2023 Eldora Million at Eldora Speedway

Why Tony Stewart Is Promoting The Eldora Million

Why Tony Stewart Is Promoting The Eldora Million

Tony Stewart explains his reasoning and vision for promoting the Eldora Million Sprint Car race at Eldora Speedway.

Jul 11, 2023 by Koty Geyer

History will be made Wednesday and Thursday night when one Sprint Car driver will win $1,002,023 at the Eldora Speedway.

For the first time, a Sprint Car race will pay out a million dollars to the winner when Sprint Car racing’s best make the trek to the historic Eldora Speedway for the Eldora Million.  The speedway held the Mopar Million featuring a million dollar total purse for Non-Wing Sprint Cars in 2003, but this will be the first time the winner’s share will hit seven figures.

Everything You Need To Know About The Eldora Million

With two previous million dollar to win Late Model races held at Eldora, including last year’s Eldora Million won by Jonathan Davenport, track owner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart is honored to give the same opportunity to Sprint Car racers.

“I think the biggest thing I’m proud of is the fact that we’re going to make history.  To have a Sprint Car driver win over a million dollars is something that’s never been done.  We’ve had two $1,000,000 to win Dirt Late Model races here at Eldora.  I’m really excited that the Sprint Car community is finally getting a one million dollar to win race,” said Stewart.  “From the Eldora standpoint, I know myself, Jerry Gappens (General Manager), all our staff are really proud and excited for this event.”  

Over 80 drivers on hand for the Eldora Million, ranging from former Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions titlists Tyler Courtney and Aaron Reutzel, USAC champions Brady Bacon and Chris Windom, World of Outlaws champions Brad Sweet and Donny Schatz, defending King’s Royal winner Brent Marks, and 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson.

The fans have already shown out as well.  Fans from 46 states and five different countries have pre-bought tickets for the weekend’s events.  Camping for the Eldora Million has been sold out for months.

Eldora Million Entry List

Between Thursday night’s Eldora Million and the $175,000 to win King’s Royal Saturday night, the total purse for the weekend’s racing exceeds $2 million.  For Stewart, it’s more about making history than it is the financial aspect.

“It’s more for the history, in all honesty.  Hopefully the weather’s great and we won’t have to worry about that aspect of it.  It’s a big financial commitment to do this, we’re going to pay out over two million dollars over the course of four days.  That is a huge financial burden.  It’s about making history more than anything else at this point.

“Yeah, it’s a financial responsibility for sure but there’s just things that feel right and that you know you’re doing for the right reason, and this is one of them.  We’ve got great partners that have checked in that has made this as big as it is and has helped us with it.”


HYPE VIDEO: Get Ready For The Eldora Million

The decision to bring the Million to Sprint Car racing was thought out before last year’s Late Model Million.  Stewart gave himself two to three years to put on the Sprint Car Million following last year’s event, but it didn’t take long to set everything into motion.

“I was thinking about this portion of it before we even did the Dirt Late Model Million last year.  We knew we wanted to bring that back and even before we had committed to that event, I had already made up my mind that at some point in the next two to three years I was going to do a Sprint Car Million.  You know when I get something in my head, I move pretty quickly on things.  When I got it in my head, I knew it was something that I was going to have to do sooner or later. 

The decision to bring back the Eldora Million, first for Late Models and now for Sprint Cars, boils down to a promise kept by Stewart to the late Earl Baltes when he purchased the track in 2004.  

“We’ve had two one million dollar to win races for the Dirt Late Models, one under Earl (Baltes)’s leadership and one under ours last year.  It’s always been in my mind to be the first to do a million dollar Sprint Car race.  I don’t know who will step up after us but I hope it’s something that’s not exclusive just to Eldora Speedway.  Eldora will always strive to be the pioneer to do things bigger and better than anyone else that has ever done it.  That was the way Earl Baltes did everything and when I bought the racetrack from him, I looked him in the eye and shook his hand and said I will continue that tradition to the best of my ability.”

The 2023 Eldora Million will be streamed live exclusively on FloRacing. If you're not already a FloRacing subscriber, click here to sign up today.