Fireworks go off at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway prior to the 37th Annual Kings Royal, one of the crown jewels of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series season.
Eldora Speedway will host the 4-Crown Nationals this weekend. (Frank Smith Photo)

4-Crown Preview: Open-Wheel Stars Converge At Eldora

ROSSBURG, Ohio – The 39th running of the 4-Crown Nationals, the two-day event converging every premier level of open-wheel dirt racing, springs into action Friday at Eldora Speedway.

Full programs for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Cars and USAC National Midget Series headline the event’s opening night. Qualifying for Saturday’s USAC Silver Crown Series main event joins the winged sprint cars and midgets on Friday.

Saturday, on the other hand, is a full plate of action. All three USAC national touring series – sprint cars, midgets and Silver Crown cars – share the spotlight with the All Star Circuit of Champions.

The spectacle returns to the half-mile clay oval settled in the vast agricultural land of Ohio after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled last year’s event.

You can follow SPEED SPORT’s @ByKyleMcFadden on Twitter for on-the-ground updates both days.

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series

The Greatest Show on Dirt makes its seventh and final appearance of the year at the high-banked clay oval Friday.

Brent Marks and Sheldon Haudenschild shared victory lane during the Let’s Race Two doubleheader in May.

During Kings Royal week in July, Carson Macedo won both preliminary races while Tyler Courtney and Kyle Larson claimed $175,000 paydays in the 38th and 37th installments of the Crown Jewel event.

Brad Sweet and the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 49 team bring with them a streak of 17 straight top-10 finishes as they march toward a third-straight series title.

Sweet holds a 156-point lead over David Gravel with 11 races left in the season.

Haudenschild will have a shot to run his win total into double figures for the first time. The homestate driver out of Wooster, Ohio, nearly ran down Larson to win the 37th Kings Royal in July in addition to his May triumph.

King Sunshine returns to his palace

Tyler Courtney is a reigning Eldora winner in every discipline on hand this weekend.

He is the 38th Kings Royal champion. He’s won the previous two midget 4-Crown Nationals events. He won the first USAC Silver Crown Series race at the half-mile earlier this year.

For good measure, he won his fifth straight USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series race in Rossburg, Ohio, in May.

Courtney is set to compete in every program this weekend.

The 2019 USAC National Midget Series champion can become the first driver to win three consecutive series features at Eldora.

USAC National Midget Series

USAC NOS Enegy Drink National Midget Series point leader Buddy Kofoid has seen his lead diminish to 10 points with 14 races to go. He will make his midget debut at Eldora Friday, hoping the experience of a fourth-place finish in the winged sprint car at the track in 2019 will translate.

Spencer Bayston is the most recent driver not named Courtney to win the midget portion of the 4-Crown Nationals. He scored the victory during his USAC National Midget championship season in 2017.

Bayston returns to the midget scene Friday, piloting a second CB Industries entry alongside 2020 series champion Chris Windom.

Windom, meanwhile, has won 4-Crown main events in non-winged sprints and Silver Crown cars, but never in the midget on open-wheel’s busiest stage.

Tanner Thorson has seven series victories this year, but no previous trips to victory lane at Eldora.

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