Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Prelude" Uses TV To Deliver Charity Dollars

It's that time of the year again to dig out a little money for a good cause and get some racing in return. Wednesday night is the seventh year for the Prelude to the Dream charity race from Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

Eldora is a little half-mile track that lets NASCAR fans take a look at some of their favorite drivers interacting in a very different way and driving Late Model Stock Cars on dirt. Pretty much, it's a blast.

Here is the complete list of drivers who will be participating: Justin Allgaier, Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Ron Capps (NHRA), Ricky Carmichael, Austin Dillon, Carl Edwards, Bill Elliott, Ray Evernham, David Gilliland, Denny Hamlin, Ron Hornaday, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Tony Kanaan (IndyCar), Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, Jason Leffler, Ryan Newman, Cruz Pedregon (NHRA), David Reutiman, Keny Schrader, Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers, Kenny Wallace and JJ Yeley.

There are four charities that benefit from the dollars raised by the PPV telecast:

Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, N.C.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, GA.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital of St. Louis, MO.
Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX.

The format is pretty simple. The guys get hot laps, qualify and then run in heats that lead to a main. The track is tipped 24 degrees in the corner and 8 on the straights. The reason this is called the Prelude is because there is another feature race called The Dream that runs at Eldora later in the season.

Basically, first up is a preview show on your cable or satellite PPV channels that lets you locate the right channel and then use your remote or telephone to order. The DirecTV channel is 121 and DISH is 455. The preview should be running at 7:30PM ET. The charity event is $24.95 and gives you a show from 8PM through midnight Eastern or the conclusion of the feature race. It also re-airs for those authorized.

The TV folks donate their time for this one. It's ESPN's Marty Reid in the booth with Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds from FOX. Matt Yocum hosts the event while Dick Berggren and Junior's crew chief Steve Letarte are the pit reporters. Veteran Pam Miller who is currently the Pit Producer for NASCAR on FOX will produce the telecast.

This is a fast track. Stewart holds the qualifying record at 116.8mph. The speedway seats about 23 thousand and it is always packed for this night. It's just a nice glimpse into the reality of short-track racing. DW has driven the water truck before, Tony runs around checking the track as the owner and the fans do the wave.

Click here for the official Prelude to the Dream website. There is a little more info and some videos that offer a look at the participants.

Happy to have your comments on this topic as well as reaction to the telecast. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by.


Anonymous said...

There are no minor roles for DW. If he is there he will be up front beating his gums. I for one will not be loading up PPV to listen to his silliness...sorry Smoke.

Lisa Hogan said...

I'm glad that you don't have to be an HBO subscriber to order this PPV.

I enjoyed it last year and plan to enjoy it this year. :)

Roland said...

Marty and DW? Ill pass.

PammH said...

My office manager is leaving for the race Wed. I told her to take a TON of pics! I can't buy into the HBO view this yr, but I sure wish I could!

Mike B said...

Darrell Waltrip in the booth for a dirt race is like Vin Scully doing a hockey game. It...Just. Doesn't. Work. Every year, he ruins the broadcast.

Rockin Rich said...

What happened to Mike Joy? I like the idea of mixing in competing TV broadcasters, but.... If there is any single race for which Mike Joy should be the primary booth personality, this would be it!

Spencer said...

DW and Marty together, interesting, wish it was on speed though

Anonymous said...

I wish them the best, but I just cannot and will not put up with dw as a tv commentator. MC

MRM4 said...

JD, The Dream is not later this season, it is this weekend. That's why they call tonight's race the Prelude - it's all in the same week (weather permitting of course).

I have bought this in past years because I love dirt late model racing as much, if not more, than NASCAR. I cover it on the side as a hobby and a way to make a few extra bucks. The bad thing about the broadcast every year is nobody with a dirt racing background is in the booth to explain things. I like DW's excitement for the race, but it would seem more genuine if he attended more than one race on dirt a year.

I passed on buying last year's race because they had replayed it on SPEED several weeks later. But I was fooled as they did not do that last year. I haven't decided if I will watch tonight's race or not.

GinaV24 said...

I enjoy watching this race very much and it benefits some IMO good causes so usually I spring for the PPV.

I prefer Mike Joy over Marty - what does he know about dirt racing? and if DW could just curb his enthusiasm a little bit it would be a lot better.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, $25 is way too expensive.

Barry in Tennessee said...

You guys do what you want, but I wouldn't care if Barbara Streisand and Piers Morgan were calling the race... I'd still pony up my bucks for this charity event.

If figure if so many of our biggest stars, tv personalities and behind the scenes people can take time out of their hectic schedules to donate their time and travel expenses, it's the least I can do.

Huge kudos to Smoke for organizing this each year. You truly are the man. I'll catch ya on the DVR later.

sue said...

I can't get over some of you. Not turning in because of ol'DW. This is a charity race. Drivers, announcers, technicians giving up their time and talent for charity. I don't think you folks complaining about DW are being honest. Because if you were you'd be tuning in just to bash the hell out of the broadcast. You never know that someday ol' DW may just be announcing your arrival into heaven. But then again you may opt out for that other place because of him. lol. But seriously its $25.00 bucks and since the money is going to charity you can write it off as a charitable donation. And I am just a fan. I've watched this race since the first year HBO has had it on and honestly its a fun time.

Anonymous said...

Don't tune in too early according to Jenna Fryers Twitter:
"Holy cow! Channel 771, where the Prelude will eventually be shown, is all soft porn leading into the race. How appropriate?" She later said she has Time Warner Cable

Anonymous said...

Spencer--SPEED generally runs it again later for those who want to see it again or weren't able to see it/order PPV.

tom in dayton said...

It's 1 PM and in 15 minutes I'm leaving for the race!
Should be a good one with dry hot weather.
Enjoy watching - I sure will be...

Charlie said...

I wish I could afford the $25 for this good cause.
Maybe next year.

julian24 said...

Its only $25 dollars guys. Its for charity. So who cares if its loud mouth DW covering the event, I'll still order the event. I'm not a big fan of Tony Stewart, but I like this event that he puts on every year. I'm proud to help out with my money. I only wish it was in HD. And SPEED wont show it again this year. You have to order the event.

Zieke said...

Contributing is not a problem, listening to Waldrip is, so I'll just donate some other way.

Anonymous said...

I'm with julian24...shame on you to deny help to sick kids because of your bias.

terri said...

All of you saying "It's only $25" must never have had only $25 or less to your name. Give us little people a break. Right now "I" am my favorite charity.

danny guthrie said...

Please don't be so quick to dismiss those of us that will not spend our charitable dollars due to dw being involved. The only way to get anyone to listen to you sometimes is through your wallet. If there was an option of paying and not having dw involved- plan A or paying and having dw involved- plan B , then the people could speak and the charity would get a lot more money and the fans would get what they want,,,, which is plan A in my book. If there is an economic impact to the decisions that broadcasters make regarding the wants and desires for the fans, then the dollars will take care of themselves,, so to speak. By ordering PPV knowing that any waltrip will have a part in the coverage of the broadcast, the fan is giving a yes vote to whether that fan wants a waltrip to be a commentator. By not ordering PPV and writing that the waltrips are the reason why, will give the organizers something to think about for the "dream" and other future broadcasts. At least with a choice the charity could figure out how much they stand to not receive (lose) in revenue, and why. I have many charities to pick to donate money that do not require me to listen to dw or his brother. I am not going to pay to watch a race that I have to turn off the sound be it charity or not.

Lisa Hogan said...

If I had a choice as to who was in the booth for this charity race, I would not choose Marty Reid or DW.

Since I was married once, I have a black belt in the art of selective hearing.

I'll be just fine during the race. :)

Anonymous said...

Love the Prelude but trying to order it, find out the time and channel through Charter Cable TV is a nightmare. I have had trouble every year that the race has been on HBO. Called today and was transferred to 3 different departments with a 15 minute hold time for each transfer. Not one person I talked to at Charter knew anything about the Prelude nor could they find anything regarding it even being on TV. They told me if I knew what time it was to be on I should surf thru the channels on Pay Per View and On Demand and see if I could find anything. All told this process of trying to order the Prelude took over 2 hours and I still do not have it ordered. I will try again surfing the TV at 6:30 Central. Think of the money that will be lost for the charities because people can't locate the program. Tony runs a very organized show and does such a great job but it is really sad that Charter Communications can't do their job to help raise the money for the charities. I am sure they are taking their cut so you would think they would promote it rather than have help that knows nothing about it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 6:10PM,

Most Charter cable systems only have a few (less than 10) PPV channels.

Just use your channel guide and go to 7:30PM ET (or whatever that translates to in your time zone) and click through the PPV listings.

You should be able to see the Prelude Preview Show and order the PPV event using your cable TV remote.

If you cannot use your remote to call, the specific number to call will appear during the preview show on your system.

Sorry about the problem, but you will not get a lot of info on a one-time PPV event through the phone.


Kiboe said...

maybe i am wrong here? but, there is other ways to donate

but, honestly? pay-per-view, okay, i understand the charity stuff.

but most people can't afford this, and yes, 25 dollars is way to expensive when you can buy freakin movies from the cable/sattelite channels for less than 10 bucks.

Kiboe said...

also, i love how you people automaticly assume that, even though some people consider television as an expendable expense (meaning, one can live without it)

also, just because you think that we are "denying kids the help they need" for choosing to not donate?
yeah, you're not very smart.

i donate to various charities, and have no problem doing so. but for that pay-per-view eventm i highly doubt the full 25 dollar asking price, that every cent of it goes to the charities, PROCEEDS does not really mean the full ammount, someone has to pay the camera folks, the sattelite truck crew, the announcers (since they are contractors in this)

quit living in the fantasy world and assume all the production/TV people are doing this for free.
the world doesn't work like that.

Daly Planet Editor said...


This event has been on TV for several years. The hospitals that benefit are listed in my blog post.

The on-air TV talent as well as the producer and director are working this event for free.

The truck crew and the facilities are at cost. HBO traffics the PPV orders and takes a service fee. All the remaining funds are forwarded to charity through Tony's foundation.

Every fan has the right to decide to participate or not. It's just a unique event featuring NASCAR folks racing in a very different kind of environment.

Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

No need to for us to give to this event. The millionaire drivers and team owners and personalities have a collective net worth of well over a billion dollars.

It's like asking me to give to the NASCAR Foundation. Why, when there is so much wealth embedded in the system, to the point where advertising dominates every single aspect and moment in the sport.

Give to your local causes. Let the eight- and nine-figure millionaires take care of charity from NASCAR.

Anonymous said...

anon 5:40. Geez. In this case, they are not asking anyone to just 'give'. They are offering us the opportunity to purchase an item that we might enjoy. It's up to us to decide whether we think it's a worthwhile exchange. And knowing that the money ultimately goes to a good cause might make that decision easier for people. Charity is also about making people feel good about being able to contribute to do something positive in this world.

MRM4 said...

I went ahead and decided to get the PPV this year. I am still disappointed DirecTV did not offer it in HD as they have in the past. Watching it in SD really takes away from the viewing pleasure. The racing was not good.

The production had some glitches with the wrong camera take. One of the wall-mounted cameras got tagged by a car during qualifying. I did not like the high camera angle off turn 2. With the lights beaming down they way they did, it made it hard to tell which car was which with the glare coming off the lights on the tops of the cars.

Chris said...

They should use Mike Joy, Allen Bestwick and Wally D in the booth in my opinion. Reid is awful. DW isn't too bad and it can be worse: They can always resort to Kyle Petty.

Steve said...

I ponied up for the event.

Sure it would have been nicer in Hi-Def. Sure it could have been a little better production wise.

But for gods sake, it was done by a group of volunteers who paid their own way to the track.

The main even was rather lackluster since the lead never changed. I don't however feel bad for spending $25 bucks for a night of entertainment.

Dot said...

I "donated" to see the Prelude. I love Tony Stewart for putting on this race. The drivers and announcers always seem to have a great time. I loved seeing DW when the car given to him pulled up.

May I suggest to those who can't afford the PPV (trust me, I know times are tough) to start saving money for next years' event. Two dollars a month is so worth it. You won't be disappointed.

tom in dayton said...

Well, I'm back from attending my seventh Prelude.
Some observations:
The track is a north-south oriented track with the main grandstand on the west side. The only open stands that were thinly occupied were those in turns two and three, but those stands usually get the most airborne dirt as the wind either comes from the southwest or northwest. Attendance was 28,000+, down a little from past years. (I've been told that two-thirds of each ticket sold goes to the same charities that Tony designates.)
I was in the infield until 7pm (when the racing starts, it's best to get out of the way, especially in a crowded and small infield!) and then went to my seat in the main grandstand. Around me were folks from IL, Kansas, SC and NY. Only one couple, from KS, were staying for the Dream races this weekend; all the others had come in in the past few days just for the Prelude.
As to the camera placement: the two scissors platforms were at the top of the hill at turn two(behind this location, the headwaters of the Wabash River rise) and in the infield just before turn three. A boom camera was used at the victory lane platform just south of the finish line and other camera placement on top of the main grandstand. The media compound(behing the main grandstand) has two uplink trucks with the label "PPPV HD" on the dishes. Apparently the HD capability was there.
Oh, and a close observation - when the camera isn't on, DW is completely different. just sayin...

glenc1 said...

tom, I'm guessing most people are...

hey, I didn't get to watch it, but how did Steve Letarte do as a pit reporter?

Daly Planet Editor said...


Steve did great, he asks good questions and is clearly at ease with the drivers. This is the second year he has been a pit reporter at this event.


glenc1 said...

not that I want him to retire, but perhaps someday he can actually make the 'tech garage' worthwhile....

Anonymous said...

Hey Dot, I will save up 2bucks a week for next years race. But if DW is anywhere near the track I will keep the money in my pocket just like I did this year.

Tinkering No Mas said...

Gordo Say what ? Talking about
the upcoming race at Sonoma ..and
the tests he was doing :
" I hope we lerned some things
but not sure how much. "
What ? Gordo basically has owned
the course at Sonoma. Shaking my
head. Maybe it is the reason that
Gordo has not been up to par last
few yers.
Too much tinkering tinket tinker

Anonymous said...

I was there as well. Great event to see live if you can.

I spoke to a guy who had a shirt on with "TV Crew" on the back about the HD/SD thing. He said that the truck was an old standard definition truck so even though the Satellite truck was High Definition, the cameras were not. He said that the event would be HD next year.

I wish I had a DVR to see the race again. I'll look forward to the DVD and buy it i guess.

Adan and Even in the Garage area said...

Golly Adam ...I am taking
heavy breaths just cant wait to
find out about the REAL STORY
about Kyle and RC. Maybe they can
fight again on camera.
breathless in Orange built by
oh i forget Home De Poe.
Oh and congrats Adam .. it seems
that you are everywhere. Sorta like
that stuff over in the dog park..
build by Loews..
Oh wait Adam does another
Raise his Voice THRILLING
PROMO for MLB. Whatever the hell
that is.
Where did this guy come from???
by the home depot. And once again
we dont need louder voices going
to a break.
in otherwors could you simply
sthu tahnk you

Earl the Pearl said...

The truck race ( announcers )
have finally made me ..
throw the hell up !! They
have not shut up for more
than 5 seconds.
Beyond all belief . The sounds
are great .. but would you crank it
up with these utter morons blabbering forever ?
Time for a phone call .. hah
as if that would accomplish a thing
Uno mas .. and do you think anyone
gives a damn about who wins the
race ? The Trucks. Oh ok I will
shut up. But THEY WONT