Kyle Busch holds out Tony Stewart to win Prelude to the Dream
NASCAR star, Kyle Busch has held out track owner Tony Stewart to win the eighth Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway in a thrilling 40 lap charity fundraiser.
The event that brings together stars from NASCAR, IndyCar, Drag Racing and Speedway competition aboard Late Model Sedans included a female racer in Danica Patrick for the first time. Danica didn’t have the best run, collecting the wall in her heat race and ended up 15th in the Final, three laps down.
The first half of the 40-lap feature was a stop-start affair, with numerous yellow flag periods, including one on lap three for an eight car pileup.
NASCAR stars Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer were going at it for much of the race before coming together, the latter being the worse off. Soon after Kahne found trouble, collecting the stricken car of Bobby Labonte in turn three. He collected the driver’s door of Labonte in a hard impact and the front wheel of Kahne’s machine was ripped clean.
Busch assumed the lead with 16 laps to go. Stewart left the restart in fifth placing and chased through to second, however Busch’s lead proved too much for the track owner to chase down.
“(After a qualifying crash) we were able to come back through, get a good heat race, get a good starting spot for the main event and run up front there with the leaders all night,” said Busch. “When (Kasey) Kahne had his mishap, we inherited the lead and were able to set sail from there.
“At the beginning, I was just trying to pick the start as best I could. Kahne obviously had the preferred line at the bottom there to slide in and get in front of me. I kept trying the get my momentum around the top but I just couldn’t get to him from there. But I did feel once we did get the lead that we were pretty fast and we could hold it.”
Rising star Austin Dillon finished third, whilst multiple World of Outlaws Champion, Donny Schatz was the first of the non-NASCAR racers in fourth placing. Stewart’s Sprint Cup team-mate, Ryan Newman finished fifth.
Funny Car racer, Cruz Pedregon showed sensational form against strong competition to finish in seventh placing. Coming off the back of his suspension by NASCAR, Kurt Busch crashed twice in his heat race and the car was too damaged to start the final.
The event supported the Feed the Children Charity and the top 10 finishers each had a ‘food truck’ donated to a charity. Since the event’s inception, it has donated over $5 million to charity and the 2012 edition was slated to raise up to US $1 million. It was beamed live on Pay-Per-View into America and was shown live on SPEED TV in Australia.