breaking news

Springfield internet cafe broken into

Schatz wins third straight Kings Royal crown at Eldora

With five laps remaining in the Kings Royal, Brad Sweet was reeling in two-time defending champion Donny Schatz. Sweet anticipated a late-lap battle to decide the 35th annual Kings Royal.

He got one. He just never expected it to be with his teammate and back-of-the-pack runner Daryn Pittman.

As Schatz struggled to find more speed around Eldora Speedway’s high-banked, half-mile oval, Sweet found himself bottled up behind Pittman. Instead of letting his Kasey Kahne Racing teammate pass, Pittman instead battled to stay on the lead lap. The time lost navigating the lapped traffic gave Schatz just enough to win his unprecedented third straight Kings Royal victory Saturday night.

»RELATED: NASCAR set to return to Eldora

“Coming to the checkered I was cussing because I wanted it to be the white flag,” said Sweet, who was frustrated with the situation but added he wasn’t mad with Pittman. “I knew I was in the right place to win it and it would have been in exciting fashion.”

Schatz and Sweet came out of Turn 4 on the final lap side by side – Schatz running low on the track and Sweet inches from scraping the wall high – but Schatz carried just enough momentum to get in front and win by 0.189 seconds.

Sweet likely would have been side-by-side with Schatz with one lap to go instead of on the final lap had he not had to battle Pittman.

Until Schatz did it last season no driver had won consecutive features at the $50,000-to-win Kings Royal. Schatz did it a third straight time to give him five titles overall (2009, 2007). Schatz started fourth and took the lead 15 laps into the 40-lap feature.

»RELATED: NASCAR still digging the dirt at Eldora

Schatz was greeted in victory lane by a chorus of boos from fans tired of seeing the nine-time (and three-time defending) World of Outlaws points champion once again on the Victory Lane stage donning the traditional red robe, holding the scepter and getting crowned forever as King Donny XXXV.

“I’m not going to worry about it. At first when you get booed it does bother you a little bit. After awhile, it makes you feel good,” Schatz said. “I haven’t done anything wrong to anybody. I believe in karma. Not everybody can like you and not everybody can hate you. … I’ve found there’s one thing in life you can do to make everyone happy and that’s sell ice cream. I’m not going to sell ice cream.”

Sweet, the 2013 Kings Royal champion, finished second after starting fifth. He’d finished third the previous two seasons, both to Schatz.

“At least I have one (Kings Royal). I think that makes me feel a little bit better. If I was knocking on the door and hadn’t won one yet, it would hurt even worse. … This one hurts a little more because I felt we had the faster car.”

Cory Eliason, Lee Jacobs and Kraig Kinser rounded out the top five. Fifty-one cars qualified and 24 made the feature.

Schatz wasn’t the only big winner at Eldora on Saturday night. One person from the Kings Royal’s record crowd took home $50,199 in the 50/50 drawing. The drawing took place several hours after the race as track officials were still printing digital tickets bought hours earlier.

Schatz also finished third in Thursday’s Joker’s Wild action and won Friday’s Knight Before $10,000-to-win feature.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Purdue Fort Wayne builds halftime lead against Dayton by making 10 3-pointers
Purdue Fort Wayne builds halftime lead against Dayton by making 10 3-pointers

The Dayton Flyers faced a halftime deficit for the first time this season Friday, giving up a 10-1 run in the last two minutes to Purdue Fort Wayne and falling behind 47-42 in the third game of the season at UD Arena. Fort Wayne made 10 of 17 3-pointers and committed only three turnovers. Dayton had seven turnovers and made 2 of 8 3-pointers. Josh...
Dayton basketball fans will see complete lineup for the first time Friday
Dayton basketball fans will see complete lineup for the first time Friday

Dayton Flyers redshirt senior forward Josh Cunningham will make his season debut at 7 p.m. Friday against Purdue Fort Wayne at UD Arena. Cunningham missed the first two games against North Florida and Coppin State after suffering a hand injury Nov. 6 in practice. Obi Toppin, a redshirt freshman forward, started for Cunningham in those two games and...
Mechanicsburg senior player of year in Southwest District
Mechanicsburg senior player of year in Southwest District

Mechanicsburg senior running back Joey Mascadri was named an offensive player of the year and three Springfield players were named first team on the All-Southwest District high school football teams. A media panel of Southwest District reps, one of nine throughout the state, announced the teams on Thursday. Players are nominated by coaches and voted...
Cincinnati Reds talking trade with New York Yankees?
Cincinnati Reds talking trade with New York Yankees?

The Cincinnati Reds have talked to the New York Yankees about a potential trade for starting pitcher Sonny Gray, according to Jon Morosi of Gray, 29, was 11-9 with a 4.90 ERA last season in 23 starts. In 30 appearances, the right-hander struck out 123 and walked 57 in 130 1/3 innings. Gray spent his first five plus seasons with the Oakland...
Love giving Wright State strong play inside

As Loudon Love was finishing his post-game interview after a 14-point, 12-rebound effort against Toledo, coach Scott Nagy walked by him in the media room and, without looking up, said loud enough for his center to hear: “Fourteen and 12. I’ll take that every time.” That’s the kind of output the Raiders can usually expect from...
More Stories