It’s no secret that Tony Stewart felt let down by NASCAR when the first Cup Series race on dirt since 1970 wasn’t offered at the track he owns, Eldora Speedway, in Rossburg, Ohio. .
To drop might be too passive a way to articulate it.
In an interview with The Associated Press in January 2021, Stewart said it was his decision to drop Eldora from the Truck Series program that year, an event that brought NASCAR back for the first time after a four-decade absence. In his eyes, he and his staff went to great lengths to prove that such an event would be feasible in modern times and felt greatly disappointed that NASCAR had not even honored the diligence they displayed with the opportunity to talk about at least one Cup. Dating of the series.
“I asked if Eldora was under consideration for an Xfinity or Cup race in the future, and was told no at this time,” Stewart told the AP at the time. “So, I said we were done.
“It was entirely our decision and people need to understand. I am extremely frustrated as a track owner that there has been no communication from NASCAR. No one has ever had a conversation with me about Eldora or Cup on dirt until the deal with Bristol is about to be announced.
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Tony Stewart still hoping for another Cup race
On Thursday, Eldora Speedway is hosting an event that will win over $1 million for the winner of a Sprint car race aptly titled The Eldora Million. It’s the second year in a row that Stewart has promoted a million-dollar run, the 2022 release for late-model cars, before offering the same opportunity for Sprint Cars this summer.
Thing is, Stewart still believes his facility can host any event in the world, even the NASCAR Cup Series. And with Bristol Motor Speedway set to lose its track race next season, Stewart would still welcome the opportunity to discuss hosting the Cup Series at Eldora.
“Yeah, and I have been since day one,” Stewart said. “We were offered the chance to keep the Truck Series race and I turned it down because I felt we were working hard, going through all the learning curves and growing pains of having a dirt race.
“I understand the reasons we were told why they went to Bristol with this, but I feel like we would go beyond anything we already do now, do more than we already do to assure us that it would be a huge event. .
“But it’s in the hands of NASCAR at this point, but yeah, we would absolutely be interested in that conversation, yeah.”
Tony Stewart seeks to improve tracks at Eldora, Knoxville
As proof, Stewart is still working on upgrading what is already one of the two finest dirt track facilities in the world, with Eldora and Knoxville Raceway in Iowa being the 1a and 1b in the discipline to accommodate a unlimited number of events, motorsports or otherwise.
“We’re in the early stages, getting ready to rebuild the ballroom, a place that Earl and Berniece (Balts, founders of the track) were very passionate about,” Stewart said. “We haven’t done much with it for the last few years, but we’re aiming for a multimillion-dollar renovation inside for the fans and for the riders. I have bigger and very ambitious plans for it. future I can’t wait to share, so I’ll be here for a long time.
And he hopes that over time, the same will be true for the top level of NASCAR.
Matt Weaver is a motorsports insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.