories, as well as posting a fourth-place finish in the Sunoco North-South 100 at Florence Speedway in Union, Kentucky.
“The car that we’re taking to Eldora, it’s only got a couple of races on it, the North-South being one,” Moran said. “It’s got our good engine in it. Everything just seems like it’s coming together pretty well with that piece right there. Hopefully we’ll be a contender all weekend.”
What can fans expect to see as far as the new design on the No. 99m? Moran’s not giving away any hints.
“You’re just going to have to wait until Thursday,” he said.
Eyes On The Skies: BAMWX.com, who provides Eldora with 24/7 weather information, is evaluating several different computer models on the weather for the weekend.
“As of right now, the models show heavier rains staying clear of Eldora Speedway,” says meteorolgist Michael Clark. “We are forecasting a lot of dry time over the weekend. At this time, scattered showers or an isolated storm are the only real threats that the models are showing at this time. In the slight chance a storm does develop, it could produce heavy rains, lightning and gusty winds for a brief period.”
Eldora Speedway is located in Darke County (Zip Code 45348) and is registered with the National Weather Service for alerts, watches and warnings. Fans can also monitor @EldoraSpeedway on Twitter and Facebook.com/EldoraSpeedway. The Whelen Mass Notification Siren is activated by the Darke County Sheriff Office.
Tickets for the 46th World 100 Weekend events start at just $24 for Thursday and Friday’s preliminary nights featuring full racing programs capped by Twin 25-lap Features paying $10,000-to-win. Tickets to the electric atmosphere of Saturday’s World 100 start at $40. Reserved seating is $4 more. Children (12 and younger) are admitted free to General Admission seating for all World 100 Weekend action. Order online at www.EldoraSpeedway.com or by calling the Speedway Box Office at (937) 338-3815.
About Eldora Speedway:
Since carved from a cornfield in the natural amphitheater that existed between the Eldora Ballroom and the Wabash River by bandleader Earl Baltes in 1954, Eldora Speedway has grown to be a frontrunner in motorsports growth and stability. Baltes chose to sell the legendary high-banked clay oval to motorsports entrepreneur and NASCAR, IndyCar and USAC champion Tony Stewart in 2004. Celebrating its 63rd season in 2016, Eldora hosts the biggest events in short-track racing including the $100,000-to-win Dirt Late Model Dream by Ferris Mowers; the $50,000-to-win Kings Royal Weekend; NASCAR’s only national event on dirt – the Camping World Truck Series’ Aspen Dental Dirt Derby; the 46th annual World 100; and the legendary 4-Crown Nationals. The complete schedule for Eldora’s 63rd consecutive season, including ticket and campsite information, is available at www.EldoraSpeedway.com and can be requested by phone at (937) 338-3815. Fans can get behind-the-scenes access of Eldora Speedway by following @EldoraSpeedway on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, hitting ‘Like’ at www.facebook.com/EldoraSpeedway and behind-the-scenes video at www.youtube.com/EldoraSpeedway.