Johnson, Gordon gear up for June 9 Prelude to the Dream
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 28, 2010) – On Wednesday, June 9, the most celebrated dirt track in all of motorsports will host the Prelude to the Dream. Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, once again will be the site of the all-star dirt Late Model race featuring more than 25 world renowned drivers, including Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, as they battle for dirt supremacy on the half-mile clay oval, all of which will be presented live to the entire nation on HBO Pay-Per-View® with proceeds from the telecast supporting four of the nation’s top children’s hospitals:
The sixth annual event will be headlined by four-time Sprint Cup champions Johnson and Gordon, as well as Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano. All will join Tony Stewart, the two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and owner of Eldora Speedway, and many others including . All will pilot 2,300-pound dirt Late Model stock cars capable of putting out over 800 horsepower.
The live, commercial-free broadcast will begin at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) with an immediate replay. HBO Pay-Per-View’s racing telecast has a suggested retail price of $24.95 and is available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming in the pay-per-view industry. Ordering information and up-to-the minute racing information is available at either www.PreludeToTheDream.org or www.HBO.com.
And beyond the new charity element, this year’s Prelude to the Dream will be a team event. There still will be an individual race winner, but there now will be a race within the race, with the field broken up into four teams, each representing a children’s hospital:
•Team Riley: Bowyer (captain), Ryan Newman, J. Gordon, Brian Vickers, A.J. Allmendinger, Kenny Wallace and Ron Capps.
•Team Cincinnati: Kahne (captain), Logano, Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Bill Elliott and Cruz Pedregon.
•Team Levine: Busch (captain), Johnson, Kenseth, David Reutimann, Dave Blaney and Marcos Ambrose.
•Team St. Jude: Hamlin (captain), Edwards, Robby Gordon, Ken Schrader, Aric Almirola, Ricky Carmichael and Ray Evernham.
Each hospital will receive a donation, with the payout breakdown as follows:
•Winning team receives 45 percent of net money raised.
•Second-place team receives 25 percent of net money raised.
•Third- and fourth-place teams each receive 15 percent of net money raised.
The lowest team score wins, and only the top-five drivers from each team will be scored. For example, if Team Riley has finishes of first, fourth, seventh, 11th and 18th, respectively, from its top-five drivers, its score will be 41. In the event of a tie, the sixth driver will be scored.
“We wanted to shake things up a little bit this year,” said Stewart, who has won the Prelude to the Dream three times since its inception in 2005. “The team concept adds another level of excitement because there’s now a race within the race. As individual drivers, we all want the big trophy at the end of the night. But it’s cool knowing that battles for fourth and fifth and even 11th and 12th will make a big difference for what children’s hospital ends up with the big check.
“We plan to raise a lot of money for all of these hospitals, no matter where their teams finish. Since HBO Pay-Per-View began televising the Prelude in 2007, we’ve been able to help a lot of deserving charities, and helping children has always been a part of that mission. With this format, we feel we can raise more money than ever before. We’ve always set a goal to raise $1 million. We haven’t been able to reach that goal yet, but with this year’s Prelude where we have a race within a race, I think we have our best shot yet to reach that magic number.”
The four charities – Riley Hospital for Children, Cincinnati Children’s, Levine Children’s Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – all cater to the medical needs of children.
The five previous Prelude to the Dreams have collectively raised more than $2.5 million. With each year’s event gaining significant stature and mainstream interest, Stewart’s goal is to have the event raise $1 million, with the proceeds impacting the four charities.
“It’s an ambitious goal, especially in this economy” admits Stewart. “But if we don’t shoot for a number that is a true difference-maker, we’re not ever going to reach it. That’s our goal, and me and everybody else associated with this event is going to do everything we can to meet that goal. Now, we just need everyone out there to purchase the event, enjoy all the action going on at Eldora, and know that their dollars are going to a very worthy cause.”
For those who want to see the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Prelude to the Dream in person, tickets are available online at www.EldoraSpeedway.com or by calling the track office (937) 338-3815. Act fast – the race has sold out in each of its five previous years.