T.J.’s Takeaways from the Knight Before the Kings Royal

Donny Schatz. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

Closing in on 2:00 a.m. wrapping up the Knight Before the Kings Royal here are three takeaways from Friday’s event:

  • If Donny Schatz was as good as he was Friday when experimenting with engines and chassis setup the rest of the field might be in trouble. Schatz and his Tony Stewart Racing team tried a different engine combination they could back off the fuel consumption on to be able to make the 40-lap distance on Saturday for the Kings Royal. While Schatz was not quite as dominant, he was good enough to hold David Gravel at bay.
  • Going into Saturday Schatz, Brad Sweet, and Logan Schuchart are still the odds-on favorites to win. I would add David Gravel to the mix as well. Gravel broke out a new Kistler engine that seems to be running well and Gravel was able to hang with Schatz through traffic. If Phillips Dietz and the Jason Johnson Racing team can find a just a bit more speed, they might be another contender to unseat Schatz as king.
  • Much like Sye Lynch did between Wednesday and Thursday night Buddy Kofoid made a bit leap forward in his performance at Eldora Speedway. Enlisted in Ed Neumeister teammate James Fisher to help with setup advice due to the #12N car being idle until Saturday Kofoid and his team were able to adjust and went from being a C to B-Main car to transferring through his heat race. It will be interesting to see the #11N half of the Neumiester team further improve their performance in Saturday’s finale.