Eldora gears up for Prelude 2009: Consider Today

Eldora gears up for Prelude

Consider today the Prelude to the Party.

With two races drawing 20,000-plus fans each, campgrounds starting to turn Rossburg into one of the largest &mdash albeit temporary &mdash Ohio towns in six surrounding counties and a handful of side events, this week makes Eldora Speedway the Miami Valley&rsquos place to be. &ldquoWhen I pulled in the first time (in 2007), I was like, &lsquoMan, what are all these people doing here&rsquo&rdquo said NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch, who makes his third Prelude appearance. &ldquoThere really is no place to stay around there. You are just out in a bunch of cornfields. So, the cool part about it is that the fans camp out and they don&rsquot care if it&rsquos raining, pouring, snowing, sleeting, whatever &mdash they are going to be there to watch some dirt late model racing.&rdquo The highlights are the Prelude to the Dream charity race with Sprint Cup drivers and other racing professionals on Wednesday and the $100,000-to-win Dirt Late Model Dream on Friday and Saturday. In between is a trade expo, the Race 2 Taste and Ms. Eldora pageant (visit eldoraspeedway.com for the schedule). What race fans don&rsquot want to see is bad weather. Severe storms ripped through the campgrounds last year, nearly postponed the Prelude and turned Eldora into a muddy mess. One comment left on Fox Sports&rsquo Web site read, &ldquoI was at Eldora got wacked in the face with mud from Schrader&rsquos car! Ate dirt all night and was in the shower by midnight, but it was still one of the best times I&rsquove ever had.&rdquo A blogger who attended the 2008 Prelude summed it up this way: &ldquoMud in my hair, dirt down my pants and bathrooms that don&rsquot work ...&rdquo She watched people fall down muddy hills and nearly get their cars stuck in fields. Her verdict It&rsquos a must-see experience.

Drivers agree. The event is for charity &mdash this year four military-themed organizations benefit &mdash but the racing is real.


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