5 things to know about Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora

Jonathan Davenport was living the Dream in 2015, at the expense of Scott Bloomquist’s nightmare.

Davenport returns to defend his $100,000-to-win Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway on Saturday night. The event is the first of Eldora’s four crown jewel events and the first of two for the late models, followed by the World 100 in September.

Here are five things to know about the Dirt Late Model Dream weekend:

1. Dream on: Georgia's Davenport figured his Dream was dashed in 2015, when Tennessee's Bloomquist – the sport's most cheered and jeered dirt late model driver – took the lead with eight laps to go. Bloomquist's celebration was quickly scaled back when he came up 25 pounds too light in the post-race weigh-in, giving the win to Davenport. Davenport, the current Lucas Oil Dirt Series points leader, led 27 laps before Bloomquist made the pass off a restart. The Dream win was the first for Davenport and denied Bloomquist his seventh.

2. Living the Dream: Freddy Smith won the first Dirt Late Model Dream in 1994. Fourteen different drivers have won the Dream overall, led by Bloomquist's six championships. The Dream has been tough to repeat. No driver has won consecutive times and just three drivers – Smith, Bloomquist and Billy Moyer – have won multiple Dreams.

3. Dream field: There were 72 cars checked in for Thursday night's preliminary race. Among them were 11 former Dream winners — Bloomquist, Jimmy Mars, Billy Moyer, Darrell Lanigan, Matt Miller, Steve Casebolt, Jimmy Owens, Don O'Neal, Shane Clanton, Dale McDowell and Davenport.

4. Driving in traffic: The late model guys might not be the only ones seeing bumper-to-bumper traffic on Saturday. The Dream packs Eldora with crowds in the 20,000 range, meaning jams after the race. According to the traffic plan, those heading east on North Star-Fort Loramie Road must turn right at State Route 118. Those in the Ballroom parking area must turn left out of Eldora onto State Route 118. Darke County deputies will be assisting with traffic control. And with bridge replacements and construction in the area, fans are advised to check http://ohgo.com/ for detours.

5. The dirt on the Dream: Tickets for the Dirt Late Model Dream are available at the Eldora Speedway box office. General seating is $40 for ages 13 and older and free for 12-under; reserved seating is $44 for 13 and older and $16 for 12-under. Gates open at noon with hot laps at 6 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m. For more info visit eldoraspeedway.com or call (937) 338-3815.