Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mike Joy And Darrell Waltrip Ready For Eldora


The last time NASCAR fans heard Mike Joy he was losing a lung trying to describe the incredible action of the Whelen Modifieds as they raced at Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time. The race was short, the TV was basic and the fun meter was pegged on high. Is it wrong to say that was the most exciting NASCAR race of the season?

Well, Joy is back on TV and he is bringing Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds along for the ride. After one of the longest rain delays in recent racing history, Tony Stewart and his NASCAR guests are holding another edition of the always interesting and very unpredictable "Prelude to the Dream."

This is a night of Late Model racing for charity that benefits some great causes listed at the bottom of this column. Stewart owns Eldora Speedway and this little Rossburg, Ohio dirt track is something else. Many NASCAR fans who watch the sport on TV have really never seen dirt track racing and they are in for a surprise.

Unfortunately, there have been two withdrawals due to injury. Bill Elliott broke some ribs dirt-bike riding and Carl Edwards experienced the dreaded "Frisbee ankle." Both are on the sidelines for the event this season.

On the upside, Marcos Ambrose is along for the ride and that should be interesting. This will be his first experience on dirt and fans will get to watch it live. It should be great to see how he does in this very different environment.

While Jeff Gordon and Dave Blaney will also not be attending this year, the list of those who will be racing is impressive.

Tony Stewart - Heavy favorite, in charge of track watering operations.
Kenny Wallace - Won the event back in 2005, will Twitter while driving.
Brian Vickers - Absolutely no experience on dirt but promises to try very hard.
Kenny Schrader - Won at Eldora in USAC and has lots of free time to practice.
David Reutimann - Started career racing dirt modifieds across in Florida.
Cruz Pedregon - NHRA star promises this season entire field will not lap him.
Ryan Newman - Another dirt veteran of the USAC sprint cars in the Midwest.
Casey Mears - First time at the Prelude and ready for a learning experience.
Joey Logano - Has Home Depot book on dirt track racing but nothing else.
Kasey Kahne - Owns multiple sprint car teams and could be the dark horse.
Matt Kenseth - Just happy not to be driving in a Sprint Cup car for this race.
Jimmie Johnson - Former Stadium Truck Series racer looking for an oval win.
Denny Hamlin - Won a lot on this size track, but pavement was always involved.
Robby Gordon - Came from nowhere to finish second last season.
Red Farmer - Between 75 and 80 years young, still getting it done on the dirt.
Ray Evernham - Started as a driver, now owns a dirt track and still races.
Kyle Busch - Finished second in 2007, promised to talk to the media after the race.
Clint Bowyer - Former track champ on dirt at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas.
AJ Allmendinger - Absolutely first time on dirt, but hair will still look good.
Aric Almirola - Learned a lot in last two Preludes, could be a contender.
Kevin Harvick - On a roll from last week, looking to win the entire thing.

Two veterans from the NASCAR on Fox production team, Pam Miller and Artie Kempner, will be producing and directing the pay-per-view telecast distributed by HBO. The TV crew will also include Dick Berggren on pit road and Matt Yocum roaming the grounds as the host. These TV personalities have donated their services, as have the drivers.

The speedway will be rocking on Wednesday night as it has once again sold out. The expected overflow crowd should be around 23 thousand. Almost every single person will be leaving covered in some of the nice dirt surface that Mr. Stewart and his track crew are preparing. They would not have it any other way.

Here is how the TV works. At 6:30PM ET, there will be a thirty minute preview show that will serve to let cable viewers find the right PPV channel. Ordering can be done directly through the remote for digital cable viewers. If you are unsure about your cable TV setup, call your local cable company during the daytime to check and see how to order. The total price is $24.95.

For DirecTV viewers, turn to channel 121 to order while Dish customers should tune to channel 455. Please be advised that this program is in Standard Definition. Adjust your sets accordingly, HD has still not come to the Prelude.

Here is the schedule if everything goes smoothly:

7:00 p.m.: HBO Pay-Per-View Broadcast begins
7:10 p.m.: Prelude Hot Laps
7:40 p.m.: Prelude Qualifying
8:25 p.m.: Prelude Driver Introductions with parade laps
8:40 p.m.: Invocation & National Anthem
8:45 p.m.: Prelude Racing Program to begin -- Heats / Consolation / Feature
10:30 p.m.: Post Race Winner's Circle

The guys do hot laps, then qualify individually which is very fun to watch. Just like at your local track there are heat races, a consolation race and the feature.

The money raised from the PPV subscriptions goes to the following charities:

The Wounded Warrior Project
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
Operation Homefront
Fisher House

So, for the price of taking a date to the movies or eating out, racing fans can see lots of big name drivers in a very different environment. Late Model racing on dirt is wild and the action is just a blast. The attitude is informal and the TV is unpredictable. I'll be ordering again this year, I certainly hope you might join in.

We will get your comments on this event in an upcoming TDP column. Please feel free to ask any questions or offer comments below. Thanks.

90 comments:

Gymmie said...

Can't wait! It's going to be a great event! I'm so glad they got the PPV dealio to bring it to us! I hope to go one day!

I'll be watching from my secret connection and send Smoke my $25 in. Actually I have a couple of viewing options :D

I'm still not sure if I was ever billed for the first year. I totally forgot about it until Pre-Season Thunder when Smoke said that one of his friends said he was finally billed like 6 months later. I remember budgeting it but never recalled being billed. I don't remember last years billing either.

Anywho, can't wait! It's going to be a great event and it's fun watching the boyz on dirt. Hope Smoke can talk Mr. Helton into letting the Cuppers race there during the season. That'll separate the men from the boyz. Love dirt racin'! <3

SonicAD said...

It's not in HD? That's a step backwards. When I watched in 2008 it was in HD, indeed my cable provider had literally just added an HD PPV channel a couple days before, so I was able to watch it on there.

julian24 said...

Yeah...i remember watching the race in HD in 2008. Its was only 10 bucks more but i didnt mind paying extra for the event. And I sure hoped they would have done it in HD this year....

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about Kyle Petty! Just like 2007 and 2008, he gonna be with Mike, Larry, and DW as well!

Thornton, Colorado said...

DW and Larry Mac. Two reasons to sit this one out, and watch paint dry. Yet another agenda driven broadcast, as we get to hear about the Red Bull/Larry mac connection that no one really knows about, as wel as DW furthering his agenda on Fox cartoon characters/trademarked clown phrase "Stupidy, Stupidy, Stupidy". Just when you thought it was safe to go to the race track....

Anonymous said...

To Thornton Colorado-

I'm with you 100% buddy!

Great post

MRM4 said...

This is a great event. Dirt late model racing is the best kept "secret" in American motorsports. The downside is they are not offering it in HD this year.

glenc1 said...

JD...one of the great things about a blog is that you are able to bring a lot of attention to important events like this. I'm sure Tony & co. appreciate the publicity for such a great cause. I'd been seeing the ads but forgot it was tonight. Great descriptions of the participants...

Arguing about the TV guys seems rather silly when you think about its purpose...really...

Daly Planet Editor said...

sonic, not in HD for home satellite dish users.

"DirecTV Customers: All DirecTV customers can order. You can find the event on Channel 121 in Standard-Definition."

"DISH Network Customers: All DISH Network customers can order. You can find the event on Channel 455 in Standard-Definition."

JD

Zieke said...

$24.95 to listen to Waltrip??? You've got to be kidding. I'd rather send Tony a check than subject myself to that drivel.

Anonymous said...

25 bucks? Ouch. Wrong economy.

West Coast Diane said...

Here's an idea. Give up the $25, turn the sound down and watch the boys on dirt. Our wounded men & women benefit, you don't need to hear DW/Larry Mac (if you can't stand them) and you still get to see the boys race on dirt.

When I think of what our soldiers, sailors, marines give to keep us safe it is a small show of support.

Hope those not watching will send in a donation. Wounded Warriors is a good place or the others JD mentioned.

Should be fun. Sorry some of the boys are missing due to injury.

tom in dayton said...

Hooray!
In less than an hour, I'm pointing the roadster north up Ohio Rt.49 and heading to Eldora!!
Most of the boys won't be there until around 2:00pm, but it looks like a good day to go racing.
JD: I'll try to get some pics of the broadcast compound and whatever(in May, Smoke was talking about putting in a version of the dreaded "batcam" - let's see if it became reality...)

darbar said...

The only other person I wish were at Eldora is John Force. Watching him and Pedregon in their shouting match and nearly coming to blows was priceless and would add another layer of interest to this race.

SonicAD said...

No, I looked around for info on last year's and it was HD on both satellite companies as well.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Tom, ask Matt Yocum or Mike Joy for a pic for TDP readers. Take a walk over to the TV truck and tell Pam Miller thanks for her efforts.

We look forward to your pics!

Bobby said...

Cruz is very unhappy after seeing the NHRA's modern-day Roush, John Force Racing, bump the defending Funny Car champion Advance Auto Parts Toyota Camry Solara out of the playoffs with the semifinal win by Force Ford's Robert Hight.

Cruz also has fielded midgets at the Chili Bowl.

Gymmie said...

@West Coast Diane--agreed! I can spare $25 for our soldiers wish it could do more. I won't get off topic but I could write a book about my feelings about that.

@darbar--I was thinking the same thing!

Anonymous said...

Why would I pay to listen to the worst TV broadcaster ever DW, second worst MW.I will send a check to charity, probably more than the greedy , sponsor plugging Waltrips have ever given. I will probably watch TV Land and the Beverly Hillbillies if I want to see some Waltrip stupidity.Take note ESPN'S TV ratings , even with all of the competition , are rising.People are getting sick of the FOX idea of dumbing down race broadcasting and warming to the sensible ESPN way.

Anonymous said...

I know why DW is going to be there. To benefit charity of course. Not charity for others, his own. To self promote all of his own agenda's DW store, Toyota, etc, etc. It should be the end of the line for all of the self promoting poor broadcasters.Then poor Larry Mac. Nice guy but not a TV guy. When you are verbally challenged enough that you cannot pronounce your own name, eg. Larry Mack Reynolds. or the month of Jew-lie, find another job.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Everyone has the right to an opinion, but DW continues to support this charity race and Larry Mac talks in person just like he talks on TV.

Perhaps, race fans getting together for a good cause on a Wednesday night might be a good idea that rises above the petty problems of TV personalities.

JD

Jojaye said...

If you love racing this is the yearly must order.

It is the longest rain delay, but worth it. Its my yearly PPV purchase! I love this every year.

If any Planeteers are there please eat a pizza burger for me!

Karen said...

6:30 preview on PPV.

kbaskins said...

LOL! Mike Joy just said "balls-to-the-wall racing". Good thing this is on PPV...

Gymmie said...

AMEN JD :D

kbaskins said...

Did anyone else here purchase the PPV? I'm so excited I finally have the chance! My only wish is that my $25 for veterans was going to my fellow Canadians, but that's a small quibble.

LOL! My CAPTCHA is rematt. Is that doing another Kenseth?

--KarenB

Newracefan said...

Only PPV I buy. Having fun already but the last few minutes have been pretty funny open Mic's for Yocum who is trying to organized the driver intros and if anyone remembers them from before organization is not exactly a word I would use.

David said...

getting to see this for the first time, looks like fun!

Anonymous said...

Y'all who hate on DW, Mike Joy and Larry Mac ought to watch this race.

You'd find out that a lot of what you're complaining about gets left at Fox.

Dot said...

I'm fizzed up.

Why isn't Weed driving the 18?

Do DW, Joy, etc donate their time for this? TV crews?

JD, please turn off veri word. Thanks.

Veri work: twingent. What Mikey does on Mon nights.

kbaskins said...

@ Dot

LOL at your CAPTCHA warped definition. Very clever!

This broadcast is awesome. These guys are having so much fun! Too bad my boy (and former winner) broke his foot.

--KarenB

Newracefan said...

Mike Joy said that they all donate their time including many of the crew guys behind the scenes. I am guessing the money from Gilette is what payed for what is needed for it to be on TV.

Dot said...

@ Nrf, thanks. That's what I thought.

The best thing about this race is, no S&Ps or gomers.

David said...

Dot, its probably because Kyle's stuff is his own, and thats his number

Newracefan said...

Also no commercials

kbaskins said...

And no Digger.

--KarenB

Dot said...

@ David, aha. Thanks.

conab

Karen said...

David, Kyle's car belongs to Scott Bloomquist. 51 is his truck number.

David said...

Yeah Karen I see that now.

#51 is Kyle's non-JGR number. Runs it in trucks, his ARCA team fields 51, etc.

Andrew S. said...

OK John I have a couple of complaints about your write up of this event.

First, this IS NOT the first time Marcos Ambrose has raced on dirt. I am positive he ran at Macon Speedway in 2007 at Night of the NASCAR Stars and he was back again in 2008.

Second, Ken Schrader has a lot of free time to practice? You think he has been sitting on his couch drinking Bud Light since February?

He will probably run 3 races for every 1 a Cup driver is in. Notable exceptions being Smoke and Shrub, then the ratio is only 2 to 1.

Other than that, I hope they raise a ton of money for the charities tonight and Schrader kicks butt and takes names.

Gymmie said...

@nrf--yup! this is the only PPPV I order. Yes that was funny with Yumyum's mic :)

@Dot--as they said everyone donates their time to this. Smoke has even said that they won't let him pay for the fuel for their planes or travel expenses.

@JD--I was finishing cooking dinner so I forget his name but did you work with that camera man who came out of retirement to help tonight?

Jennifer said...

@Andrew S

they interviewed Schrader and they mentioned he was "only" doing 60 events this year.

Jennifer said...

man it would have been cool, if they could have done this a couple weeks ago, when I was in town.


also I probably should have the trip up the highway to see how Eldora looked, since the last time I drove by was 10 years ago.

Gymmie said...

DW looked like he was having a blast out there :)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Andrew,

The press release says it is the first time for Marcos on dirt, that is the extent of my knowledge on that subject.

As for the comments, just giving some grief to those who may or may not deserve it.

Jennifer said...

wow, seems like the introductions are better organized this year

kbaskins said...

LOL! They even booed Kyle at Eldora!

--KarenB

Anonymous said...

As I was scanning Jayski I saw this column and clicked on it. Right off the bat I knew this writer has not attended many racing events. I, a racing fan who has attended many modified events in person was anxiously awaiting the race at Bristol, expecting a great show. Unfortunately the race at Bristol did not for some reason produce a very good race or great racing. The events at NHMS have been exciting but not Bristol. So Mike Joy was not losing a lung over great action. He did try and make it seem somewhat exciting. Its tough when people who have little racing background or have been to few if any races decide to write about racing and represent themselves as experts.Better to stay in you own field of expertise and let the real racing writers do what they do best.

Daly Planet Editor said...

anon 8:22PM,

I don't care who you are or what you clicked on. The Mod race on TV was one of the best NASCAR offerings of the season.

If you want to start slinging mud, start by identifying yourself and then backing up your statements.

In my ten years at ESPN working in CT I attended Mod races all over New England, we all have our opinions on issues and you can certainly share yours.

Just don't assume you are right...

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

In the meantime, back for some charity racing in Eldora...

Anonymous said...

Great seeing all these guys from different series racing together. Longing for the good old IROC days...

Daly Planet Editor said...

Nice to see that Schrader is doing well, be nice to get him back on TV.

Newracefan said...

Too bad we couldn't ave gotten Schrader and Chad for TWIN instead of Jimmie. Chad may have been at HMS when Schrader was there bet they have some stories. This is the most fun I have had in a while.

Dot said...

I'm a couple minutes behind. Anyone know if the drivers picture is available?

Gymmie said...

@anon 8:30--yup I miss IROC :(

@JD--me too :(

kbaskins said...

Man, this is the Mariah Carey sax version of your anthem.

Ouch! My ears are bleeding!

--KarenB

Daly Planet Editor said...

Hey, SPEED gave Spencer a shot this coming Monday and he is under some good pressure. That is a big show.

You never really know how folks are going to do until you give them an opportunity.

Very glad there is no rain in Ohio.

PammH said...

Awww, y'all are making me regret that I didn't order this race. But the yr I did, Dish charged me twice & never gave me a credit for it. In today's economy, I just couldn't risk it this yr...:( But I will definitely catch the free stuff when they show it on Speed. I also know from watching it live that ALOT of the fun stuff gets left out..

David said...

Pam, nothing is scheduled for SPEED but hopefully they will show it at some point.

kbaskins said...

Dang! Marcos in the wall!

Sorry Dot.

--KarenB

darbar said...

Man, I love watching these dirt cars. Some of the best racing you ever see. Many of these guys started racing on dirt at local tracks. I remember watching Matt Kenseth racing in the Madison, Wi area as a young guy with his dad promoting. Now, Matt's son is doing the same. I bet all the Kasey lovers never realized how great a dirt racer he is.

darbar said...

Anyone know why Jr is never at these kinds of races for charity? Tony came to Madison for Matt's charity, Matt is here at Eldora, Tony went to Kasey's race in Washington etc, but you never see Jr doing anything for his fellow drivers and their charities.

Dot said...

KarenB, thanks.

I love the fact that everyone is in the A main.

Is the price cheaper than before? I seem to have $30 in my head.

Dot said...

Poor Joey. A wow for Dinger.

Anonymous said...

"justin" case you're too cheap to pay for the race or if you're not at home, it's being streamed, "justin" case you'd be interested.

darbar said...

I paid $24.95 for the race from DTV

darbar said...

Don't know if Joey has a lot of experience on dirt. Doesn't look like it

Dot said...

@ dar, same for cox.

David said...

joey's first run on dirt tonight. was giving it a go before that mount.

kbaskins said...

Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer have extensive dirt experience too.

--KarenB

David said...

thanks alot annon. you jinxed it.

kbaskins said...

That really sucks for the owner of Joey's car. These cars are supposed to run this weekend. I wonder how long it would take to fix something like that, or if they just junk the car.

Who's responsible for absorbing the costs of a wreck like that. The owner of the vehicle, who essentially loaned his car to the Prelude competitor, or Tony, or the driver, or is the car sponsorship money enough to cover accidents?

--KarenB

Dot said...

@ KarenB, I don't know if they can insure these cars or not. The premium would be high. I'm guessing the owners self insure and keep their fingers crossed.

PammH said...

@David-welp, Speed doesn't show it for a couple mths, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they do this yr also!

Dot said...

What's on the track now, and why can't we see it?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Pretty nice producing from Pam Miller. She has all the bases covered.

darbar said...

Joey gets into Tony's backup car. Nice gesture.

Gymmie said...

Smoke i sweet :)

kbaskins said...

Dirt racing rules!

--KarenB

Daly Planet Editor said...

Wish they had watered the track, but at least it's not raining.

kbaskins said...

Bumper and in-car cameras are ridiculous at a night race on a 1/2-mile dirt tracke.

Seriously, stop with the tight shots. It's harshing my mellow.

--KarenB

Daly Planet Editor said...

Wish they had stayed wide for the feature and saved the in-cars and the tight stuff for replays.

kbaskins said...

My god, by the miracle of television we've just been transported from Eldora to Talladega!

--KarenB

kbaskins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kbaskins said...

@ JD

Great minds... :-)

--KarenB

Anonymous said...

This is JUST so much fun for everyone and the $$$ is for a great cause. People...quit complaining and enjoy the show. Look at all the smiles & Mike Joy, DW & Larry Mac are donating their talents and are having a good ol' time too!!!

Gymmie said...

Congratulations Smoke :)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Well, that was fun and for a good cause.

Have a great night folks, new column up shortly for your comments and live blogs Friday and Saturday night.

JD

MRM4 said...

Good production. The only negative I saw was the sound was off with the wall camera. You heard the cars before they actually passed the camera.

I liked the movie of placing a high camera over turns 1 and 2 instead of having the camera behind the stands in turn 1 like all broadcasts from Eldora have. They do need to find someone with broadcasting experience that has a background in dirt late model racing to better explain some things that DW and Larry Mac can only guess at.

Anonymous said...

This is the only PPV I bought this year. I was going to skip it this year, but with the fine charities it was benefiting, I decided to go for it since I have family on active overseas duty. I don't know much about dirt racing, but I like the relaxed interaction of all those involved. I just got HD - I can't believe how much more animated the action is to watch. It was a thoroughy enjoyable 3+ hours. Kudos to EVERYONE involved in bringing this to PPV and contributing their services.