Fast Talkers: Kings Royal New Weston, OH--July 11, 2006 -- When the Kings Royal Presented by Crown Royal is mentioned, a few things always come to mind. One is the history of the event, and the names that are associated with winning it. Another...
Fast Talkers: Kings Royal
New Weston, OH--July 11, 2006 -- When the Kings Royal Presented by Crown Royal is mentioned, a few things always come to mind. One is the history of the event, and the names that are associated with winning it. Another is the $50,000 that goes to the winner. Also there is the tradition of the winner wearing the crown at the end of the night, as well as putting on the robe, and holding the scepter. The Mean 15 and the World of Outlaws are gearing up for the 23rd Annual running of the famed event this weekend at the always fast and challenging Eldora Speedway.
The winner of Saturday night's A-Feature, will walk away with the lions share of the purse, and more importantly bragging rights in what is one of the most prestigious races in the world.
Two current Mean 15 drivers have had the thrill and jubilation of being crowned the winner of the event. Jac Haudenschild who is currently fourth in World of Outlaws points, has won the Kings Royal three times. The most recent was in 1998, while he wore the crown for the first time back in 1987. Joey Saldana, who is second in points this year on the strength of four wins, picked a hard-earned win in the Kings Royal in 2002.
The Kings Royal Presented by Crown Royal marks the beginning of an intense stretch of racing, that will take the World of Outlaws back to the East Coast for the second time this season.
Before strapping into their machines, the World of Outlaws drivers shared their thoughts on Eldora Speedway and the historic event.
Becca Anderson, driver of the No. 19 Upstate Kenworth Maxim
"It's a big event. The history is what makes a lot of the racing we do so special. It will be the first time I attempt to qualify for the Kings Royal, so it will be a pretty big weekend. The biggest thing will qualifying to make the Top-24 and the invert. It will be pretty tough. At Eldora if it doesn't happen in the first turn, it gets flat out, and it's pretty tough to pass there. The key is making the invert on the qualifying run."
Jeremy Campbell, driver of the No. 10c Americas Best Values Inn/G-Force Racing Gear Maxim
"I haven't run the Kings Royal yet in my racing career. We've had a lot of success over there though. We usually were racing somewhere else that weekend, so it will be my first Kings Royal. It's the same old track, just with more cars and more people. Hopefully we'll do good and make the show and finish up front. It would be really nice to do good there, being a rookie. It's just one more race, and that is how I have to look at it."
Brian Carlson, driver of the No. 18 Lincoln Electric Maxim
"That's one of the better paying races of the year and everyone looks forward to it. Of course, Eldora is always a fast high speed race track. Now with Tony Stewart over there, you see a little more marketing than there was in the past. It's still the same old people and same old race track. You have to race every lap as hard as you can, but also race within your means, and keep out of trouble. It's a fast place, and you have to stay safe with the car and keep it pointed in the right way, and try to go forward as best as you can. We've had some good runs there in the past and are just hoping to be good again."
Craig Dollansky, driver of the No. 7 Karavan Trailers/Team Race Chic Maxim
"It definitely is a very unique event. Every year is seems like is grows a bit more. It's definitely one of the races we look forward to on the schedule. It would be a pretty special deal to win that event. We've been close a few times, and have not quite gotten it done yet. We won the last event when we were there this year, and we feel like we have a pretty good race car. Hopefully with a little luck on our side, we'll have a good shot at it."
Randy Hannagan, driver of the No. 1x Penthouse Magazines Maxim
"It's going to be real good. There's a lot of money up at stake, and hopefully we can grab a little bit of it, or all of it. I think the history of it makes it special as well as having the name Kings Royal under your win list and being able to wear the crowd. We feel good heading out there. I like racing at Eldora, and hopefully the track conditions will suit us well."
Jac Haudenschild, driver of the No. 35 Wright One Construction Maxim
"We always like running there. The track is wide and fast to race on. We're looking forward to it. We've run there a few times this year and did pretty well over there. I think we'll be alright when we get back. It has a big purse and that always makes everyone happy. We're just hoping to get a good run in. It's always been a big race. There will be a lot of cars there this year and a full house. It should be a pretty good track and race. Anytime you can win a big race like that, it sticks in your mind forever. We're just hoping to do it again. We've run there good this year, and we will have to stay consistent. We'll have to do what we have been doing, and hopefully we can run up front."
Justin Henderson, driver of the (No. D1 Jolt Energy Gum/Protected By Data Dots Schnee powered by Hollywood Racing Engines
"I can't wait to be at the Kings Royal. We have to qualify really good, that's going to be the most important thing on our mind. Qualifying is the first step, after that we'll be happy. To be able to wear the crown at the end of the night, would be a dream come true. I can't even explain it. That and the Knoxville Nationals are the biggest two events. The Kings Royal sure ranks up there."
Dion Hindi, driver of the No. 11D RealTruck.com/SniperTuning J&J
"The Kings Royal is just one of those races that you look forward to all year. We have about 80 races a year, and there are about five or six that you really look forward to and the Kings Royal is one of them. It's one of the top five in the country. Eldora is a tricky track, it's easy to go fast, but it's hard to be competitive there sometimes. We're definitely looking forward to it. Our engines are running very strong, and we have our car working well now."
Chad Kemenah, driver of the No. 15K Underground Utilities Inc. Eagle
"It's been around for so long and when it got started, that was the race. You had that and Knoxville and it has held on to its fame. We've been pretty in the past to winning it. Hopefully this year we can go back and get our luck turned around. Maybe we can it. It would be pretty big to win that thing. We'll go there and certainly give it out best shot."
Jason Martin, driver of the No. 36 NOS Energy Drink/Mafia Motorsports Maxim
"I am really looking forward to going back to Eldora. It seems like the last few times we have been out there we had a lot of things go wrong, that just should not have happened, but did. Hopefully we can get everything going in the right direction for the Kings Royal, and be good there. It is a very special event with the history and all the people that have won it."
Terry McCarl, driver of the No. 24 Big Game Treestands/Bosma Poultry/AmeriCash Advance.com Eagle
"It's one of the top three or four races in the world for us. The money is nice, but it's one of those prestigious races you want to win. I want that crown. Looking at the history of it, and all the awesome drivers that have won it, is amazing. To have your name on the t-shirt with them, would be great. I am in it for the historical value. Don't get me wrong $50,000 wouldn't make me mad, but money spends, and the people that have won it, their names are on that list forever.
Daryn Pittman, driver of the No. 21 Titan Garages & Carports/ Hop-n-Sack Convenience Stores Maxim
"I think the history of it is big. The money is always good, we won't turn that turn. It's one of the races that everyone wants to win. If you retire or quit and haven't won it, it is something that you always feel is missing. We've had a couple of wins at Eldora, they were just a long time ago. We've been struggling there lately, and we're trying to figure out what we have to do to gain some more speed and feel comfortable around there. We're looking forward to it in some aspects. We want to go and run good because it's the Kings Royal, but the other thing is that we have to get better at Eldora period. We are looking forward to getting the chance to do that."
Joey Saldana, driver of the No. 9 Dodge Mopar-powered/Curb Records JEI
"The money is great, but winning the race is huge. Ten more laps at Eldora is huge. It would be like going from a 50 to a 100-lapper on a different track. It just seems like during 10 extra laps at Eldora, the equipment takes a lot of wear and tear and so do the drivers too. Anytime you can win a race like that, it is huge. My win in the Kings Royal will always stick out in my mind. Hopefully it does for the people that watched it as well. The night I won it, the track did not lay rubber, and I started ninth and won. I felt like we did a good job. Hopefully this year, it's a race that not only I, but other people appreciate. I feel like the last race we were at Eldora we were really strong. We ran over some debris and cut a tire, but as a team, we were as good as anyone. Hopefully we can go back and duplicate that performance."
Donny Schatz, driver of the No. 15 ParkerStore J&J
"It always is a big event. We've had some half-way decent runs there, but it's one that we want to get taken care of. It's the start of the 'Month of Money' and there would be no better way to start the month than a win at the Kings Royal. It's one of those places where the people get really hyped up, and that is what has made the event so big. It's exciting and absolutely sends chills down your spine being there."
Brooke Tatnell, driver of the No. 8 Race Outfitters/Castrol/Steel Dreams Eagle
"I think the place itself makes it so special. It has a stigma to itself that no other race track captures. The fact that its $50,000 to win and the names that have won it in the past are prestigious. It's a track that definitely has claimed its victims. It's one of the races in sprint car racing that you really want to win. With some of the marketing additions to it this year, it's definitely a sign of where sprint car racing can go in the future."
Bill Rose, driver of the No. 6 Durty Country Motorsports Maxim
"The Kings Royal is a very special event. Look at all the people that have won the Kings Royal. The purse and money are great as well. It would be pretty cool to run up front there. It would be unbelievable to wear the crown at the end of the night. As I said, the money is good, but the history of it is what makes it so special."