ROSSBURG, OH— There are hundreds of reasons why Eldora Speedway is the place to be on Friday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 24.
But to whittle it down in the style set by David Letterman, here are the top 10 reasons why drivers and fans alike can’t wait for the 40th running of the 4-Crown Nationals at the World’s Greatest Dirt Track® Sept. 23-24.
- The 4-Crown Nationals is the only event all year where fans can see the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink sprint cars, the top three divisions of USAC (USAC Silver Crown, the USAC AMSOIL national sprint cars, and the USAC NOS Energy Drink national midgets), and the Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions sprint cars on the same track on the same weekend. Friday night’s program consists of full programs for the WoO sprints and the USAC midgets plus USAC Silver Crown qualifying. Saturday night’s show features the USAC Silver Crown race and full programs for the All Star sprints and USAC sprints and midgets. Whether fans prefer wings or non-wings, it’s heaven on Earth for open-wheel fans.
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Eldora’s USAC dates were rained out in May, so the 4-Crown Nationals is the only event for that sanctioning body at Eldora this year.
- WoO sprint car fans agree that Eldora is one of that series’ crown jewels of tracks. Friday night, Sept. 23 is the series’ final visit to Eldora this year. David Gravel and Brent Marks were the stars of the WoO shows earlier this year at Eldora. Gravel won the Joker’s Wild and the Knight Before the King’s Royal, while Marks won the Historical Big One and the King’s Royal. Will they be able to win again on Friday, or will someone else celebrate in victory lane that night?
- It’s going to be a long winter. The 4-Crown Nationals is Eldora’s final race of the season, so fans are going to want to savor every moment. The sights, sounds and smells of Eldora are special, the concession stand food is delicious, and new friends or life-long ones will be found throughout the grandstands and the lawn seating areas. Many race fans love to camp, and camping at Eldora is always fun. The 4-Crown Nationals is paradise for T-shirt shoppers. All of these fans will be making memories on crisp, clear autumn nights while they can, trying not to think about shoveling snow under gray, gloomy skies this winter.
- If one is good, then two is great. Fans can see two full, regular programs for the USAC NOS Energy Drink national midgets back to back on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Title fights spur the competition to new heights.
With three races remaining there are only 57 points between leader Kody Swanson and second-place Logan Seavey in the USAC Silver Crown point standings, 524 to 467. C.J. Leary, Brian Tyler and Justin Grant are right behind them.
At press time the top five in USAC sprints are Grant, Brady Bacon, Leary, Robert Ballou and rookie Emerson Axsom.
At press time Buddy Kofoid tops the USAC midget point standings followed by Grant, Cannon McIntosh, Bryant Wiedeman and rookie Mitchel Moles.
After Eldora there will only be two more All Star sprint races in 2022, so the leader at press time, defending champion Tyler Courtney, will be searching for every point possible as will the drivers behind him like Justin Peck; Bellevue, Ohio’s Cap Henry; Hunter Schuerenberg and Bill Balog.
The WoO sprint car point battle has been tight all year. At press time three-time and defending champion Brad Sweet tops those standings, but David Gravel; Carson Macedo; Wooster, Ohio’s own Sheldon Haudenschild, and WoO king Donny Schatz are trying to find an edge in order to beat him.
- The 4-Crown Nationals are important in motorsports history. Historians know that legendary driver Jack Hewitt of Troy, Ohio is the only driver to sweep the 4-Crown Nationals. In 1998 Hewitt posted victories in the USAC national sprint cars, midgets, and Silver Crown plus the UMP modified features.
However, Tyler Courtney has won six of the last 16 total 4-Crown features dating back to 2017. No one else has more than one, so it’s pretty clear he’s well on his way to making his own legend. Fans will want to be there to see it in person.
- Teams and drivers try harder when there is big money on the line. All four features on Saturday night will pay $10,000 to the winning driver. In total, it’s a $40,000 purse increase. This year’s 4-Crown features’ posted purses total nearly $215,000!
- The just-announced NKTelco Broadband bonus will pay an additional $40,000 if a driver can sweep all four divisions on Saturday night. Will anyone try? If so, who? If anyone does, it’ll be an $80,000 payday for one night’s work.
- Eldora is rich in history, and so is this event. Eldora is celebrating its 69th season of racing this year, and this is the 40-year anniversary of the 4-Crown Nationals. Four-wide salutes, cell phone flashlight send-offs, wave laps, 50-50 drawings and autograph sessions add to the excitement of seeing the best drivers tackle Eldora’s fast and demanding track. Tony Stewart has made significant improvements to the property and it’s a bucket-list track for all race fans. With five series competing over the course of two days, anyone with a pulse will want to be there to witness it for themselves! The list of previous winners is a who’s who of short-track superstars, and the best of the best in 2022 will compete at Eldora at the 4-Crown Nationals.
Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or at the gate. Tickets, schedules, camping information and other information are available on the track website at eldoraspeedway.com. The speedway office phone number during normal business hours is (937) 338-3815.