The July 24 Mudsummer Classic at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway may be one of the most anticipated races of the 2013 season.
The first major NASCAR race on dirt since 1970 did not come about with a lot of behind the scenes preparation. In the March issue of SPEED SPORT Magazine, Keith Waltz wrote about the logistic hurdles facing Eldora Speedway officials in presenting its first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event.
An excerpt of that story follows:
By Keith Waltz
There is much more to hosting a premier auto race than simply opening the gates and turning on the lights. That’s especially true when a facility is preparing for the biggest event in its storied history, not to mention the first major NASCAR race on dirt since 1970.
All the reserved seats have long ago been sold for the inaugural Mudsummer Classic, but the staff at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway is still working diligently with an eye toward the July 24 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
Roger Slack, Eldora’s promoter and general manager, recently spoke with SPEED SPORT Magazine about his “to-do” list and some of the logistical hurdles the track faces in hosting a major NASCAR event.
“We had already planned on putting new lights on the frontstretch, and we are moving forward with that,” Slack said. “Tony had upgraded most of the facility lighting shortly after he purchased the track with the exception of the frontstretch lights. So we already had in our 2013 plans to upgrade the frontstretch lights to full MUSCOs.
“We also already had the infield wall projects on our list of things to do. But one of the benefits of having the NASCAR event and having the inspection by NASCAR and the University of Nebraska is that we are benefiting from the most up-to-date expertise and safety data they have,” Slack added. “They were able to give us the best design possible for rebuilding our pit entry and pit exit. We are also retrofitting our pedestrian crossover gate at the flagstand and the outside gate on the backstretch crossover based on some suggestions they had. In addition, we are adding a gate to fill an opening we have on the inside of the frontstretch.”