The long awaited rumor came true on Wednesday, the Eldora Dirt Derby is no more. The track confirmed the move to ticket holders this afternoon.
“We had a great seven-year run that ushered in many firsts for NASCAR, namely heat races, last-chance qualifiers, four-wide salutes and stage racing,” Roger Slack said in the letter. “Rising stars and dirt-racing specialists ensured we never had a repeat winner and that all winners came from various racing backgrounds, from dirt and asphalt to open wheel and stock cars.”
The Ohio race track started hosting the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2013. The track, owned by Tony Stewart, played host to the NASCAR series for seven races. For years, it was always wondered if the NASCAR Cup Series would eventually go to the Rossburg area race track.
See, NASCAR hasn’t hosted a Cup race on dirt since 1970. Eldora would have been a great spot with that track producing great racing and having a passionate fan base. Stewart, has spent a lot of time upgrading the facility too and was always soliciting NASCAR to give Eldora a try with the Cup cars.
Then, you get the 2021 Cup schedule to come out and not only are they finally going back to dirt, they’re doing so at Bristol. It was kind of a slap to the fact to Eldora in that they’re ignoring a track made specifically for dirt and turning a track that was specifically made for concrete to a dirt facility for one weekend.
Was that the turning point of this relationship?
No one really knows, but what we do know is Stewart Friesen’s triumph in 2019 may be the last time we see a NASCAR race at Eldora and that’s a shame. This past year’s race was canceled due to the pandemic and we may never get to witness another Dirt Derby again at Eldora.
It also goes to show that the midwest fan base is taking a huge hit from NASCAR.
Gone is the annual visit to Chicagoland Speedway and the Kentucky Speedway. Those two trips are gone. Eldora is gone. Iowa is gone. One of the two annual visits to Michigan is gone. The Brickyard was shifted from the famed oval to a road course. Yes, you get a gain of Road America, but that’s it.
What did the Midwest do to piss NASCAR off?