Rossburg, OH — (July 8) — There is no chair in Sprint Car racing more cherished than the over-sized throne that graces the stage once a year at Eldora Speedway for the Kings Royal. It is the throne, 42” above the stage, reserved for the annual King of Kings, who after 40-laps around Eldora reigns supreme.
The climb up the three steps indicates a $50,000 paycheck in the fabled event that is celebrating its 30th edition Saturday night (July 13).
Weighing 287 pounds, the overall height of the legendary Kings Royal throne is 92” and is 47.5 inches wide. The 36” wide seat dwarfs the driver, but embellishes the magnitude of the event and the honor. It took three tries before Eldora founder Earl Baltes agreed upon the symbolic throne. The first two attempts were thwarted by Baltes as being too puny.
Saturday’s iconic throne remains as the original one that King Steve Kinser sat upon in 1984’s inaugural Kings Royal.
The pomp and circumstance actually begins prior to the famed ascent. After exiting their winning car, the victor is greeted by the chosen Royal Sovereign to proclaim the Kings title, and places the coveted crown upon the new King of Kings.
Saturday’s Kings Royal concludes a busy weekend of all Sprint Car racing on Eldora’s celebrated .500-mile clay oval. The action kicks off Friday evening with the annual Knight Before the Kings Royal doubleheader featuring complete racing programs for the STP World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and the National Racing Alliance Sprint Invaders. Each group then returns on Saturday for another complete program. Race time each evening is 8 p.m.
FIVE STP WORLD OF OUTLAWS SPRINT DRIVERS ATTEMPTING TO GRAB FIRST KINGS ROYAL CROWN
ROSSBURG, OH (July 8) – Going into Saturday’s (July 13) 30th annual Kings Royal, there have been 15 different winners, headed up by Steve Kinser’s amazing seven crowns. With the STP World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car series again the sanctioning body for this prestigious event; five of their top ten point drivers are not on that list of winners, and are looking to change that statistic.
Heading that list is Paul McMahan, who enters the weekend second in the 2013 cumulative points chase. Thirteen times he has cracked the Kings Royal starting field, with his best finish coming in 2011 and a third place run. McMahan comes into the annual chase for the crown with a strong season. At the time of this writing he has set quick time at 10 STP WoO events and grabbed 3 wins. His resume includes two WoO wins at Eldora; he is hoping that this year’s Kings Royal will increase that to three.
Craig Dollansky and Chad Kemenah each have 10 Kings Royal starts to date, but no crowns. Dollanksy is 5th in the STP WoO points chase and has five wins on the season. In Eldora competition, he has grabbed 4 WoO and 3 All Star Sprint checkered flags. His best Kings Royal finish was a third place run in 2002.
Kemenah came close to wearing the crown in 2004. Multiple tire failures plagued the teams that year, with Kemenah starting that cycle while in the lead. As the frustration mounted Kemenah kept moving through the field to eventually finish third; a position he also grabbed in 2008. He enters this year’s pursuit ranked 10th in the STP WoO points chase.
Rounding out the five hopefuls are young drivers Dave Gravel and Cody Darrah. Gravel, with one NRA Sprint Invader win under his belt, is seeking his first-ever Kings Royal start. Meanwhile Darrah remains winless at Eldora, but has advanced into the Kings Royal starting grid three times. His eighth place finish in 2011 has been his best.
Saturday’s 40-lap Kings Royal will see 24 Sprint Cars taking the green flag. In addition to these five hopefuls, at least nine of the fifteen previous winners are expected to be in the mix to earn one of those starting slots and another chance to the wear the crown and return to the over-sized throne.
CHARLIE FISHER ANNOUNCED AS ROYAL SOVEREIGN TO CROWN 30TH ANNUAL KINGS ROYAL WINNER
ROSSBURG, OH (July 8) – Eight times he had started the Kings Royal, including the 1984 inaugural event, but he never made it to the famed Eldora stage for the celebrated pomp and circumstances. That will change this year as the noted Plain City, OH engine builder has been named as the Royal Sovereign and will proclaim this year’s victor as the King and Kings and place the crown on their head.
While Fisher’s name doesn’t appear on any win list for the Sprint Car sanctioning bodies that have competed at Eldora, he is no stranger to the Eldora stage. Charlie Fisher built-engines powered the winners to both of Eldora’s heralded million dollar events; the Eldora Million for Late Models in 2001 as Donnie Moran became an instant millionaire and again in 2003 when Jac Haudenschild pocketed $250,000 as his share of the Mopar Million for USAC Sprint Cars.