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World of Outlaws to run a pair of Kings Royal races in busy Eldora Speedway weekend

2023 Outlaws Sprint schedule

Trent Gower

A busy week is on hand for the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series with the Brad Doty Classic in the books and four more races on tap as they run a pair of Kings Royal races at Eldora Speedway complete with one Jokers Wild and one Knight Before the Kings Royal in support of the big shows. The action begins Wednesday night and runs through Saturday on DirtVision (subscription required).

The COVID-19 pandemic put the 37th running of the Kings Royal on hold in 2020. The Outlaws decided the best time to make up the iconic race was during the 2021 Kings Royal weekend, so in a move that is likely to confound every statistician out there, the 38th Kings Royal will be run Thursday, July 15th with the 37th running of the classic occurring two days later on Saturday, July 17th.

But first, the series got kickstarted the week with the Brad Doty Classic at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park. It is a fitting tribute to one of open wheel racing’s former stars as Doty saw his sprint car career end in the 1988 Kings Royal after suffering a devastating back injury.

Tuesday night, Spencer Bayston earned his first Outlaws win over the drivers standing first and second in the championship. Points’ leader Brad Sweet finished second at Attica with second-place Carson Macedo finishing third.

And if that was not enough competition, the winningest active Outlaws driver, Donny Schatz, advanced 18 positions during the evening to finish fourth.

The Brad Doty Classic also included a pair of NASCAR drivers, with Christopher Bell running 15th and Kyle Larson a distant 24th.

The Kings Royal was last run in 2019 with Sweet beating Logan Schuchart by more than two seconds in the 40-lap feature. Sweet also won the Jokers Wild 30-lap race that year. Schatz was victorious the next night in the Knight Before the Kings Royal, also run at 30 laps.

Both Kings Royals will feature a purse of $175,000.

Sweet is going to need the momentum that six consecutive top-fives, including three wins and a second-place finish, gives him. He did not run very well at Eldora in May when the track hosted a two-day show. Sweet finished 14th and 11th in those two races.

Schatz stood on the podium in both May races with third-place finishes, but still anxiously waited on his 300th career victory, which he achieved at the Dubuque (Iowa) Fairgrounds a little less than a month ago.

If Schatz can win his both Kings Royals, he will tie the legendary Steve Kinser with seven.

Sweet and Schatz are joined by five other former Kings Royal winners, including Kerry Madsen (2014), Daryn Pittman (2008), Jason Sides (2004), Jac Haudenschild (1987, 1994 and 1998) and Dave Blaney (1993, 1995 and 2000).

Wednesday’s Jokers Wild and Friday’s The Knight Before will run as standard World of Outlaws programs. Thursday’s 38th Kings Royal and Saturday’s 37th Kings Royal are a whole different show.

Qualifying is part of the schedule, but everyone goes under one group. More importantly, a huge 36-car inversion flips the Heat Race lineups and puts the fastest cars mid-pack. Only the top-three finishers of the heats transfer directly into the Kings Royal A-Main in spots 1-18. The fastest two qualifiers who do not transfer are guaranteed starting spots 19-20. A Last Chance Showdown will add four more drivers to the 40-lap, 24-car feature.

Back-to-back Kings Royal races also kicks off the “Month of Money”. Over the next eight events, culminating in the Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals on August 11, a total of $635,000 in prize money will be on the line.

2021 Kings Royal Schedule

Wednesday, Jokers Wild
Thursday, 38th Kings Royal
Friday, The Knight Before the Kings Royal
Saturday, 37th Kings Royal