$750 Cash Award to USAC Midget, Sprint & Silver Crown Hard Chargers

ROSSBURG, OH (Sept. 18) – Tradition and respect have become trademarks of Eldora Speedway’s successful business practice. Accordingly, speedway officials announced this week that the Larry Rice Hard Charger Awards will continue into this weekend’s USAC (United States Auto Club) portion of the Four Crown Nationals.

A $750 cash award will be presented in each of the three USAC National divisions Saturday night (Midget, Sprint, Silver Crown), to the driver that advances the most positions in the A-Feature, from start to finish. The popular incentive was introduced with the 2009 Four Crown Nationals, after the admired racing stalwart lost his life to cancer earlier that year.

That year found Cale Conley (Midget +8), Robert Ballou (Sprint +15) and Kody Swanson (Silver Crown +12) earning the accolades, while Jonathan Hendrick (Midget +5), Dave Darland (Sprint +14) and Todd Kane (Silver Crown +8) turned the trick in 2010.

Last year’s recipients included Darland (Midget +8), Darren Clayton (Sprint #15) and Tanner Swanson (Silver Crown +15).

Much of Rice’s racing career was focused on USAC, where he garnered tremendous respect from his fellow racers and a huge acceptance from the race fans. He parlayed that into a successful racing career. He was the USAC National Midget champion in 1973 as well as the 1977 & 1981 USAC National Silver Crown title holder. From the short tracks, Rice ventured into championship car racing with 9 starts, including two Indy 500 appearances (1978, 1979). He was named the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year in 1978.

His accomplishments at Eldora included a pair of USAC National Sprint Car Wins and another pair of USAC National Silver Crown triumphs. Three of those wins came as part of Four Crown Nationals competition.

Following his retirement from active driving in 1991, Rice continued within the sport; first with television as a color analyst with the thriving ESPN Thunder Series programming and later with other networks as a highly sought-after talent. His love of racing and concern for the safety of the drivers later found him becoming active in the insurance field, where he eventually began a firm of his own.

The chase for the Larry Rice Hard Charger Awards will take place on day two of the 31st annual edition of the Four Crown Nationals. Friday night will feature the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series in their final 2012 appearance at Eldora, along with the UMP DIRTcar Modifieds. Each night of the busy weekend will also showcase restored race cars of the Vintage American Race Cars (VARC) club.

Complete information on scheduling and ticket pricing (include purchase) may be found by checking out the track website or by calling the track office (937) 338-3815 during normal business hours.