Tony Stewart still wants NASCAR Cup race at his dirt track

tony stewart

It’s no secret that Tony Stewart felt let down by NASCAR when the first Cup Series race on dirt since 1970 was not offered to the track he owns, Eldora Speedway, in Rossburg, Ohio.

Let down might be too passive of a way to articulate it.

In an interview with the Associated Press in Jan. 2021, Stewart said it was his decision to pull Eldora off the Truck Series schedule that year, an event that first brought NASCAR back to dirt after a four-decade absence. In his eyes, he and his staff did all the legwork to prove that such an event would be feasible in modern times and felt strongly disappointed that NASCAR didn’t even honor the diligence they put in with an opportunity to at least talk about a Cup Series date.

“I asked if Eldora was under consideration for an Xfinity or Cup race in the future, and I was told not at this time,” Stewart told the AP back then. “So, I said we were done.

“This was entirely our decision and people need to understand. I am extremely frustrated as a track owner that there was zero communication from NASCAR. Nobody ever had any conversation with me about Eldora or Cup on dirt until the deal with Bristol was about to be announced.”

Tony Stewart still hoping for another Cup race


On Thursday, Eldora Speedway is hosting an event that will pay over a million dollars to the winner of a Sprint Car race appropriately titled The Eldora Million. It’s the second year in a row that Stewart has promoted a million-dollar race, the 2022 version for Late Models, before offering the same opportunity for Sprint Cars this summer.

The point is that Stewart is still convinced his facility can host any event in the world, even the NASCAR Cup Series. And with Bristol Motor Speedway expected to lose its dirt track race next season, Stewart still would like the opportunity to discuss hosting the Cup Series at Eldora.

“Yeah, and I have been from day one,” Stewart said. “We were offered the chance to keep the Truck Series race and I turned it down because I felt we worked hard, went through all the learning curves and growing pains in having a dirt race.

“I understand the reasons we were told why they went to Bristol with it, but my feelings are that we would go above and beyond anything we’re already doing now, do more than we already do to make sure it would be a huge event.

“But that’s in NASCAR’s hands at this point, but yes, we would be absolutely interested in that conversation, yes.”

Tony Stewart looking to upgrade tracks at Eldora, Knoxville

As proof to that point, Stewart is still working to upgrade what is already one of the two nicest dirt track facilities in the world with Eldora and Knoxville Raceway in Iowa being the 1a and 1b of the discipline to host any numbers of events, motorsports or otherwise.

“We’re in the early stages, getting ready to reconstruct the ballroom, a place where Earl and Berniece (Baltes, track founders) were very passionate about,” Stewart said. “We haven’t done much with it in recent years but we’re aiming for a multi-million-dollar renovation on the inside for fans and for racers. I have some larger, really expansive plans for the future that I can’t wait to share, so I’m going to be here for a long time.”

And he hopes, in time, so too will NASCAR’s top level.

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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