Larson Crowned at Eldora in 37th Kings Royal

Kyle Larson with his son Owen after wining the 2021 Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

ROSSBURG, Ohio (July 17, 2021) – Kyle Larson has accomplished a lot of amazing things in his sprint car career. Saturday at Eldora Speedway Larson added one of the crown-jewel events to his resume by winning the 37th Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway.

Larson’s road to victory at Eldora was not easy after crashing during the 38th Kings Royal on Saturday afternoon. Assistance to get the car back together after the crash came from car owner Paul Sliva, his crew, and a special family member.

“I flipped and it didn’t feel big, but there is no little flip here,” said Larson. “I knew the car was damaged, and it was. The right front torsion tube was bent back, they tried to straighten it and it broke, so they had to weld it back on. My father-in-law, Brad Sweet’s Dad, had to weld it back together for us as well as a couple of other things. I was a little nervous because we are not like the other teams where we have a backup car prepared. If that one was damaged enough (the crew) was going to have to build another one from the ground up, and I didn’t know if we would have enough time for that. The crew was able to bandage together, its bruised up for sure, but we got it done.”

Tyler Courtney and Jac Haudenschild started on the front row for the 40 lap feature event. Courtney came away with the lead in the first turn Haudenschild and Brad Sweet in tow, but it was short lived. Sweet made a daring move though racing three wide with Haudenschild and Courtney to take the lead on the opening lap.

Sweet’s teammate, James McFadden, quicky joined the battle up front. In doing so he made contact with Sweet after tapping the wall in turn two, sending Sweet into a spin. Sweet managed to keep going, but the caution flag appeared. Under World of Outlaws rules Sweet restarted when here blended into the field, which was 10th position.

Courtney took over the lead for the restart and pulled away from McFadden and Schatz. Further back Sheldon Haudenschild was making his presence felt passing his father for fourth spot on lap four with Larson following him through to move up to fifth. Larson and Sheldon Haudenschild briefly exchanged fourth spot with Sheldon holding the position.

Sheldon followed his race with Larson up by driving around the outside of Donny Schatz on lap eight to take the third spot. Two laps later Courtney started to encounter slower traffic for the lead. This allowed McFadden to close in.

On lap 13, McFadden made his move driving by Courtney to take the lead. One lap later the two car race for the lead became four with Sheldon Haudenschild and Larson, who had moved to fourth, joining the battle on lap 14.

Courtney and McFadden exchanged the lead with Courtney holding the spot. Larson moved up to third on lap 16, which setup his brilliant three wide pass for the lead on lap 20 coming off turn four to the delight of the largest crowd in Kings Royal history.

McFadden held on for second and was able to keep pace with Larson, nearly making contact on lap 21. Shortly after the caution flag appeared when Logan Schuchart slowed with mechanical issues in turn three. Schuchart’s team was unable to make repairs for the restart.

Larson pulled away during the restart with Sheldon Haudenschild moving up to second position, which was short lived as Carson Macedo moved by McFadden for third and around Sheldon for second. Macedo briefly closed in on Larson for the lead, but found himself in a tussle for the spot again with Sheldon. After exchanging slide jobs Sheldon took the second position back and closed in on Larson.
Sheldon appeared to be making progress, but his car started to push going into the corners and allowed Larson to get away. Sheldon closed in on Larson and gave him one last shot through turns three and four, but Larson held on for the victory. Sheldon Haudenschild held on for second with Macedo, Courtney, and Sweet rounding out the top five.

Aftwards, Larson was still reveling in the victory coming into the media center wearing the crown and holding the trophy, revealing he learned quite a bit by watching the feature he crashed out of earlier in the day that helped him win the nightcap.

“It’s awesome. I feel like a lot of people think like ‘Kyle Larson hasn’t won the Kings Royal, Kyle Larson hasn’t won the Knoxville Nationals’. I didn’t get to race the Kings Royal until this week. It’s just awesome to win a crown jewel. I was just mad at myself earlier today and honestly, I think it was really good for me to watch that feature. I was able to learn a lot and how the good guys were getting around the track. I watched Gravel, how he was working the middle and drove to the front. I heard his engine; I could hear how much he was peddling it. That’s basically what I tried to assimilate there in the feature. It got me to the front and ultimately got the win.”

37th Kings Royal
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
Eldora Speedway
Rossburg, Ohio
Saturday, July 17, 2021


Heat Race #1 (10 Laps):
1. 15-Donny Schatz
2. 5T-Travis Philo
3. 48-Danny Dietrich
4. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss
5. 19-Brent Marks
6. 19-Parker Price-Miller
7. 91-Kyle Reinhardt
8. 25R-Jordan Ryan
9. 19P-Paige Polyak
(First three finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #2 (10 Laps):
1. 41-Carson Macedo
2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild
3. 11-Spencer Bayston
4. 5-Paul McMahan
5. 2C-Wayne Johnson
6. 13-Justin Peck
7. 97-Greg Wilson
8. 9R-Derek Hargar
9. 23-Jordan Harble
10. 11K-Kraig Kinser
(First three finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #3 (10 Laps):
1. 49-Brad Sweet
2. 57-Kyle Larson
3. 24-Rico Abreu
4. 1S-Logan Schuchart
5. 21-Brian Brown
6. 1A-Jacob Allen
7. 71-Anthony Macri
8. 39-Daryn Pittman
9. 49D-Shawn Dancer
10. 3J-Trey Jacobs
(First three finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #4 (10 Laps):
1. 9-James McFadden
2. 2-David Gravel
3. 83-Aaron Reuzel
4. 6-Ryan Smith
5. 10-ZebWise
6. 55V-C.J. Leary
7. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
8. 29-D.J. Foos
9.1F-Dean Jacobs
10. 22M-Dan McCarron
(First three finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #5 (10 Laps):
1. 22-Jac Haudenschild
2. 18-Giovanni Scelzi
3. 17B-Bill Balog
4. 42-Sye Lynch
5. 70M-Henry Malcuit
6. 70-Carson Short
7. 11N-Harli White
8. 49X-Ian Madsen
9. 14-Kerry Madsen
(First three finishers transferred to the A-Main)

Heat Race #6 (10 Laps):
1. 7-Tyler Courtney
2. 26-Cory Eliason
3. 7S-Jason Sides
4. 55-Hunter Schurenberg
5. 28-Tim Shaffer
6. 10B-Dave Blaney
7. 47N-Marcus Dumesny
8. 83X-Nate Reeser
9. 12N-Joey Saldana
(First three finishers transferred to the A-Main)

C-Main (12 Laps):
1. 71-Anthony Macri
2. 19-Parker Price-Miller
3. 97-Greg Wilson
4. 11K-Kraig Kinser
5. 91-Kyle Reinhardt
6. 39-Daryn Pittman
7. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr.
8. 1F-Dean Jacobs
9. 47N-Marcus Dumesny
10. 23-Jordan Harble
11. 22M-Dan McCarron
12. 25R-Jordan Ryan
13. 3J-Trey Jacobs
14. 11N-Harli White
15. 29-D.J. Foos
DNS: 9JR-Derek Hagar
DNS: 49X-Ian Madsen
DNS: 83X-Nate Reeser
DNS: 49D-Shawn Dancer
DNS: 14-Kerry Madsen
DNS: 19P-Paige Polyak
DNS: 12N-Joey Saldana
(First six drivers transferred to the B-Main)

B-Main (15 Laps):
1. 1S-Logan Schuchart
2. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg
3. 19M-Brent Marks
4. 1A-Jacob Allen
5. 21-Brian Brown
6. 6-Ryan Smith
7. 2C-Wayne Johnson
8. 13-Justin Peck
9. 11K-Kraig Kinser
10. 10-Zeb Wise
11. 101-Lachlan McHugh
12. 10B-Dave Blaney
13. 71-Anthony Macri
14. 55V-C.J. Leary
15. 97-Greg Wilson
16. 91-Kyle Reinhardt
17. 19-Parker Price-Miller
18. 39-Daryn Pittman
19. 70-Carson Short
20. 42-Sye Lynch
21. 28-Tim Shaffer
22. 70M-Henry Malcuit
(First four finishers transferred to the A-Main)

A-Main (40 Laps)
1. 57-Kyle Larson
2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild
3. 41-Carson Macedo
4. 7BC-Tyler Courtney
5. 49-Brad Sweet
6. 18-Giovanni Scelzi
7. 11-Spencer Bayston
8. 9-James McFadden
9. 1A-Jacob Allen
10. 48-Danny Dietrich
11. 19M-Brent Marks
12. 83-Aaron Reutzel
13. 7S-Jason Sides
14. 22-Jac Haudenschild
15. 26-Cory Eliason
16. 2-David Gavel
17. 24-Rico Abreu
18. 15-Donny Schatz
19. 17B-Bill Balog
20. 5T-Travis Philo
21. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg
22. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss
23. 1S-Logan Schuchart
24. 5-Paul McMahan