Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:30 pm
By David Caraviello | NASCAR.com – Tue, Jan 29, 2013
Roger Slack couldn't help himself.
The general manager of Eldora Speedway was on his track's website at 12:35 Tuesday morning when he noticed that only one grandstand ticket remained for the inaugural Camping World Truck Series event at the half-mile dirt track. So he pulled out his credit card, and made the purchase himself.
"There are a lot of firsts, but there are never very many lasts," said Slack, who operates the facility owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. "So I bought the last one. I'm not big on many sentimental things, but I thought that would be a neat thing to put up on the wall."
And with that purchase of seat 78 in the second row of bleachers outside Turn 3, all 17,700 reserved grandstand seats for the Mudsummer Classic were sold out. The July 24 event will be the first NASCAR national-series event held on dirt in 43 years, since the final premier-series contest at the North Carolina Fairgrounds in Raleigh in 1970.
Tickets for Eldora's Truck Series event first went on sale Jan. 5, and the track sold all but 2,600 of its grandstand seats that first weekend. As of Tuesday afternoon, the track had 300 general admission tickets remaining for its grass hillside area, where spectators can watch from blankets or lawn chairs. All told, about 20,000 people will be expected at Eldora for the Wednesday night event.
That's a larger crowd than Slack had hoped for, given that neither the event's format nor its driver lineup have yet been revealed.
"It's more than what I expected," Slack said. "? There are a whole lot of unknowns, other than the fact that it was unique and it was NASCAR on dirt. I went conservative and figured we'd hope to get it to about 10 (thousand). Because ultimately, we're still a dirt track, and we're seeing that with over 70 percent of the fans being new to Eldora. But it's pretty impressive. The response has been far greater than I expected. It's not just that it's on dirt -- it's that people are saying they've always wanted to come to Eldora, and now this is the perfect opportunity to knock it off their bucket list."
According to the track, Eldora sold tickets to buyers from 48 states, seven Canadian provinces, as well as the Virgin Islands, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. They'll all crowd into a track located near the town of Rossburg, Ohio -- population 201. Slack doesn't expect any logistical issues, particularly given that the Mudsummer Classic comes shortly after another major event at the track, the King's Royal sprint car race.
"It's one happy family," Slack said. "? With it coming 10 or 12 days after the King's Royal, we'll already have a lot of stuff already in place, so there won't be a whole lot of loading in and loading out of stuff in between two major events."
And afterward, he'll always be able to look at that last available grandstand ticket up on his wall -- despite the fact that after he bought it, he received a call from his bank inquiring about unusual activity on his credit card.
"It's the 60th season of Eldora," Slack said. "I just finished my first season here, so obviously there's a lot of tradition here, and I'm trying to shepherd the tradition and legacy. ? There's not many firsts in short-track racing left here. So I figured I might as well try to get the first last ticket of a sellout."
Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:17 pm
I think it's great that the tickets are being sold like that. I'd love to be able to go, but even though Eldora is only about a 5 hour drive from me it's still a little too far for my vehicles and for me to drive by myself. I can only dream that one day there will be a NASCAR race somewhere in the state of WV, maybe the old Pennsboro Speedway. But probably not.
Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:26 pm
A question: does Eldora allow fans to purchase pit passes for the day of the race? The Chili Bowl has a similar set-up with pits that aren't in the center of the track. It is so much fun.
Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:57 pm
NascarNanaOK wrote:A question: does Eldora allow fans to purchase pit passes for the day of the race? The Chili Bowl has a similar set-up with pits that aren't in the center of the track. It is so much fun.
I think as a member of a race team on dirt. It would be a pain in the A$S if a bunch of fans were in the pits during the races at a dirt track. Insurance would have to be huge at tracks that allows it. As a fan it would be cool though.
I could get in my tracks back pits because I was a member of a team. Didnt matter if my team was racing or not. Just cost a lot more money (than sitting in the stands) is all. Then if we had someone helping with the team that was a non member they just charged a little more for that guy to get in. But moving a car or coming off the track would be a pain with a ton of fans in the back pits with us.
Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:50 pm
Thank you for info. Guess I'll add being a team member to my bucket list,
Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:44 pm
NascarNanaOK wrote:Thank you for info. Guess I'll add being a team member to my bucket list,
if you know a team you could go in as a non member just say you are helping that team that night.
Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:08 pm
I would think with the sell out on the race NASCAR is not ready to fold up. Actually for the true blue fans it has to be a race to cherish. How often does NASCAR change anything? This is great for Eldora but also for the truck series. The fans will want more and and they'll probably get it.
Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:33 pm
Want more already and this one isn't even started!
Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:47 pm
I reserved a block of 15 tickets for this....since we did the Prelude in the past i was given opportunity to block again....however since this was a Nascar event and not Tonys personal venture i couldnt get a reduced rate....the seats r in our usual spot in the main grand stand...they r premium seats...as of right now i have sold 8 of these seats....so if any one is interested in going and cant get a ticket plz let me know....u can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
....these r $40/ticket...i have to purchase them from the track no later than March 1st...therefore if u want em i will need ur money no later than Feb 27th....ur tix r not considered held until i get ur money for them....so let me know ASAP and let me know.....we always have a great time at the track so hopefully some of u will come join us.....
Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:26 pm
Anybody know if he is going to be racing at Eldora in the truck race ? i haven't heard anything
Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:07 pm
classic_chevy wrote:Anybody know if he is going to be racing at Eldora in the truck race ? i haven't heard anything
Last I heard, Tony will be wearing his track owner hat and will be too busy to race. But some how I can't help but think that there will be a truck available if he should find himself ready to race. LOL We shouldn't be disappointed if he sticks to the ATV and the tractor.
If anyone is interested, I read an article on OneDirt.com about dirt track race preparation.