ROSSBURG, Ohio — Two Dirt Late Model Dreams in one week are now reality as the best DIRTcar Late Model drivers in nation make their first of two annual pilgrimages to Eldora Speedway to compete in the 26th and 27th Dream crown jewel events this Wednesday through Saturday, June 9-12.
With nearly $800,000 in total purse money up for grabs over all four nights, including $273,000 in winner’s shares alone, the sport’s biggest stars are scheduled to compete in front of a non-capacity-restricted Eldora grandstand for the first time in 21 months.
Wednesday and Friday nights will serve as long preliminary nights, featuring twin 25-lap, $10,000-to-win features to set the heat race lineups for Thursday and Saturday’s Dream main events. Thursday’s 27th Annual Dream winner will score $127,000 and Saturday’s 26th Annual Dream will collect $126,000.
The new format was announced last Friday. Each of the b-scrambles winners will now transfer directly into the feature events on Thursday and Saturday nights. The b-scrambles, contested immediately after the b-main events before the Dream features, were originally five-lap, $1,500-t0-win dashes for non-transfer cars remaining on the track after their respective b-mains. This year, the winner will tag the rear of the main event field.
Jonathan Davenport is the most recent winner at an Eldora marquee late model event, taking the checkered flag in the World 100 substitute International Classic last September, and comes in as one of the favorites for double Dreams. He is riding a wave of momentum after a big weekend in West Virginia, sweeping super late model events at West Virginia Motor Speedway.
Another driver to watch during the weekend is someone familiar with Eldora’s high banks – only in a sprint car. Despite only having a handful of dirt late model starts, NASCAR Cup star Kyle Larson will enter as one of the favorites. His last late model start came in March at the dirt-covered Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, where he challenged before eventually finishing second to Davenport.
Defending Dream champion Brandon Sheppard will be looking to defend his title. Sheppard gave Rocket1 Racing team owner Mark Richards his first Dream victory in June 2019. He currently leads the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series points, but has struggled to find victory lane, winning only twice so far.
Ryan Missler, five-time Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park track champion, will get the chance of his late model career when he is able to compete in the Dreams after winning the fan-vote contest to send one local/regional late model racer who had never previously entered the event to this year’s event. The context also included Hoosier Racing tires and fuel certificates, new set of seatbelts and his own custom tees for the occasion.