All hail King Kerry XXXI.
Kerry Madsen held on in a green-white-checkered finish to win the 31st annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway on Saturday night.
The Kings Royal is considered one of the most important races on the sprint car calendar, and Madsen walked away with a $50,000 winner’s prize.
Madsen took the lead on Lap 13 after starting seventh on the grid. The Australian was able to hold it until Lap 38, when a caution turned into an open red flag after the field reached max laps.
That set up a green-white-checkered, giving Donny Schatz and David Gravel one last shot to get past Madsen.
But Madsen was able to stay ahead of them in G-W-C to not only earn his fourth World of Outlaws win of 2014 but also become the first Aussie to capture a Kings Royal crown.
“When you have a champion like Donny behind you, you know you can’t make a mistake… and obviously David was strong all weekend and he was going to be a presence at some point as well,” Madsen said to the series’ website.
“Fortunately for me, [my team] gave me that good a car that it just did its own thing anyways.”
After the race, Madsen was declared ‘King’ in a ceremony that saw him bestowed with all the little things that a monarch needs: A robe, scepter, crown, and finally, a throne.
Schatz, who finished second behind Madsen in the A-Main, was gracious in defeat.
“Kerry was definitely a better racecar,” Schatz said. “He got up there and went and was awful fast. When he got there, it was hard to even keep up with him.
“Hats off to those guys, they did a phenomenal job. He’s been knocking at the door of this race for a long time so I’m glad to see him win it.”
Gravel finished third, with Kevin Swindell and Paul McMahan completing the Top 5.