Kahne Accepts the Challenge of this...
Kasey Kahne, NASCAR's 2004 Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year, has turned many laps at Eldora Speedway over the years, in winged and non-winged open wheel race cars, but none in a full-bodied Late Model. That will change on Wednesday, June 6, as Kahne joins nearly two dozen other drivers from the NASCAR circuit to compete in the Nextel Prelude to the Dream.
Kahne has been following the unique Prelude since its inception in 2005, but his schedule has never allowed him to participate.
Kahne: "The Nextel Prelude to the Dream has been the most prestigious new short track event created in the past several years. I know it started three years ago as a special event, all-star type of event that featured a lot of NASCAR drivers. Everyone talks about running in the event and what it would mean to beat the best drivers on dirt.
"I told Evernham Motorsports to make sure my schedule would allow me to join the field this year, as I have never raced in the Prelude, or even a Late Model at Eldora Speedway. Beating the best, like Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, on dirt, would be awesome and I am looking forward to the opportunity."
Not only is Kahne anxious, but so is his team owner - Ray Evernham. Evernham, noted for his exploits behind the wheel of an East Coast open wheel pavement Modified, drove from 1979 through 1983; with numerous wins to his credit.
The Nextel Prelude will allow him the opportunity to once again jump behind the behind of a race car; albeit on an unfamiliar dirt surface.
Kahne and Evernham have some stiff obstacles ahead of them, as the field also includes the likes of defending event winner and two-time NASCAR Cup champion, Tony Stewart, four-time Cup Winner Jeff Gordon and yet another Cup champion - Matt Kenseth; among others.
Behind the wheel of borrowed dirt Late Models, the night could prove to be interesting, as some of the drivers have never been on dirt before, and others have limited experience. Following a brief hot lap session, each driver will be given two timed laps to determined placement into one of three qualifying heat races. Finish positions from this heats will determine the starting line-up in the subsequent 30 lap finale.
Crowning the Second Round of Trophy Girls for this...
Eldora Speedway officials have selected Thursday, June 7 as the date to stage their second annual Ms. Eldora Speedway contest. At that time, the reigns of Tiffany Wamhoff and Sarah Linhart will draw to a close and they will crown two new girls to represent Eldora in victory lane and other assorted functions.
Eldora's initial foray into choosing victory lane representatives was met with unprecedented results. With a maximum of 25 contestants to be entered into the contest, officials had to respectively refuse more than a dozen entrants and on the evening of the event, a capacity crowd filled the Eldora Ballroom.
The Ballroom will again be the site of this year's pageantry. And, as was done last year; each girl will appear on stage in three different outfits and will be asked impromptu questions by the Master of Ceremonies.
In addition to the opportunity to represent Eldora Speedway, the girl receiving the most votes from the judges will receive $2,000, while the runner-up will be awarded $1,000. An alternate will also be selected, and she will receive $250.
Tickets for the June 6 Nextel Prelude to the Dream complete rules of competition and applications for the Ms. Eldora Speedway contest are available online at www.eldoraspeedway.com or by calling the track office at 937.338.3815 during normal business hours.