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Kyle Busch wins wild ‘Prelude to the Dream’

By admin | June 6, 2012

By Richard Allen


Twenty-four of racing’s biggest stars and most well known names made their annual trek to Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio for the ‘Prelude to the Dream’ charity race on the famed half-mile dirt track. This year’s event, which each year plays out before a sellout crowd and pay-per-view television audience, provided funds for the ‘Feed the Children’ organization.

Frequent dirt racer Austin Dillon set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 16.307 seconds. Aric Almirola, Ken Schrader, Kasey Kahne and David Gilliland rounded out the top-5 in time trials. Several drivers, including Kurt and Kyle Busch, Ray Evernham and Bobby Labonte experienced either wall contact or a spin in their solo laps.

During the intermission between qualifying and heat races, Tony Stewart gave Darrell Walt rip a somewhat comical ride in a crate Late Model two-seater.

In heat race one, Ty Dillon bolted out to the early lead and commanded the race for the first nine of ten laps. However, Danica Patrick smacked the turn one wall with just over a lap remaining.

On the ensuing restart, Ty Dillon chose the inside lane with his brother, Austin, on the outside. Austin bolted to the lead with Ty and Tony Stewart embroiled in a slide job trading race for the runner-up spot. Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Stewart and Tony Kanaan was the final order.

Clint Bowyer dominated heat two with Ryan Newman and Aric Almirola following. Jimmie Johnson recovered from an early spin to finish 4th.

Kyle Busch drove a Bloomquist Race Car to a dominating win in heat three over Bobby Labonte, who was driving for a team he actually owns. Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace were 3rd and 4th.

Kasey Kahne earned the pole for the feature race by winning a wreck filled heat four. Early on, Kurt Busch lost control of his car and bounced off the backstretch wall then collected J.J. Yeley doing significant damage to both cars. A late arriving Dave Blaney also crashed in the preliminary event. Jason Leffler and Donny Schatz followed Kahne to the line.

This year’s feature race was 40 laps, which is up from 30 laps of previous Prelude to the Dream races.

At the start of the feature, Kahne jumped out to the early lead with Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon close behind. However, the action came to a grinding halt just after the completion of the first lap when Ray Evernham got into Steve Kinser triggering a multi-car incident. The red flag had to be displayed for several minutes to clean up the aftermath.

Kahne then got out to the lead where he would remain until lap 13 when Bowyer sailed past to assume the top spot. Also lurking in the top-5 were Kyle Busch, Johnson and Austin Dillon in the first third of the event.

The intensity level really picked up at lap 22 when Kahne attempted to regain first place by employing a slide job on Bowyer in turns one and two. The move did not go as planned when Kahne slid into Bowyer and knocked the #15 machine into the outside wall. Kyle Busch then seized the opportunity to make his own move forward and attempted a similar move as Kahne the next time around with the same result of Bowyer being driven into the fence.

After two successive laps of being door slammed into the wall, Bowyer called it a night.

Just three laps after taking the lead, Kahne ran upon the spun out and prone car of Bobby Labonte and rammed into the former Sprint Cup champion. Both drivers were uninjured but both cars appeared to have been destroyed.

From that point, Kyle Busch assumed the lead and drove away to the win with Tony Stewart, Austin Dillon, Donny Schatz, Ryan Newman, Aric Almirola, Cruz Pedragon, Dave Blaney, Ty Dillon and Justin Allgaier following. Each of those top-10 drivers will be allowed to send a truck load of food for children to a destination of their choice.

“It’s such a cool place to come out here to Eldora,” Busch said in victory lane. “I can’t say enough about Scott Bloomquist and everybody who worked on this thing. The last couple of years we’ve been close and just inching closer and closer.”

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5 Responses to “Kyle Busch wins wild ‘Prelude to the Dream’”

  1. Tony Geinzer Says:
    June 7th, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Rich, I don’t mean to be rude, but why isn’t there any Sports Car, Motorcycle or Non NHRA Funny Car Pilots in the Prelude? I would like to see someone who should be rightfully deserving of a NASCAR or Indy Car Ride in the Prelude in the future.

  2. Tyler West Says:
    June 7th, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Maybe they should exclude all the 1.5 mile snooze filled tracks with dirt races on the Cup schedule. It’s way more exciting than the garbage Nascar has been producing. Awesome race!! It’s hard to top good dirt racing. Especially running late models! I’ve grown up around late model dirt cars and when it’s done right it is really cool. Stewart and his people have a great racing venue. But believe me there are plenty of other great race tracks out there as well. The Prelude was once again very fun to watch.

  3. Josie Says:
    June 7th, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Fun race to watch! Give Danica credit for hanging in there! Gotta say Kurt had a fun sense of humor after crashing before main race. It was worth of the cost of PPV to see the drivers relaxed and just having fun..for a great cause!

  4. Roger Says:
    June 7th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Wish all nascar races could be like this one.

  5. Keith Murray Says:
    June 7th, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Awesome race! I love dirt tracks. And it was good to see those drivers helping out for a good cause. It’s wonderful to be a part of such a great family of fans!