Historic Kings Royal On Tap At Eldora

Sammy Swindell won the Kings Royal for the third time in 2012 at Ohio's Eldora Speedway. (Frank Smith photo)
Sammy Swindell won the Kings Royal for the third time in 2012 at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway. (Frank Smith photo)

ROSSBURG, Ohio – There is no chair in sprint-car racing more cherished than the over-sized throne that graces the stage once a year at Eldora Speedway for the Kings Royal.

It is the throne, 42” above the stage, reserved for the annual King of Kings, who after 40-laps around Eldora reigns supreme.

The climb up the three steps indicates a $50,000 paycheck in the fabled event that is celebrating its 30th edition Saturday night.

Weighing 287 pounds, the overall height of the legendary Kings Royal throne is 92” and is 47.5 inches wide. The 36” wide seat dwarfs the driver, but embellishes the magnitude of the event and the honor. It took three tries before Eldora founder Earl Baltes agreed upon the symbolic throne. The first two attempts were thwarted by Baltes as being too puny.

Saturday’s iconic throne remains as the original one that King Steve Kinser sat upon in 1984’s inaugural Kings Royal.

The pomp and circumstance actually begins prior to the famed ascent. After exiting their winning car, the victor is greeted by the chosen Royal Sovereign to proclaim the Kings title, and places the coveted crown upon the new King of Kings.

Saturday’s Kings Royal concludes a busy weekend of all sprint-car racing on Eldora’s celebrated .500-mile clay oval. The action kicks off Friday evening with the annual Knight Before the Kings Royal doubleheader featuring complete racing programs for the STP World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and the National Racing Alliance Sprint Invaders. Each group then returns on Saturday for another complete program. Race time each evening is 8 p.m.