Now the Dream Becomes a Nightmare for all but the Winner


Brandon Sheppard won the 2019 Dirt Late Model Dream

Depending on one’s perspective, it is either a wonderful thing or a dreadful thing that the biggest events in sports only come around one time per year. For fans who enjoy such contests as golf’s major tournaments, the Super Bowl, the NCAA Basketball Tournament and the World Series these championship happenings are made special by the fact that there is a lack of frequency of them.

Just like collectible coins, their rarity makes them all the more special.

But on the other side of that coin, competitors in these events have to face the harsh reality that, once lost, there will not be another opportunity to achieve glory for another 365 days. There is a golf tournament virtually every weekend of the year, but there is only one Masters Tournament each year. As a result, professional players only have one chance each season to be fitted for that coveted green jacket. The 31 teams who do not take home the Super Bowl trophy at then end of the NFL season have another year of workouts, practice, regular season games, and playoffs in front of them before they will even get another chance at the big game.

This is also the case for the Dirt Late Model Dream recently completed at Eldora Speedway. Only Brandon Sheppard was able to leave the legendary Rossburg, Ohio half-mile with the winner’s trophy and a check valued at $125,000. For the other 91 racers who entered the crown jewel event, there was simply a ride home and the thoughts of what might have been.

Granted, some may have left the Dream happy with a podium finish, a top-10, or just making Saturday’s feature. But no doubt many drivers, at some point during their time spent at Eldora, allowed thoughts of possibly winning the top prize go through their minds.

But a troubling fact about the Dream for those who attempt to win it is that it seems as if only a select few can indeed emerge victorious. Since its beginning in 1994, there have only been 16 drivers to garner a trophy from this race. Due to the fact that there have been four repeat winners, led by Scott Bloomquist’s eight triumphs, there simply haven’t been that many chances for the others.

Still, however, winning this appropriately named race is in fact a dream for virtually everyone who has ever sat in a Late Model race car.

From the time each hauler left its shop last week on the way to Rossburg up until the time the checkered flag waved on Saturday night there was an overwhelming rush of adrenaline surging through drivers, crew members, and everyone else involved with running a racing team as they played their parts in this event. Now, there is just the realization that the 26th annual Dream is a full year away. And for some, that could mean 365 nights filled with nightmares as they await their next chance at a Dream.

But on the bright side, there are other crown jewel races awaiting the competitors of the Dirt Late Model world in 2019. But again with each of those, there is only one chance per year to win that particular event.

Sleep well, racers. And pleasant dreams.

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