Press Release


Late Models and Modifieds to Chase for $5,000 Check in Eldora’s 61st Opener

ROSSBURG, OH (April 10) – When the Sunoco American Late Model Series (ALMS) enters its 20th consecutive season of competition on Eldora Speedway’s challenging high banks this Saturday (April 12) as part of the UMP DIRTcar Spring Nationals presented by Allstar Performance doubleheader, there are many drivers excited about their chances of victory due to the parity of ALMS at Eldora. A lucrative $5,000-to-win payday is on the line for each of UMP DIRTcar’s premier divisions, Late Model and Modified, in Saturday’s lid-lifter on Eldora’s 61st season of racing.

Running under the UMP DIRTcar Late Model banner, ALMS has produced 31 different winners in 69 completed races over the past 19 years, for a new-winner ratio of 45%. In those 19 years, the opening event of ALMS racing season at Eldora has entered five drivers with single series wins onto the all-time victory list. Scott Sexton (1996), Curtis Roberts (2000), Chuckie May (2004), Casey Noonan (2007) and Jeff Babcock, last season, used the season launching event to score their sole Eldora ALMS wins.

Those statistics bode well for a quartet of drivers coming into Saturday with impressive credentials of their own; Bobby Pierce, Ryan Unzicker, Brandon Thirlby and Jason Riggs. Pierce, at the tender age of 17, enters the foray with a head of steam. The Oakwood, IL second-generation driver has already captured three victories in the young 2014 racing season and rides into Rossburg, OH on the heels of a fourth place finish in last season’s World 100, dirt Late Model’s most recognized event.

Unzicker, also from Illinois (El Paso), has two 2014 victories coming into the Eldora weekend, while Riggs completes the Illinois trio (Harrisburg) that has strong intentions of returning to the Prairie State with a trophy from Eldora. Thirlby is seeking his introduction to the famed Eldora victory stage with confidence as the defending ALMS National Champion.

While these four join the ranks of ‘first-time winner’ hopefuls, there are the veterans that they will have to deal with first. Among that list is defending Eldora Late Model champion Matt Miller, who would find a victory Saturday moving him into the lead of all-time ALMS winners at Eldora. His total of six wins ties him with Jeep VanWormer atop that list. VanWormer is expected to be in action, as are Brian Ruhlman (five ALMS wins) and Jerry Bowersock (four ALMS wins). Each of them carries flattering Eldora credentials with Late Model championships under their belt; while Ruhlman and Bowersock are former ALMS champions as well.

The ALMS battle will follow a grueling 32-car, 25-lap Modified feature event Saturday night, to set-up another energetic Eldora experience.

Advance ticket purchases for the UMP DIRTcar Spring Nationals presented by Allstar Performance, and the other exciting race events on the 2014 Eldora calendar are available on the track’s website Additionally, race fans and race teams can get behind-the-scenes access by following @EldoraSpeedway on Twitter, hitting ‘Like’ at and view video highlights at Mobile device users can access the Eldora Speedway app for the iPhone, iPad and Android which is available for download via iTunes and Goggle Play.