Kings Royal’s Unique Format Adds To The Magic

Donny Schatz (15) races under Brad Sweet en route to his second straight Kings Royal victory at Eldora Speedway in 2017. (Julia Johnson photo)

As the promoter and general manager of Eldora Speedway, Roger Slack is the man in charge of continuing the tradition of the Kings Royal.

“I think there are a few things that contribute to the electricity, excitement and magic of the Kings Royal,” said Slack. “The first is the fact that aside from a couple of years during the TNN era it has utilized an Eldora format. The Saturday night program is an event all its own — it’s 40 laps — it doesn’t matter what you’ve done all week, where you are in points. You have to perform each time you’re on the track because there are no provisionals other than the two spots reserved for the fastest qualifiers who do not advance from the heat races.
“The invert is deep (a minimum of five/three advance), the heat races are staggered slowest to fastest, and the results work on a matrix system where one pass can mean starting on the front row or starting on row six,” Slack added. “Historically, if you look at the results, there are great runs put together by non-WoO teams at the Kings Royal because it is so different.”

New for 2018: Instead of drawing for qualifying, the winners of Thursday’s Jokers Wild and Friday’s Knight Before the Kings Royal will select where in the order they want to time trial on Saturday.