The Sweet Taste Of A Kings Royal Victory


For the waning laps of the event it appeared that it would either be Schatz and Sweet in the top two positions, but in the final three laps Tim Kaeding made huge strides. After losing pace with both of the leaders for several laps on lap 38 Kaeding made huge gains to catch Schatz. The position would not be decided until the final lap. Kaeding issued a hard slider to Schatz going into turn one, but slid up the track losing time. It looked like all was lost for when he threw his Roth Enterprises-backed machine into turn three and appeared to will the car to stick pulling even with Schatz.

The four-wide parade lap prior to the Kings Royal features Brandon Wimmer (9w), Tim Kaeding (83), Donny Schatz (15) and eventual winner Brad Sweet. (Frank Smith photo)

From there it was an even drag race to the checkered flag that Kaeding won by a mere quarter of a second.

“We had a great race car all night, and we just wanted to see how things fell in place,” Kaeding said. “Brad was fast in open traffic, but kind slowed up in traffic and gave Donny and I a chance to get a run at him. We’ve had a rough couple of nights, but to come back and finish second at the Kings Royal is awesome.”

Schatz had to settle for third in the Tony Stewart Racing STP/Armor All J&J.

“Brad was awfully quick up top and I didn’t use up enough track trying to get past him,” said Schatz. “We weren’t really prepared to have a fuel stop (on lap 25 during the Kemenah and McMahan red flag) so we weren’t ready with shock changes and that stuff. I lost a spot to Tim I was just hoping Brad would make a mistake with a lapped car and I would be in a different groove but that didn’t happen. You know, second, third, it doesn’t matter the only thing we came for was a win and we didn’t get it so we may as well finished 20th.”

Tony Stewart finished better Saturday than he did Friday, but that wasn’t the whole story. Stewart made the feature through his heat race, but did not find the finish he wanted. Stewart faced an early exit on lap 16 after alleging contact with TSR teammate and former Kings Royal champion, Steve Kinser.

The contact led to Stewart flipping coming off of the turn four. Stewart would finish 23rd on the night and voiced his displeasure over the PA system at his driver much to the fans’’ surprise.

Wimmer held on to a fourth-place finish while crowd favorite Jac Haudenschild wowed everybody by moving through the field to capture fifth.