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Kyle Busch beats Tony Stewart in Prelude to the Dream charity race

POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCES

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ROSSBURG, OHIO — NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch showed he can win on any surface as he won the eighth annual Prelude to the Dream charity race at Tony Stewart’s dirt-track, Eldora Speedway before a standing-room only crowd of over 20,000.

Kyle Busch meets with the media

Busch started second and ran near the front of the pack during the entire late-model race, which consisted of 40 laps for the first time over the usual 30.

The original field of 26 cars was reduced to 15 cars in the final 16 laps of the Prelude on the half-mile oval track.

Kasey Kahne was the leading the race until he hit Bobby Labonte in Turn 3 after Labonte had spun out. Busch, who always knows how to take advantage of restarts, was in second-palce at the time, and took advantage of Kahne’s misfortune to win his first Prelude charity race after finishing in the top-five, four other trips to the western Ohio track.

(courtesy of Eldora Speedway)

Danica Patrick, the only female in the race, did a nice job and finished 15th, completing 37 of 40 laps. She spun out a couple of times, but basically stayed clear of all the accidents on the track. Not bad for a driver, who had never run a car on dirt before. She did say that at the age of 12, she competed in a go-kart race on dirt.

Not everybody in the crowd at Eldora Speedway was happy to see Patrick in the race. She received the same reaction that bad-boy Kurt Busch received, an equal amount of boos. One fan, who talked to me with the understanding I would not use her name, said that Patrick is competing in a man’s sport and can’t be successful. Patrick’s performances since leaving IndyCar to move over to NASCAR doesn’t really merit all the hype she creates. After all, she has not won a race in four years.

Kyle Busch's #18 M&M's car out front in race

As a reporter of motor racing, I will say that Danica Patrick brings several qualities: beauty, always a great interview, determination, confidence, a lucrative name for sponsors and a big draw for TV audiences.

The race benefited Feed The Children with the net proceeds from HBO’s Pay-per-View telecast. Feed The Children agreed to send a truckload of food to the hometown or a city of choice of the top-10 finishers in the race. The event has raised 3.5 million for various charities across the nations since its inaugural season of 2005.

Kyle Busch accepts the winner's check of $10,000 which he will donate to charity

The Prelude race roster had drivers from NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Truck Series, IndyCar, NHRA and the World of Outlaw Sprint Series.

Busch said that “Tony Stewart has turned the Prelude to the Dream” race into a huge ordeal. It always fun to race this race and help people who are less fortunate.”

Tony Stewart said that the event has improved every year and is amazed that a town of Rossburg, Ohio, which is located in Darke County, and a population of 250 people, can get a crowd of 20,000-plus fans to attend the race.

The Prelude race is always run in June each year.

 

Photos by megasportsnews.com

 

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