There’s a lot of talk this week about tonight’s MudSummer Classic Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway. And frankly, we can’t wait to see it! We have a reference for the must-see show, but it NSFB (Not Safe for Blog, no, not even this blog.)
As the spotlight grows even brighter with the influx of fans and media to the Ohio dirt track, questions are being raised about the infamous Eldora Love Tunnel (AKA: The Eddie Gossage Tunnel). Less about the tunnel really, and more about the “AKA” part. Why is Eddie Gossage’s name on it? Well, it was a result of a $3 million deal. Yes, you read that correctly. THREE MILLION DOLLARS.
That’s a hell of a naming rights deal.
No, we didn’t pay 3 million for a $12 plaque, well… not really. The story goes kind of like this:
Once upon a time, there was a track that had a couple of traffic issues (For the record, those have been fixed!! Don’t start.) There was also a driver who was coming from an appearance and REALLY needed to get to the infield at said track for a very important meeting. A NASCAR Driver’s Meeting. This driver, who also owns Eldora Speedway, was stuck in traffic on Texas Motor Speedway property.
**We pause our story here to tell you that the penalty for missing a NASCAR Driver’s Meeting is that the driver must start at the rear of the field. It helps explain the next part of the story.**
This driver is known to have a fiery temper when incited by the asking of repetitive (read: stupid) questions or blocked (if you haven’t figured it out yet, allow us…**cough** Tony Stewart). This traffic might as well have been the block of all blocks and since it would be frowned upon to start wrecking our guests, he showed tremendous self-control and called Eddie. Tony then tossed his self-control out the window and proceeded to tear into Eddie as though he was a member of the media who had asked for the seventh week in a row, “What did you have for breakfast and how do you think it will affect how the car runs today?”.
We won’t get any further into the Stewart v. Gossage bout (although that does give us an idea…) but it did result in building a bridge to ease traffic on property and make the infield more accessible. It cost $3 million dollars to build and in honor of the above referenced incident, Eddie attempted to get the last word by naming the bridge, “The Tony Stewart Bridge”. In true Smoke form, he got the final word, hence the $12 plaque on the Love Tunnel at Eldora Speedway.