To many, Kyle Larson has already been as established a modern-day Motorsports great. However, on Saturday night, he was officially crowed “King Kyle The 38th” and took his rightful place on the throne.
Erasing the false narrative of his struggles in the sport’s biggest races, Larson finally secured his first-career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Crown Jewel victory – a $175,000 payday at the 37th Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
He had previously finished a career-best second at both the Knoxville Nationals and National Open.
The Elk Grove, California native overcame countless hurdles to earn the biggest dirt win of his career. First, there was the logistics of making his trip happen with the NASCAR Cup Series racing on Sunday in New Hampshire. Second, things went south for Larson when he flipped during the afternoon’s LCS and damaged the car. Third, he lined up from row five with eight of the best Sprint Car drivers in the world ahead of him.
By the halfway point, Larson had clawed his way to the top as he passed leaders Tyler Courtney and James McFadden. Larson controlled the second half of the race and earned his first Kings Royal crown in his first-ever appearance.
“This is unbelievable,” Larson said. “This year has been so up-and-down, I didn’t think we’d be in victory lane after that flip. It’s just awesome to win a Crown Jewel in general.”
A crown jewel, indeed. While Saturday was Larson’s first-ever attempt at Lernerville, the 28-year-old superstar has previously finished second at both the Knoxville Nationals and the Kings Royal. He fell short each and every time, as the question arose more and more often.
Coming from ninth, Larson proved Saturday was no fluke by taking the $175,000 score with a beaten and battered car from his Last Chance Showdown crash in the afternoon. Ironically enough, the crash is what Larson claims best prepared him for this evening.
“I really think it was good for me to watch that Feature,” Larson explained. “I tried to simulate there what I saw earlier in the day, and it just worked out.”
Overall, it was Larson’s 22nd career World of Outlaws Feature win, and then came the royal ceremony which made him the 37th King. After a rough-go almost every night, the $175,000 check was something Larson gladly accepted.
It was just a bad week all around for Larson. A speeding penalty haunted him in the NASCAR Cup Series, then he spun out and never completed a lap of the Brad Doty Classic, and then there was his rough flip into turns and two.
“I can’t thank Rick Hendrick, Jeff Gordon, Cliff Daniels, etc. enough for believing in me,” Larson said. “The atmosphere here tonight was unreal.”
Joining Larson on the podium was Sheldon Haudenschild and Carson Macedo, with Tyler Courtney in fourth and Brad Sweet in fifth.
Giovanni Scelzi, Spencer Bayston, James McFadden, Jacob Allen, and Danny Dietrich rounded out the top 10.
For more information on the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, visit WorldofOutlaws.com.
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series
Eldora Speedway – Rossburg, OH
King’s Royal – July 17, 2021
1. 57-Kyle Larson
2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild
3. 41-Carson Macedo
4. 7BC-Tyler Courtney
5. 49-Brad Sweet
6. 18-Giovanni Scelzi
7. 11-Spencer Bayston
8. 9-James McFadden
9. 1A-Jacob Allen
10. 48-Danny Dietrich
11. 19M-Brent Marks
12. 83-Aaron Reutzel
13. 7S-Jason Sides
14. 22-Jac Haudenschild
15. 26-Cory Eliason
16. 2-David Gravel
17. 24-Rico Abreu
18. 15-Donny Schatz
19. 17B-Bill Balog
20. 5T-Travis Philo
21. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg
22. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss
23. 1S-Logan Schuchart
24. 5-Paul McMahan