Passing of a Legend Posted on 3/23/2015 at 10:41:03 AM by D
Earl Baltes, who turned a Darke County cornfield into one of the greatest dirt tracks in the country, died Monday. He was 93.
Services are pending.
Baltes opened Eldora Speedway in 1954 and sold the famous half-mile, high-banked dirt oval to three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart following the 2004 racing season.
Known as much for his demanding work ethic as his wisecracks — and wearing a hat with the bill always turned up so he could “see all the pretty girls” — Baltes carved out the historic track after stumbling on a race at New Bremen Speedway. Against the advice of friends and family to start his own track, Baltes became one of dirt car racing’s greatest promoters.