By Brian Walker
ROSSBURG, OH – July 11, 2022 – One of the most anticipated weeks in all of Sprint Car Racing has finally arrived.
An action-packed span with five races in five nights is bringing fans from all across the country, and the world, to the state of Ohio this week to come see why the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series is truly The Greatest Show on Dirt.
More than 60+ of the best Sprint Car drivers will head for The Buckeye State with unlimited prestige and loads of cash on the line. It starts with Attica Raceway Park’s Brad Doty Classic on Tuesday and carries into the fabled Kings Royal week at Eldora Speedway, which includes the return of the Historical Big One.
Tues – Brad Doty Classic ($15K at Attica)
Wed – Jokers Wild ($10K at Eldora)
Thur – Historical Big One ($100K at Eldora)
Fri – The Knight Before ($10K at Eldora)
Sat – 39th Kings Royal ($175K at Eldora)
There’s a lot to look forward to this week. Here’s a preview of what to watch for on DIRTVision.com:
ATTICA ACES: Kicking the week off on Tuesday night, the Brad Doty Classic at Attica Raceway Park has become a marquee midweek tradition with the World of Outlaws. The event drew 48 cars last year and now pays a boosted $15,000-to-win with the World of Outlaws full-timers facing the All Star travelers, PA Posse invaders, and Attica locals in one intense night.
The event has produced five different winners over the last five years with 2022 Rookie of the Year contender Spencer Bayston most recently topping last year’s race for his first-career World of Outlaws win. Kyle Larson scored the 2020 victory as part of his outstanding 46-win campaign and topped May’s World of Outlaws show at Attica this year in the Paul Silva #57. Brock Zearfoss, who won earlier this month at Cedar Lake (WI), scored the 2019 title under the All Star sanction. Donny Schatz, the only four-time winner in 33 years of the Brad Doty Classic, earned his most recent win in 2018. Before that, David Gravel conquered the 2017 running for his first of two Attica victories.
The Attica, OH 1/3-mile has hosted five local, unsanctioned 410 races this year with five different winners as well – Cole Macedo, Trey Jacobs, Caleb Griffith, TJ Michael, and Tanner Thorson. Those five, plus the likes of DJ Foos, Travis Philo, Stuart Brubaker, Zach Ames, Byron Reed, and Craig Mintz will be worth watching defend their turf. A trio of All Star races has also been contested at the track in 2022 with wins going to Tyler Courtney, Zeb Wise, and Danny Dietrich.
DEFENDING THE THRONE: Not one, but two monarchs will be dealt the trying task of defending the throne on Saturday night at the 39th Kings Royal. King Tyler XXXVIII is the official reigning ruler of Eldora’s hollowed halls, but in a time plagued by COVID-19, there are technicalities to be served. Last year’s historical doubleheader allowed King Kyle XXXVII the chance to enjoy his own crowning moment only hours later, resulting in a divided kingdom.
Don’t be fooled, though, defending the throne is no easy task within an empire built by the late, great Earl Baltes and maintained by His Majesty, Tony Stewart. It’s so difficult that King Steve (Kinser), King Sammy (Swindell), King Jac (Haudenschild), or King Joey (Saldana) couldn’t pull off such a feat. Through 38 previous competitions, King Donny (Schatz) is the only man of honor to successfully defend the throne, doing so for three consecutive runs from 2016-18.
Tyler Courtney and Clauson-Marshall Racing will officially be the reigning kings when the NOS Energy Drink #7BC hauls into the infield of Eldora, a 1/2-mile venue that “Sunshine” only knows how to shine at. He’s won at the Rossburg, OH facility in every type of open-wheel car, and last year’s $175,000 victory came in his Kings Royals debut. The Indianapolis, IN native has already topped six Sprint Car Features in 2022, including four All Star Circuit of Champions races and two at Skagit (WA).
Kyle Larson and Paul Silva hope to continue their stranglehold on Sprint Car Racing’s greatest events, entering as winners of the Kings Royal and Knoxville Nationals last year. The reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion has made 10 attempts with the World of Outlaws in 2022, winning twice at Merced (CA) and Attica (OH) to go along with four runner-up results and a stellar average finish of 4.9. He recently topped an All Star show at Lernerville and scored a win at Eldora earlier this year, but that was in a Late Model.
RECLAIMING THE CROWN: Included among the 60+ entrants ready to stop Courtney and Larson is a group of several former Kings Royal champions eager to return atop the throne. Headlining that list is 10-time World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz and three-time champion World of Outlaws champion Brad Sweet.
King Donny XXXV has conquered the kingdom on five occasions, second only to seven scores by the original King Steve. The Fargo, ND native has mastered The Big E for 18 total victories throughout his prolific career and could reach a monumental milestone with his 1,000th World of Outlaws top-five finish this week. The Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing, Ford Performance, Advance Auto Parts #15 hasn’t won since the season opener at Volusia (FL) but has stepped it up lately by leading in two of the last three races. His five previous crowns – including his most recent in 2018 – were all at the tune of $50,000, meaning a $175,000 payday would be the largest payday of his career this week.
King Brad XXXVI left Eldora last July with more heartbreak than all, leading him back to the track this week with redemption and cash on his mind. The Big Cat held the lead briefly in each of the two Kings Royals in 2021, but suffered a flat tire in the day show and spun from contact in the night show to hamper his chances at a third crown. The Grass Valley, CA native topped a $50,000 race in 2013 and upped his cut to $175,000 in 2019, and now owns the best average finish (6.82) among those with 10 Kings Royal starts. The Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49 still controls the championship lead, but hasn’t won since March 30 at Vado (NM) and could desperately use the momentum from another Crown Jewel title this week.
King Kerry XXXI is another former champion confirmed to race this week at Eldora. Madsen, who won the 2014 running in dominant fashion, will be aboard a second Roth Motorsports #83JR entry. Several other former kings including Sammy Swindell (’92, ’99, 12), Daryn Pittman (’08), Joey Saldana (’02, 06), and Dave Blaney (’93, ’95) are unconfirmed, but could likely participate in pursuing another crown.
ROYAL BREAKTHROUGH: Beyond the throne is a legion of full-time World of Outlaws stars on the cusp of breaking through for that elusive Kings Royal title this week.
Sheldon Haudenschild of Wooster, OH has finished fourth, fifth, and second in the last three Kings Royal, coming up only one lap shy of challenging Kyle Larson for last year’s title. The NOS Energy Drink, Stenhouse Jr. / Marshall Racing #17 is the winningest team on tour this year with eight wins to their credit, including a $100,000 score last month at Huset’s. The Wild Child’s Child earned his first Eldora win last May and now looks to make Jac Haudenschild and himself the first father and son duo to top the event.
Carson Macedo of Lemoore, CA left Eldora a bit annoyed last July after sweeping the $12,000-to-win prelims, but falling short in the $175,000-to-win programs with results of third and sixth. The Jason Johnson Racing, Albaugh #41 team is eager to avenge those losses this week and enters with momentum from their seventh World of Outlaws win of the season on Saturday at Cedar Lake (WI).
David Gravel of Watertown, CT has conquered the Knoxville Nationals and National Open, but the Kings Royal still remains missing from his resume in pursuit of winning each leg of the triple crown. Gravel has topped a pair of World of Outlaws races at Eldora and the $52,000 Governors Reign in 2020, yet his best result come crowning time is a third-place from back in 2014. It’s now been 25 races since his last trip to Victory Lane at Perris (CA) in March, but don’t dare to leave the Big Game Motorsports #2 out of contention this week.
Logan Schuchart of Hanover, PA has established himself as an Eldora favorite in recent years, proving the Shark Racing #1S is one of the fastest cars at the Ohio oval. He’s a three-time winner at the 1/2-mile, including the most recent World of Outlaws appearance at the track last September. After a heartbreaking runner-up finish in 2019 to Brad Sweet and a pair of hindered performances last year, Schuchart will be eager to finally claim the crown come Saturday.
James McFadden of Alice Springs, NT is chasing not only an elusive Eldora victory, but also his first World of Outlaws win of the season this week in the Roth Motorsports #83. The Australian has scored three runner-up results in the past three weeks and returns to the track for the first time since a career-best second last September. Aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing #9, McFadden experienced the front of the Kings Royal for the first time last year when he led laps and battled for the crown before ultimately fading to finish eighth.
ALL STAR CAST: Along with King Tyler, the All Star Circuit of Champions are well represented as the Series takes an off-weekend and sends their teams to compete at Attica and Eldora.
Hunter Schuerenberg of Sikeston, MO is enjoying a breakout year with four victories in the Tony Vermeer #55 ahead of what could be his third Kings Royal A-Main appearance this week. Parker Price-Miller of Kokomo, IN is a two-time winner with the Series in 2022 aboard the Sam McGhee #11, and going for his second Kings Royal start this week in a car that has proven potent at Eldora.
Bill Balog of North Pole, AK and Justin Peck of Monrovia, IN both experienced career-best outings at the Kings Royal last year and hope to back that up this week. Balog scored a fourth-place finish in his #17B, while Peck put the Buch #13 on the pole position and upped his mark to 11th-place at the 1/2-mile.
Zeb Wise of Angola, IN will transition from the Wise-Priddy #10 family car to his new seat in the Rudeen Racing #26 beginning on Tuesday and carrying into Eldora, where he’ll vie for his first Kings Royal A-Main start. Another trio of All Star competitors in Cap Henry of Bellevue, OH, Kyle Reinhardt of Neptune City, NJ, and Chris Windom of Canton, IL will also be after their first start in the event this week.
POSSE PORCH VIEW: Head east from Eldora’s northwestern Ohio location for about seven hours and you’ll run into Central Pennsylvania, the home porch of the PA Posse. Per usual, several of the top dogs in Pennsylvania will cross the state line and chase the crown and the cash in Ohio this week.
Brent Marks of Myerstown, PA is the hottest driver in all of Sprint Car racing right now, and one of the favorites to become king this week. Aboard the Murray-Marks #19, Marks has earned 13 consecutive podium finishes and seven victories in his last 15 starts across Iowa, Ohio & Pennsylvania. He’s already won three races with the World of Outlaws in 2022 at Devil’s Bowl (TX), Williams Grove (PA), and Knoxville (IA). Marks is a three-time winner at Eldora and looks to top his Kings Royal career-best of third from 2019 this week.
Danny Dietrich of Gettysburg, PA appeared in his first two Kings Royal A-Mains last year, and did so successfully with runs of 10th and second aboard the Gary Kauffman Racing #48. “Double D” will be going for his 10th win of the 2022 season across five nights of racing this week at Attica and Eldora.
Anthony Macri of Dillsburg, PA and Logan Wagner of Harrisonville, PA are two of the fiercest 1/2-mile aces in the state of Pennsylvania, but neither have qualified for the Kings Royal A-Main yet. They’ll try to change that this week.
THE ELDORA INVERT: The format at Eldora this week is unlike anything else Sprint Car drivers encounter all year long. Wednesday’s Jokers Wild and Friday’s The Knight Before will run as standard World of Outlaws programs, however, Thursday’s return of the Historical Big One and Saturday’s 39th Kings Royal are a whole different show.
Qualifying is still a mainstay, but everyone goes under one group. More importantly, a Heat Race inversion will flip the field and create some intense battles through a set of six Heat Races. The invert of Thursday’s Historical Big One is decided via the “Wheel of Misfortune” with several different options, while Saturday’s Kings Royal is locked-in at a four-car invert for Heat Races.
Only the top-three finishers in each Heat Race transfer to the A-Main with positions 1-18 lining up by Eldora’s unique snake seeding system, including the winner of Heat Six taking the pole. The fastest two qualifiers that don’t transfer are guaranteed starting spots 19-20 with the Last Chance Showdown throwing four more names into the ring for the 40-lap Feature.
KID FROM APPLE CREEK: Tuesday’s Brad Doty Classic at Attica Raceway Park is all about honoring a living legend in the Sprint Car community. To this day, fans still wonder how high and how far Brad Doty could have climbed in the World of Outlaws had it not been for a devastating back injury that removed him from the seat at the 1988 Kings Royal.
The Apple Creek, OH native took 73 checkered flags throughout his shortened career, 18 of them under the World of Outlaws sanction. He finished as high as second in the championship standings in 1987 and still remains 32nd on the All-Time Win List today. From being a television color commentator, magazine columnist, and event co-promoter, Doty is still as active and as passionate about the sport as ever. On Tuesday, we salute him.
IT’S NOT TV; IT’S HBO: After a 19-year absence, the Historical Big One finally returns in 2022 on Thursday night as part of Kings Royal week. The event, created by Earl Baltes in 1993, was the original $100,000-to-win Sprint Car race and offered 11 showings through the most recent running in 2003. Former winners of “The HBO” include Jac Haudenschild (’93), Kenny Jacobs (’94), Steve Kinser (’95, ’00), Mark Kinser (’96), Dave Blaney (’97), Dale Blaney (’98), Kevin Gobrecht (’99), P.J. Chesson (’01), Donny Schatz (’02), and Daryn Pittman (’03).
Keeping the traditional $100,000 winners share, the revitalized Historical Big One bumps the purse throughout the field with a $4,000-to-start payday available to the 24-car Feature field. The much-anticipated return not only offers big money and crucial laps ahead of the Kings Royal, but it makes 2022 the first year in history with four six-figure paydays in Sprint Car racing.
THE MONTH OF MONEY: For the first time in history, Sprint Car competitors are competing for a record offering of four six-figure paydays in 2022, and three of those come within the next month. Sheldon Haudenschild already scored the initial $100,000 check last month with an unforgettable last-lap pass at the inaugural High Bank Nationals at Huset’s (SD).
This week’s Historical Big One ($100,000) and Kings Royal ($175,000) join August’s Knoxville Nationals ($150,000+) on that fabled list. All told, seven of the 13 races over this span offer elevated purses with Attica’s $15,000-to-win Brad Doty Classic (7/12), Port Royal’s $20,000-to-win Summer Showdown (7/20), Williams Grove’s $20,000-to-win Summer Nationals (7/23), and I-55’s $20,000-to-win Ironman 55 also included.
THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE
Tuesday, July 12 at Attica Raceway Park in Attica, OH
Wednesday-Saturday, July 13-16 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH
ON THE INTERNET
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