With its intimidating and unforgiving high banks, Eldora Speedway has left many drivers shaking their fists after laps around the half-mile dirt track.
Count Troy’s Ron Blair as one of them, this time in a good way. Blair sped away from the field in Sunday’s 360 winged sprint car feature and dominated for that coveted first career victory at Eldora.
“It was pretty awesome. I’ve been trying so hard for that for so long. Winning Eldora, that’s definitely huge,” Blair said.
“I was shaking my fist in the air quite a bit I’m sure. I was hooting and hollering in my helmet and shaking my fist pretty hard.”
Blair, driving the Double Jay/Ernst Construction No. 35, led from the start and wasn’t challenged as runners-up Butch Schroeder and Brandon Wimmer attempted to keep pace. It was Blair’s second NRA Sprint Invaders feature win this season. Blair had no idea his lead was that comfortable. Instead, he tried to concentrate on the closing laps and keep an eye out for that anticipated white flag.
“It felt like the race would never end because I’m close to a win here at Eldora,” he said. “Is the white flag ever going to come out? The last couple of laps you’re thinking stay focused and don’t make any mistakes and see what happens. As soon as I crossed that checkered, that was probably the most excited I’ve been other than maybe my first win in a sprint car.”
So, what would be bigger than rolling onto the victory lane stage at Eldora Speedway? Blair hopes to find out this weekend. He plans to travel to I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich. — the site of his other NRA win this season — to race with the World of Outlaws in a 410 winged sprint car. Blair has raced with the Outlaws about a dozen times with a best finish of about 15th a few seasons ago in Florida.
“Winning an Outlaws show would definitely be the highlight of my career. I just want to run the best we can. I’m an optimist but I’m also a realist when it comes to that,” Blair said of running against some high-powered teams including two owned by NASCAR drivers Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne. “I think (having a win at the track will) help a little bit with confidence, but with the caliber of drivers and cars with the Outlaws we’ll go up there and do the best we can.”
Hot laps: Shadybowl Speedway hosts its annual Neal Sceva Memorial race, a 51-lap event for the street stocks. … Edgewater Sports Park hosts two days of racing with its Saturday show and the Summer Muscle Car event on Sunday. … Tri-State Dragway is all about the door slammers this weekend with Door Car Mania on Saturday and Sunday. … Race fans get a chance to meet their favorite drivers as Waynesfield Raceway Park hosts Meet the Drivers Night on Saturday.
Kil-Kare Speedway: NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, modifieds, sport stocks, compacts. Gates open at 6 p.m.
Edgewater Sports Park: Quick 8 racing for dragsters & door cars; NHRA Summit racing for super pro, pro, sportsman; motorcycles, trophy, Jr. dragster. Gates open at 2 p.m., racing at 7.
Tri-State Dragway: Door Car Mania (no dragsters). Gates open at 9 a.m., timed runs at 10, racing at 2 p.m.
Shadybowl Speedway: Neal Sceva Memorial for street stocks, late models, modifieds, tuners, dwarfs, compacts. Gates open at 4 p.m., racing at 7.
Waynesfield Raceway Park: Meet the Drivers Night; non-wing sprints, UMP modifieds, mini sprints, trucks, compacts. Gates open at 5 p.m., hot laps at 6, racing at 7.
Edgewater Sports Park: Summer Muscle Car Sunday. Gates open at 9 a.m., racing at 1 p.m.
Tri-State Dragway: Door Car Mania (no dragsters). Gates open at 9:30 a.m., eliminations at 1 p.m. Gates open at 9 a.m., timed runs at 10, racing at noon.