The Big E
New Weston, Ohio
0.5-mile (0.8 km)
Eldora Speedway (nicknamed “The Big E”, “Auto Racing’s Showcase Since 1954,” and “The World’s Greatest Dirt Track”) is a 0.5 mi (804.672 m) (American short tracks are measured in both fractions – 1/2-mile or decimals .500-mile) high-banked clay dirt oval. Located north of Rossburg, Ohio in the village of New Weston, Ohio, it features permanent and festival-style seating believed[by whom?]to be in the range of 30,000. The 22,000 permanent grandstand and VIP suite seats make it the largest sports stadium in the Dayton, Ohio-region according to the Dayton Business Journal.
Originally constructed as a 1/4-mile semi-banked clay dirt oval by track founder and legendary promoter Earl Baltes, Eldora was enlarged to a 3/8-mile length and later to the “half-mile” standard required by the United States Auto Club (USAC) for National Championship events featuring the stars of the Indianapolis 500. Baltes, an enterprising big band leader and dance promoter, was never afraid to think big, took big risks and created events that drivers and fans could never fathom – drawing them to his speedway in rural Darke County, Ohio.