Ron Capps is a racer’s racer. For the fifth year in a row, he’ll be mixing it up on the historic dirt oval of Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio at Tony Stewart’s “Prelude to the Dream.”
The race is a kicker to watch as it jams racers for many genres onto the dirt track and you see some guys like Capps show their legitimate driving skills and you see others who look like they are trying to steer with their feet. If you get HBO or know someone who does, hang out with them on June 3,2009 at 7 PM as that’s when the race will air.
Here’s the release:
Ron Capps, the Funny Car points leader in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series driving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge, has accepted his fifth straight invitation to drive in Tony Stewart’s Fifth Annual Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway in Rossubrg, Ohio, on June 3, 2009. The event held on the half-mile clay oval will air on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Having finished ninth, fourth, 24th and 17th, respectively, in the first four events, Capps is ready to improve on his 2006 fourth-place finish and will take to the Santa Maria (Calif.) Speedway this weekend in a Super Late Model to prepare for the Prelude.
“Honestly, every year to get the phone call from Tony Stewart to be invited to run in the Prelude to the Dream is an honor,” said Capps, who has won three of the first seven NHRA events of 2009. “And to watch it unfold the last four years into a high-profile racing event is incredible. What’s also neat is Tony’s writing that million-dollar check last year to Victory Junction Gang Camp II in Kansas City. This year, four military-themed charities will benefit from the proceeds. It’s a privilege for me to compete in support of our injured and fallen heroes.
“This event on Eldora’s half-mile clay oval is one of the few times in a race driver’s life where you have to check your ego at the door when you walk into that place, because it is awe-inspiring,” said Capps, who will pilot a NAPA AUTO PARTS-backed 2300-pound, 800-horsepower Late Model for owner Chuck Sanning. “And to be able to go into turn one and turn three in a good car and not lift off the throttle and keep it wide open is an unbelievable feeling.
“When you’re driving an 8000 horsepower Funny Car, everything happens so fast you just react and you don’t have time to enjoy it. Driving in the Prelude is the other way around. There’s no spotters, you have the best drivers in the world all around you and you’re sliding on dirt on a half-mile high-banked track. It just doesn’t get any better than this.”
This Saturday’s race at the one-third mile Santa Maria Speedway clay oval will provide Capps a test session for the Prelude. “Every year it seems like I don’t get a chance to race on dirt in a Late Model and I show up for Eldora and race against the best drivers in the world with no practice,” said Capps. “And then I hear that Jeff Gordon, Juan Montoya, Carl Edwards and all these guys are off practicing a few times every year before they go to the Prelude. So, I figured it was about time that I at least got some seat time in before this year’s race.”
The Prelude to the Dream is an all-star dirt Late Model race featuring 25 world-renowned drivers as they battle for dirt supremacy. It will be presented live to the entire nation on HBO Pay-Per-View, with proceeds from the telecast going to support four military-themed charities:
* Wounded Warrior Project: www.WoundedWarriorProject.org
* Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund: www.FallenHeroesFund.org
* Operation Homefront: www.OperationHomefront.net
* Fisher House: www.FisherHouse.org
The fifth annual event will feature such racing icons as Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and more, including, of course, Ron Capps and his fellow NHRA drag racer Cruz Pedregon.
The live, commercial-free broadcast will begin at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT), with an immediate replay and subsequent replays throughout the week and the following weekend. 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 www.hbo.com.
The four previous Prelude to the Dreams have collectively raised more than $2 million. With each year’s event gaining significant stature and mainstream interest, Stewart’s goal is to have the fifth annual Prelude to the Dream raise $1 million, with the proceeds impacting the four charities.
“It’s an ambitious goal, especially in this economy” admits Stewart. “But if we don’t shoot for a number that is a true difference-maker, we’re not ever going to reach it. 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 support our heroes who are protecting our freedom.”
Drivers from all types of disciplines, some with lots of dirt-track experience and others with hardly any, will participate in hot laps,
qualifying, heat races and the 30-lap feature on the half-mile clay oval, all of which will be televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View.