In the world of competitive racing, there are many different kinds of races but there are few that are as exciting as the good, old dirt track racing. When I heard that NASCAR Camping World Truck Series would be back on the dirt track at the Tony Stewart-owned Eldora Speedway on Wednesday, July 24th for the first time in 43 years, I just had to get an interview to find out more about Eldora and how to get tickets. I gave the track a call and quickly lined up an interview with Roger Slack, the general manager and promoter at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. The transcript from our interview follows after the jump. You can also listen to the entire interview here.
Welcome everyone to the Mojo Motors Race Report! Today on the show we have the privilege of hosting @RogerSlack, the general manager and promoter at Eldora Speedway. Eldora just made the big announcement that they are bringing dirt track racing back to the NASCAR circuit by hosting the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Bryan: So Roger, first time NASCAR race at Eldora Speedway…how will you handle the crowd size?
Roger: The neat thing about Eldora is that we handle big crowds a lot. We have the world’s biggest dirt track race already with well over 20,000 people in attendance at the world 100. We are fairly confident that will stay our largest crowd of the year. The Kings Royal is not far behind that in attendance; neither is the dirt late model dreams. So we know how to handle big crowds. However, we have gotten some big reactions so if we have to go out with bleacher boards and build some more stands, we will.
Max: So it sounds like with the world’s biggest dirt track, you have a lot of seats, 20,000 of them, but with the Truck Series race are there any special preparations that you guys need to do there at the track to get it ready for a race like this?
Roger: We meet with NASCAR and the University of Nebraska on Monday and we will be making some adjustments to our interior barriers and adding some more barriers to the pit walls. Then we will be addressing some more specific things for NASCAR such as space, spotter stands, medical care center and track surface standards, which we are already close to meeting already. There are items that we don’t have that we will have to add such as an infield care center. So we are in the process of getting those spec’ed out and put in by this coming July.
Bryan: Roger, with NASCAR coming to the speedway and the changes being made such as added safety, how long has this been in the making for you guys at Eldora?
Roger: Well the changes in safety were planned for over the off-season anyway. But we were able to call on the help of the NASCAR Research & Development Center and the University of Nebraska folks. They’ve given us some great suggestions that have been used at other tracks and they’re the best designs out there. We were really glad to have them here last Monday and now we can start moving forward.
Max: That is great. I know we’re basically a half year out until this race actually happens but in the past you’ve had guys like Kyle Bush compete at the viagra soft tabs track. I know Tony Stewart owns the track and has said that he is not sure if he will race. Are you expecting drivers from the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series to come participate in this race?
Roger: I think we will see drivers from the Sprint Cup series, Nationwide, World of Outlaws, Dirty Late Models. We’ll see a real mix because all of the major dirt series are off that night. We will see some of the worlds best drivers on dirt gather at Eldora for this one of a kind race that’s happening for the first time. It’s going to be a really special night and everyone is going to want to be the first to win. It will go down in the history books.
Bryan: In the YouTube video, can you tell me who is behind the wheel at different times? Because in a few clips whoever is driving looks like they are driving the wheels off the truck and then the next clip whoever is driving looks like they are driving with a little more caution around the track.
Roger: There were two trucks actually. The truck that was completely unmarked with the damage to the right front is Tony Stewart. When they rolled the truck off the trailer it still had the splitter on it and about 2 or 3 laps in, the splitter dug into the ground and caused some damage. The truck without damage that has the red plate marks on the side is Austin Dillon. Then on the daytime shots, Ty Dillon does some driving too.
Max: That is really funny. Now I will have to watch knowing that Austin is in the red plate truck and Stewart is in the truck with damage. I have another question about ticket sales. I think I was reading on your website that on the 2nd of January tickets go on sale for people who already hold season passes to Eldora. When do you expect that the tickets for regular folks will go on sale?
Roger: Starting on Saturday, December 1, 2012, anyone who has bought advance tickets to The Prelude to the Dream will have the chance to purchase that seat for the truck race first. After Saturday that chance expires. Then on January 5, 2013 the tickets go on sale to the general public and the camping opens too. They will go quick so be ready.
Bryan: Last question and a fan favorite, we typically ask drivers this but since you run a track we will ask you as well. What kind of car do you drive away from the track?
Roger: I have a 2007 Corvette Convertible in velocity yellow with a little over 100,000 miles on it. I have driven it all over North America. I grew up in a Corvette family. It is just a really neat, fun car. This car has been used as a daily driver, a pickup truck and for sure deserves the little TLC it has gotten.
Bryan: That is awesome, Roger thank you for being on the Mojo Motors Race Report today. We look forward to the upcoming race. Can’t wait to see those trucks on dirt.
Photo credits: For Shiggles