Speedway owner, promoter
Baltes was a towering figure in short-track racing, running Eldora Speedway for more than 50 years and creating signature events like the Kings Royal, USAC 4-Crown Nationals, World 100 and Dirt Late Model Dream. Baltes built Eldora in 1954 and, over the years, owned or operated an array of Ohio tracks, including New Bremen, Salem, Dayton, Limaland, Mansfield and Attica. He also staged seasonal races in Florida. His eager promotion of the new World of Outlaws in 1978 was a key to its success. Baltes was instrumental in forming the All-Star Circuit of Champions. In 1984, Baltes launched the Kings Royal, which paid its winner an unprecedented $50,000. In 2003 he hosted the richest sprint car race in history, The Mopar Million. He left Eldora in 2004. Said current owner, Tony Stewart, “Earl was the yardstick other track promoters measured themselves by.” The multi-time sprint car Promoter of the Year was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1994 and USAC Hall of Fame in 2013.