Longtime track promoter built Ohio track in 1954 RELATED: Big Bill's path to Talladega Eldora Speedway founder and longtime promoter Earl Baltes died Monday morning at an Ohio hospital. He was 93. Baltes built the rural Ohio dirt track in 1954, then switched its configuration four years later to the high-banked, half-mile oval that still exists today. In the decades that followed, Eldora became one of the premier dirt tracks in the United States. For the past two years, it has hosted NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events. In addition to the eventual Truck Series races, the promoter had a relationship with NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., and assisted France in recruiting cars for the inaugural race at Talladega Superspeedway . Following a 50-year run as owner, Baltes sold the track to NASCAR driver Tony Stewart in 2004. Stewart promptly erected statues of Baltes and his wife, Berneice -- who survives Baltes -- to honor the track's founder. "Earl was the yardstick other track promoters measured themselves by," Stewart said in a track release. "He constantly raised the bar, and he did it by creating events everyone else was afraid to promote. He did them himself, too. Not as a fair board, or a public company, or with major sponsors or millions of dollars in TV money. He put it all on the line with the support of his family. "He and his wife, Berneice, created a happening at Eldora . They turned Eldora into more than just a race track. They made it a place to be. They were integral to the evolution of dirt-track racing and the sport as a whole. Earl will be missed, but he won't ever be forgotten because of his devotion to auto racing." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon battle at Eldora Speedway .
Austin Dillon wins at Eldora Speedway .
Get ready and catch all the action as NASCAR heads to Eldora Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend.
Darrell Wallace Jr.’s dominance and focus in the closing laps at Eldora Speedway make him this week’s Mobil 1 Driver of the Race.
See the full list of participants for Eldora
Check out the highlights from a historic weekend at Eldora Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway as Darrell Wallace Jr. gets his third career win, Ty Dillon wins his first Nationwide Series race, and Jeff Gordon captures his 5th Brickyard 400.
Chad Little announces that changes will be made for the 2014 NCWTS race at Eldora Speedway .
A blown away Darrell Wallace Jr. celebrates his third career NCWTS victory and first at Eldora Speedway .
Alan Cavanna talks with an astonished Darrell Wallace Jr. following his win in the Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway .