Four Divisions Ready for Sunday’s Johnny Appleseed Classic by Miller Lite
Kids 12 and Under Free; Fireworks Extravaganza Ready To Kick Off Memorial Day ROSSBURG, OH - The largest fireworks show in Eldora Speedway history, kids 12 and under get in free, the beer is $2 and cold, while the legendary pizza burgers are ready to be eaten. It’s Memorial Day weekend at historic Eldora Speedway and Sunday night, May 24 the long standing Johnny Appleseed Classic by Miller Lite will feature four divisions of race cars. As a tribute to American nurseryman legend Johnny Appleseed, the event was first promoted in 1970 at Mansfield, Ohio by Eldora founder, Earl Baltes. In 1988 Baltes, moved the event to Eldora, where it has remained a fixture. Originally the races were run during the fall season to honor Appleseed’s (John Chapman) September birth date, but the Classic was moved to its current Memorial weekend time slot in 2008. With the seasonal move, the Appleseed now serves as a tune-up of sorts for the rich $100,000 to win Dirt Late Model Dream presented by Ferris Commercial Mowers, which is held two weekends later – June 4-5-6. This Sunday there will be four divisions of racing with each competing in a full slate of preliminary Heat races, B-Features as necessary and A-Features of varying lengths. Headlining the quartet of competition will be the Sunoco American Late Model Series (ALMS) along with the winged National Racing Association (NRA) Sprint Invaders. Joining them, as they continue their battle towards Eldora championship titles, will be the United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) DIRTcar Modifieds and Eldora Stock Car divisions. Rusty Schlenk of McClure, Ohio won the season opening ALMS race on April 18 and is expected to return as he prepares for the Dream. Matt Miller is the defending champion. The winged 360 cubic inch NRA Sprint Cars will be wide open as the Sunday event finishes off a three-day challenge swing between the Lima-based NRA and their Michigan-based Sprints On Dirt (SOD) rivals. Veteran Jim Nier, Jr., is the defending race champion. Because of two races canceled by rain, the UMP DIRTcar Modifieds and the Eldora Stock Car divisions haven’t raced at Eldora since the season-opener on April 18. The drivers and teams are ready to get back to racing as they went three and even four wide on the new clay surface in April. Rob Trent won the season-opening stock car race and leads the point standings, but Brandon Archey and defending champion Frank Paladino are right behind him while Paul Pardo will return to defend his win from last year. The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds will have a new winner as Kyle Strickler returned to North Carolina after his win in the opener and last year’s winner Jeff Babcock has curtailed his schedule due to work obligations. Expect Eldora’s local stalwarts to be led by veterans like Jerry Bowersock of Piqua and Fort Recovery’s Ryan Sutter as they battle Pennsylvania points chasers Evan and Jonathan Taylor for the right to drive atop Victory Stage. 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. Celebrating its 62nd season in 2015, Eldora hosts the biggest events in short-track racing including the 21st annual Dirt Late Model Dream by Ferris Mowers; the 32nd annual Kings Royal Weekend; the third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic; and the 45th annual World 100. The complete schedule for Eldora’s 62nd 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, hitting ‘Like’ at www.facebook.com/EldoraSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/EldoraSpeedwayInc. The Eldora Speedway app for the iPhone, iPad and Android is available for free download via iTunes and Google Play.