Fresh off his NASCAR Camping World Truck series victory at Kansas Speedway this past weekend, Kansas native Clint Bowyer won the Prelude charity dirt race at legendary Eldora Speedway last night. Bowyer, who started his racing career on dirt, led every lap of the 30-lap feature.
“It’s just so much fun to be able to come here and compete,” said Bowyer. “What an awesome racetrack. I’ve always loved this place and I’m very proud of Tony Stewart and everybody behind him that makes this event awesome. There’s a lot of hard work to put on something like this, and we are very lucky to have him put forth the effort.”
Despite his win for his Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta team, the St. Louis Children’s Hospital team made up of Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Bobby Labonte, Justin Allgaier, Kenny Wallace, Ron Capps and Ricky Carmichael accumulated the lowest combined finishes in the feature and won the biggest portion of the proceeds for their charity.
Bowyer’s closest competition in the feature was JJ Yeley, who finished second. Aric Almirola, Busch and Allgaier rounded out the top five. Carmichael, Ken Schrader, Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne made up the top 10.
A good starting position was key in last night’s race on the dry-slick track, as there was not a lot of passing. Busch was the only driver who was able to gain any positions on the bottom of the track, as he made his way to a fourth-place finish from his 10th place starting position.
As in years past, a past winner provision award gave a past champion the opportunity to gain an extra $50,000 for their team if they could win from the rear of the field. Jimmie Johnson, Stewart and Wallace all rolled the dice, hoping they would be able to drive to the front and earn their charity the extra money. Carl Edwards opted not to drop to the back and said he would donate the extra $50,000 himself.
Edwards finished 15th, Wallace 16th, Johnson 18th and Stewart 20th.
“We had another first-time winner tonight,” said Stewart. “That’s what the fun part is. Watching Marcos Ambrose win his heat race and Jason Leffler win his heat race in their first time being here, that’s the stuff that makes you smile and it’s fun to watch all these guys have a good time.”