By admin | March 14, 2012
By Richard Allen
Danica Patrick may well have agreed to take on the most difficult of all her first time tasks in the 2012 season when it was announced on Wednesday that she will compete in the ‘Prelude to the Dream’ race at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway on June 6th. This will be the highly touted driver’s first time on track in a dirt late model race car.
Danica has already this season raced in her first Sprint Cup event(Daytona 500) and is in the process of running her first fulltime NASCAR schedule(Nationwide Series).
The annual event on the Rossburg, Ohio half-mile dirt track features drivers from NASCAR, the NHRA, IndyCar and other forms of racing in an exhibition race in high powered super late model cars to benefit charity. This year the race is billed as the ‘Feed the Children Prelude to the Dream’ and proceeds will go toward efforts to serve that purpose.
Other drivers also scheduled to compete in the event include Ryan Newman, Ty Dillon, Bobby Labonte, Kenny Wallace, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Dave Blaney, Tony Kanaan, Ron Capps, Jimmie Johnson, Justin Allgaier, Bill Elliott, Ray Evernham, David Gilliland and Cruz Pedregon.
The race, which serves as a lead in event for the $100,000 to win ‘The Dream’ dirt late model race, will be aired live via Pay Per View.
Dirt late models typically weigh 2300 pounds and have an open motor rule, meaning the carburetored engines can be just about any size in terms of cubic inches. Drivers often opt for engines in the 430-460 cubic inch range. The chassis and bodies are specially made and fabricated in much the same way NASCAR cars are built.
In a standard dirt late model race, rear view mirrors and spotters are not allowed. However, exceptions to these rules have been made in the past for the Prelude due to the fact that the drivers competing have far less dirt track experience than those who regularly race on these type tracks.
The night will feature qualifying, heat races and the main event.
Clint Bowyer is the defending champion of the race. He and Bobby Labonte own dirt late model teams.
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