Like essentially everyone else, race fans have gotten the short end of the stick in 2020 with nearly everything canceled or postponed due to coronavirus. That means no Monaco Grand Prix, no Indianapolis 500 (at least for a while) and, for dirt enthusiasts, no sprint car or late model action at famous tracks like Eldora Speedway. Because of that, one father and son duo in Indiana decided to build their own scale model of Eldora, complete with banked turns, signage, and staging areas for the race cars themselves.
In a quick chat with The Drive, Scott Stevens explained that he had a sheet of plywood in his garage that was set for another project. However, after running outside, he came back to find his son with toy cars set up to "race" around the board. They temporarily drew a track on the plywood, but when everyone was sent home for weeks on-end to quarantine, the two decided to go full-bore.
Stevens and his son utilized the octagonal sheet for the track's foundation and put clips in the shape of an oval to fasten down the outside walls. Once the barriers were fitted, it was time for another coat of paint to recreate the look of Eldora IRL. With stickers bearing the track's name at each corner, it was time to lay down the racing surface.
They decided it was only right to use dirt from the actual Eldora Speedway, and they already had a bucket of the precious material from last year's World 100 late model race. The track surface was then molded around the infield barrier, which houses nearly a dozen haulers and an entire heat's worth of additional cars, waiting to hit the shrunken half-miler.
Just like at the full-size speedway, it requires plenty of care and attention. Soaking the dirt with water solved the cracking problem, at least intermittently, though Stevens says he had to do so between each heat race. A Facebook commenter suggested mixing the water with dish detergent, and that seems to have done the trick for longer-lasting moisture.
Luckily, they also have a scaled-down sprayer truck should the track need maintenance here and there.
In all, the impressive project measures approximately six feet long by three-and-a-half-feet wide. That's more than enough space to line up a full field and run a few feature races, along with a packed A-Main.
The track is finished, at least for now, though Stevens added they want to build the banking higher on each turn. Without more dirt, though, they'll have to wait until Eldora's 2020 kickoff, which is scheduled for June 4. Additionally, the big-time Kings Royal is still on for July 15-18, so the Stevens family might still be able to see their favorite races in person after all.
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