Prelude to the Dream in June UPDATE The last thing any racecar driver wants to be called is “dirty,” but they’ll make an exception to this rule on Wednesday, June 8 when the most celebrated dirt track in all of motorsports hosts the Prelude to the Dream. Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, will once again be the site of the all-star dirt Late Model race featuring more than 25 world renowned drivers as they battle for dirt supremacy on the half-mile clay oval, all of which will be presented live to the entire nation on HBO Pay-Per-View with proceeds from the telecast supporting four of the nation’s top children’s hospitals:
· Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, N.C.: www.LevineChildrensHospital.org
· Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta: www.choa.org
· St. Louis Children’s Hospital: www.StLouisChildrens.org
· Children’s Medical Center Dallas: www.childrens.com
The seventh annual event will feature stars from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. All will join two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart in piloting 2,300-pound dirt Late Model stock cars capable of putting out more than 800 horsepower.
The live, commercial-free broadcast will begin at 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. PDT) with an immediate replay. HBO Pay-Per-View’s racing telecast has a suggested retail price of $24.95 and is available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming in the pay-per-view industry. Ordering information and up-to-the minute racing information is available at either www.PreludeToTheDream.org or www.HBO.com. Updates can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PreludeToDream and on Twitter at twitter.com/PreludetoDream
The Prelude to the Dream is a team event. There is still an individual race winner, but there is also a race within the race, with the field broken up into four teams, each representing a children’s hospital:
· Team Levine: Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Bill Elliott, David Reutimann, Austin Dillon, Ray Evernham and Cruz Pedregon.
· Team Atlanta: Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Ken Schrader, David Gilliland and Ron Capps.
· Team St. Louis: Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Bobby Labonte, Justin Allgaier, Kenny Wallace, Ron Hornaday and Ricky Carmichael.
· Team Dallas: Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Brian Vickers, Marcos Ambrose, Aric Almirola and Dave Blaney.
Each hospital will receive a donation, with the payout breakdown as follows:
· Winning team receives 30% of net proceeds raised from the pay-per-view telecast.
· Second-place team receives 25% of net proceeds raised from the pay-per-view telecast.
· Third- and fourth-place teams each receive 20% of net proceeds raised from the pay-per-view telecast.
The lowest team score wins, and only the top-five drivers from each team will be scored. For example, if Team Levine has finishes of first, fourth, seventh, 11th and 18th, respectively, from its top-five drivers, its score will be 41. In the event of a tie, the sixth driver will be scored.
“The team concept adds another level of excitement by having a race within the race,” said Stewart, owner of Eldora Speedway and three-time winner of the Prelude to the Dream. “As individual drivers, we all want the big trophy at the end of the night. But it’s cool knowing that battles for fourth and fifth and even 11th and 12th will make a big difference for what children’s hospital ends up with the big check.
“We plan to raise a lot of money for all of these hospitals, no matter where their teams finish. Since HBO Pay-Per-View began televising the Prelude in 2007, we’ve been able to help a lot of deserving charities, and helping children has always been a part of that mission. With this format, and with the hospitals involved, we feel we have our best chance yet to make this year’s Prelude our most successful one to date.”
The four charities – Levine Children’s Hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Children’s Medical Center Dallas – all cater to the medical needs of children.
The six previous Prelude to the Dream events have collectively raised more than $3 million. With each year’s event gaining significant stature and mainstream interest, Stewart’s ultimate goal is to have the 2011 Prelude to the Dream raise $1 million, with the proceeds impacting the four charities.
“It’s an ambitious goal,” admits Stewart, “but if we don’t set the bar high, we’re not pushing ourselves the way we should. That’s our goal, and me and everybody else associated with this event is going to do everything we can to meet that goal. Now, we just need everyone out there to purchase the event, enjoy all the action going on at Eldora, and know that their dollars are going to a very worthy cause.”
Drivers from all types of disciplines, some with lots of dirt track experience and others with hardly any, will participate in qualifying, heat races and a 30-lap feature, all of which will be televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
“For the fifth year in a row we will bring live action from Eldora into living rooms across the country,” said Tammy Ross, Vice President, HBO Pay-Per-View & Sports. “With this year’s new start time and enhancing the format of the telecast, race fans will have a chance to settle in at home and prepare for a great night of continuous, live racing action.”
With no points and no pressure, the Prelude to the Dream is a throwback race, allowing drivers to step back in time and compete for the reasons they all went racing in the first place – pride and a trophy. And they’ll do it on the same surface that racing legends A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti competed on nearly 50 years ago.
Other interesting storylines include: · More Than 50 Driving/Riding Titles Represented at the Prelude: Sprint Cup  – Elliott (1988), Labonte (2000), Stewart (2002, 2005), Kenseth (2003), Johnson (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010); IROC  – Labonte (2001), Kenseth (2004), Stewart (2006); Nationwide Series  – Labonte (1991), Edwards (2007), Bowyer (2008), Busch (2009); Camping World Truck Series  – Hornaday (1996, 1998, 2007, 2009); ARCA  – Allgaier (2008); IndyCar Series  – Stewart (1997), NHRA Funny Car  – Pedregon (1992, 2008); Camping World Series East  – Logano (2007); Australian V8 Supercar  –Ambrose (2003, 2004); World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series  – Blaney (1995); AMA 125 National  – Carmichael (1997, 1998, 1999); AMA 125 East Coast SX  – Carmichael (1998); AMA 250 National  – Carmichael (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006); AMA 250 Supercross  – Carmichael (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006); U.S. Open of Supercross  – Carmichael (2000, 2001, 2005); WSXGP 250 Supercross  – Carmichael (2005); MXdN  – Carmichael (2000, 2003, 2005, 2007).
· Dirt Veterans vs. Dirt Neophytes: Stewart, Kahne, Newman, Blaney, Bowyer, Elliott, Schrader, Allgaier and Wallace grew up on dirt tracks, while Busch, Almirola, Hamlin and Logano spent the majority of their racing upbringing on asphalt.
· What Happens When a Drag Racer has to Turn the Steering Wheel?: Capps is a 15-year veteran of the NHRA and Pedregon is a 17-year NHRA driver, where straight-line runs over 300 mph are commonplace. They’ll have to turn right to go left as they sling their dirt Late Models around Eldora.
For those who want to see the Prelude to the Dream in person, tickets are available online at www.EldoraSpeedway.com or by calling the track office (937) 338-3815. Act fast – the race has sold out in previous years.
Snapshots of each charity supported by this year’s Prelude to the Dream are as follows::
· Levine Children’s Hospital (www.LevineChildrensHospital.org): Levine Children’s Hospital is a 234-bed hospital in Charlotte, N.C, located on the main campus of Carolinas Medical Center. Since opening in December 2007, the hospital has grown to include more than 30 pediatric specialties and has already received national distinction by U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals” for treatment of kidney disorders.
Levine Children’s Hospital is also home to the Ricky Hendrick Centers for Intensive Care, which supports pediatric intensive and cardiovascular surgery patients. Additional distinctions include organ and bone marrow transplants; pediatric dialysis; interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery; heart-lung bypass capabilities for newborns and pediatric patients; an inpatient pediatric rehabilitation unit; and 24/7 emergency services. Levine Children’s Hospital is the most comprehensive facility of its type between Atlanta and Washington, D.C. – meaning most children no longer need to travel outside of the region to receive the care they need.
Most recently, Levine Children’s Hospital announced the formation of the Carolinas Kids Cancer Research Coalition, a group of eight of the region’s most dedicated nonprofit organizations committed to supporting pediatric cancer research and services at Levine Children’s Hospital. “At Levine Children’s Hospital, we are honored to again benefit from the Prelude to the Dream,” said Mark Griffith with Carolinas HealthCare Foundation. “Racing has deep roots here in Charlotte, and we can’t think of a more unique and fun race to partner with than Tony Stewart’s Prelude to the Dream.”
· Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (www.choa.org): Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not-for-profit organization, is committed to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. Managing more than half a million patient visits annually at three hospitals and 16 neighborhood locations, Children’s is one of the largest clinical care providers for children in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 30 pediatric specialties and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals by Parents magazine and U.S. News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s has made an impact in the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world.
“Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta relies on the generous support we receive from events like the Prelude to the Dream,” said Eugene A. Hayes III, president of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation. “We are so excited to be a part of a fundraiser like this, making it possible for our physicians, nurses and staff to provide the best quality care for children across the Southeast and get kids back to being kids.”
· St. Louis Children’s Hospital (www.StLouisChildrens.org): Founded in 1879, St. Louis Children's Hospital is one of the premier children’s hospitals in the United States. It serves not just the children of St. Louis, but children across the world. The hospital provides a full range of pediatric services to the St. Louis metropolitan area and a primary service region covering six states. As the pediatric teaching hospital for Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children’s Hospital offers nationally recognized programs for physician training and research.
“St. Louis Children’s Hospital is grateful to be selected as a beneficiary hospital by Tony Stewart’s Prelude to the Dream,” said Lee Fetter, president of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “Many of our young patients and their parents are NASCAR fans, and I know they’ll find this race especially thrilling. I imagine we’ll create some new fans before the end of the race – especially those in our Pediatric Neurocritical Care Program.”
· Children’s Medical Center Dallas (www.childrens.com): Children’s Medical Center is private, not-for-profit, and is the seventh largest pediatric healthcare provider in the country with 559 licensed beds, two full-service campuses and 10 outpatient sites. Children’s was Texas’ first pediatric hospital to achieve Level 1 Trauma status and is the only pediatric teaching facility in North Texas, affiliated with UT Southwestern Medical Center.
“Children’s Medical Center Dallas is honored to have been chosen as one of four children’s hospitals that will benefit from the 2011 Prelude to the Dream,” said Pete Kline, president of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation. “Children’s Injury Prevention Program, which is the beneficiary of the race, has provided more than 5,000 car seats, more than 2,000 water vests and more than 300 helmets free of cost to families who could not afford them in Dallas and Collin County. This is an amazing opportunity and partnership for Children’s, and on June 8, the hospital staff, patient families and our supporters in the community will be cheering for our drivers.”
05/12/11 The seventh annual Prelude to the Dream all-star dirt Late Model race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio is slated for June 8, 2011 and just as last year’s event benefitted four of the nation’s top children’s hospitals, the 2011 edition will do the same. The Prelude to the Dream is a Dirt Late Model all-star race featuring over 2 dozen NASCAR stars. Tickets go on sale April 4th at eldoraspeedway.com or (937) 338-3815(3-21-2011)