Eldora Kings Royal preview

Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: 25th Annual Kings Royal Rossburg, OH-- July 10, 2008--Since 1984, sprint car drivers have been making an annual pilgrimage to the legendary Eldora Speedway in Ohio for the Kings...

Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: 25th Annual Kings Royal

Rossburg, OH-- July 10, 2008--Since 1984, sprint car drivers have been making an annual pilgrimage to the legendary Eldora Speedway in Ohio for the Kings Royal, looking to add their name to the illustrious list of winners of the race. Over the years, 13 drivers have worn the purple robe and crown, and have sat on the throne at the end of the night, pocketing $50,000 for the win in each of those races, including six current Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series drivers.

The 25th edition of the Kings Royal will take place on Saturday, July 12 at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway, for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. Adding even more luster to the event, the cameras from SPEED will be rolling to capture all of the action, beginning on Friday, July 11 during the Knight Before the Kings Royal.

Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws Sprint champion, is the only driver that has started all 24 Kings Royal main events dating back to 1984. He won the inaugural Kings Royal and has six triumphs in the race during his career, with the most recent coming in 2005. The native of Bloomington, Indiana has 15 finishes of third or better in his career in the race, to earn him a spot on the podium at the end of the night. He is the winningest driver in the history of Eldora Speedway with nearly 60 total victories at the half-mile.

Jac Haudenschild has won the Kings Royal three times in his career and along with Kinser is the only driver that has won it more than two times. The Ohio native has nine Top-10 finishes in his career in the event, with seven of those being podium finishes. He has 23 career wins at the half-mile, where he has been competing for 30 years.

Donny Schatz, the two-time defending World of Outlaws champion won the Kings Royal for the first time in his career last season. He has four career wins at the famed half-mile, which is owned by his car owner Tony Stewart, including in the series most recent visit on May 31. He has made three starts at Eldora this season and finished on the podium in each of those. In his career at the Kings Royal, the North Dakota native has seven Top-10 finishes.

Joey Saldana has won the Kings Royal twice, in 2002 and again in 2006. He has three consecutive Top-Five finishes in the race and in his career has seven Top-10 finishes. He won earlier this season at Eldora Speedway against a stout field and has 15 wins in his career at the half-mile.

Jason Sides won the Kings Royal in 2004, a year after claiming the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award with the World of Outlaws. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee finished third at Eldora earlier this season and has finished third in two of his last three A-Feature event starts at the track.

Craig Dollansky has six consecutive Top-10 finishes in the Kings Royal as he closes in on his first win in the famed event. He has won six times this season and is currently second in the championship standings. The native of Elk River, Minnesota picked up his sixth career win at the track back in April in the first Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event of the season at Eldora.

Jason Meyers finished second in the Kings Royal last season to earn his best career finish in the event. He has won twice in his career at Eldora, including last season. He has been hampered by flat tires in both events at Eldora this season, though he battled back to pick up a Top-10 finish in April at the track, after he had a flat tire while leading the Crane Cams Dash. The California native won his sixth event of the season on Wednesday night at the Brad Doty Classic at Limaland Motorsports Park. He is currently third in points, just seven markers behind Dollansky.

Kerry Madsen, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has finished fourth and seventh this season at Eldora. He has made the A-Feature in the Kings Royal in each of the last two seasons. He has 18 Top-10 finishes as he closes in on his first win of the season.

Chad Kemenah has finished in the Top-10 in five of the last six Kings Royal events, including a third-place performance in 2003. The native of Findlay, Ohio has three wins in his career at the half-mile. He has two Top-10 finishes in three starts this season at the track.

Shane Stewart finished third with the World of Outlaws at Eldora on May 31. The 2005 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has one career win at the track. He finished fourth on Wednesday night in the Brad Doty Classic after setting a new track record in time trials, to earn his 14th Top-10 finish of the season.

Terry McCarl finished third last season in the Kings Royal, after running second in the Knight Before the Kings Royal event. He has finished in the Top-10 in the last six A-Feature events that he has qualified for during the Kings Royal. He finished sixth in May with the World of Outlaws at the track.

Daryn Pittman has finished in the Top-Five twice this season at Eldora. He has three career Top-10 finishes in the event. The native of Owasso, Oklahoma is just outside of the Top-10 in the championship standings on the strength of 13 Top-10 finishes. He has two Top-Five finishes in three starts at the track this season.

Sam Hafertepe Jr. competed in the Kings Royal for the first time in his career last season. He earned his first career Top-10 finish earlier this season and was second the other night at the track in a special event.

Kraig Kinser finished sixth in his last Kings Royal in 2005. He has five career Top-10 finishes at the track. The 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has five Top-10 finishes this season driving for Tony Stewart Racing.

Tony Bruce Jr. competed in the Kings Royal for the first time in his career last season. The native of Liberal Kansas competed at the track earlier this week as he continues to gain experience at the famed half-mile.

Chad Hiller also made his first appearance at the Kings Royal last season. He had previously attended the event as a crew member. He has raced his way into both World of Outlaws A-Feature events at the track this season. He recently picked up his second Top-10 finish of the season.

Paul McMahan finished sixth in the Kings Royal last season. In his career, he has four Top-10 finishes in event. He has won twice at Eldora in his career with the World of Outlaws, once in a preliminary feature and last season in an A-Feature. He has two Top-10 finishes this season at the track.

Lucas Wolfe, the leading contender for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award will miss the event after sustaining a back injury last month, which he continues to recover from.

2007 Race Recaps- July 13- Knight Before the Kings Royal:

Steve Kinser continued to add to his legacy at Eldora Speedway, adding another win in a very dominating performance.

He led all 30 laps of the Knight Before the Kings Royal to take the checkered flag and the $10,000 top prize at the track owned by fellow Indiana native Tony Stewart.

Kinser took the lead on the opening lap powering past pole sitter Kenny Jacobs in the first turn and never looked back. On the first lap, Terry McCarl jumped into the second spot after starting fifth and looked to the high side of the track in turn two and again in turn four for the lead, with Donny Schatz just behind him.

McCarl dove under Kinser on the fifth lap for the lead exiting the second turn, but the caution flag flew, negating the pass. On the ensuing restart, McCarl looked high coming off the second turn for the lead, but Kinser charged down the back straightaway and continued to hold the point. McCarl would finish in the runner-up position.

Donny Schatz was third, with Jason Solwold fourth and Jason Meyers fifth.

July 14- Kings Royal:

Donny Schatz added another trophy to his collection, earning his first career Kings Royal triumph, which paid $50,000.

The 40-lap event began with Craig Dollansky charging from the third starting spot to take the lead on the high side of the track. Schatz, who started on the pole, battled back exiting the second turn as he looked low for the lead.

Dollansky continued to run the high side of the track in the opening laps, with Schatz on the bottom. Schatz began to close on Dollansky on the fourth lap. Two laps later, the reigning World of Outlaws champion dove under Dollansky exiting the fourth turn to take the lead.

On the seventh lap, Schatz entered lapped traffic and would weave his way through the slower machines until the yellow flag flew on the 22nd lap. Under the Kings Royal format, the lapped cars maintained their position on the track, thus putting six cars between Schatz and Dollansky on the ensuing restart.

Schatz quickly pulled away with open track ahead of him and was again in traffic on the 29th lap. When the final checkered flag flew, Schatz had won by over seven seconds, in what was one of the most dominating performances in Kings Royal history, leading the final 35 laps of the event.

Jason Meyers ended up second, with Terry McCarl third, Jason Solwold fourth, and Joey Saldana fifth.

What to look for at the Kings Royal:

* Steve Kinser is the only driver that has competed in the A-Feature of each of the 24 Kings Royals contest, dating back to 1984. He also has six wins in the event and is the winningest driver in the history of Eldora Speedway.

* Donny Schatz, the two-time defending series champion won his first career Kings Royal last season, en route to becoming the first driver in sprint car racing history to win the Knoxville Nationals, National Open, Kings Royal, Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup and Williams Grove Summer Nationals in the same season.

* Craig Dollansky finished seventh last season in the Kings Royal and has six straight Top-10 finishes in the event. He won the World of Outlaws first visit of the season to Eldora back in April.

* Jason Meyers has competed in the Kings Royal five times in his career, and earned a career-best runner-up finish in 2007.

* Joey Saldana has won the Kings Royal twice in his career, including in 2006, his first year driving for Kasey Kahne Racing.

* Daryn Pittman has three Top-10 finishes in his career in the Kings Royal, including a career-best sixth-place finish in 2002. The native of Owasso, Oklahoma won the final edition of the Historical Big One at the track in 2003.

* Terry McCarl has four Top-10 finishes in the Kings Royal in his career, including a third-place run last season.

* Jason Sides won the Kings Royal in 2004, a year after he claimed the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award with the World of Outlaws. The native of Bartlett, Tennessee finished third in the series first visit of the season to Eldora in April.

* Chad Kemenah finished ninth last season in the Kings Royal. He has five career Top-10 finishes in the event, including a career-best third in 2004.

By the Numbers- 25th Anniversary Kings Royal:

0.5- Miles around Eldora Speedway

1- Driver that has competed in every Kings Royal A-Feature dating back to 1984- Steve Kinser

2- Wins in the Kings Royal for Joey Saldana; Drivers that led laps in the event last season; Current World of Outlaws drivers that competed in the first Kings Royal in 1984

3- Wins in the Kings Royal for Jac Haudenschild; Current World of Outlaws drivers that were not born when the first Kings Royal was contested in 1984

5- Current World of Outlaws drivers that have won the Kings Royal; Events for the World of Outlaws at Eldora Speedway this season

6- World of Outlaws champions that have won the event; Drivers that have won the event more than once; Wins in the Kings Royal for 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser; Heat races contested last in the Kings Royal, which has a unique format each season

7- States represented by winners of the Kings Royal

12- Current World of Outlaws driving that made the main event at the Kings Royal last season

12.707- Track record established by Craig Dollansky on April 13, 2002

13- Drivers that have won the Kings Royal dating back to 1984

15- Finishes of third or better for Steve Kinser in the event

25- Consecutive seasons the Kings Royal has been contested including this year

30- Laps led by Steve Kinser en route to winning the Knight Before the Kings Royal last season

35- Laps led by Donny Schatz en route to winning the Kings Royal last season

51- Drivers that competed in the Kings Royal last season

57- Wins for Steve Kinser in his career at Eldora Speedway

140- Drivers that have started at least one Kings Royal A-Feature event

1984- Year that the Kings Royal was first contested

10,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Friday, July 11 in the Knight Before the Kings Royal

50,000- Dollars the winner will receive on Saturday, July 12 in the Kings Royal

Tickets: On Friday, July 11 at Eldora Speedway, tickets for those ages 16-over will be $25, with tickets for those ages 12-15 $12, with kids 11-under $6.

On Saturday, July 12 at Eldora Speedway, tickets for those ages 16-over will be $32, with tickets for those ages 12-14 $20, with kids 11-under $10. For ticket information visit: www.eldoraspeedway.com.

Next Up: The Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, July 15, which will pay a record $40,000-to win this season.

-credit; woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Kasey Kahne , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Lucas Wolf , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Sam Hafertepe Jr. , Tony Bruce Jr.
Teams Williams