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

USAC National Sprint Car Series

Seven past event winners grace Saturday’s 4-Crown Nationals USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series field: Brady Bacon, Robert Ballou, Courtney, Justin Grant, C.J. Leary, Thomas Meseraull and Chris Windom.

Courtney and Ballou already found victory lane at Eldora this year, splitting the doubleheader Let’s Race Two on May 8. For Courtney, it stood as his fifth straight non-winged sprint car win at Eldora.

As for Ballou, his win marked the sixth of his career at Eldora, two of those coming at the 4-Crown Nationals.

Veteran drivers Shane Cottle, Isaac Chapple and Kevin Thomas Jr. also return to competition.

Cottle and Chapple both scored podiums in the 4-Crown Nationals in 2005 and ‘18, respectively. Thomas, meanwhile, has knocked on the door of his first 4-Crown Nationals victory, finishing inside the top five in three straight events.

Tanner Thorson, a seven-time winner on the USAC National Midget Series scene this year, makes his first in a sprint car at the 4-Crown Nationals.

Chase Stockton owns six career 4-Crown Nationals top 10 finishes with a best finish of fourth in 2012.

USAC Silver Crown Series

Series points leader Kody Swanson, non-winged extraordinaire Courtney, and Bacon lead a 32-car entry list, the largest in two decades for the series at Eldora.

Brian Tyler, recent Silver Crown winner at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, returns to Eldora as a 1997 and 2002 victor at the speedway.

Courtney obliterated the field by eight seconds in the series’ first stop of the year June 26 at Eldora.

Bacon, meanwhile, is the most recent winner of the 4-Crown Silver Crown event. 

C.J. Leary, Matt Westfall, Robert Ballou, Justin Grant, Dallas Hewitt, Logan Seavey, Shane Cottle, Shane Cockrum, Eric Gordon and Jason McDougal have added their names to the long list of entrants. 

Swanson is trying to close out his sixth Silver Crown title. He clings to a 16-point lead over Logan Seavey. Oddly enough, of all the disciplines and tracks he’s virtually mastered, Swanson has never won a race at Eldora.

The main event spans 50 laps and pays $8,000-to-win.

All Star Circuit of Champions

The All Star Circuit of Champions typically wraps up their rigorous season on the high banks of Eldora, but not this time.

Saturday is the third-to-last race of the year for the All Star Circuit of Champions and, like every other series in action this weekend, Courtney is the center of attention.

Courtney is closing on the series title in his winged sprint car rookie season. The gap between him and Cory Eliason is a hearty 280 points with one weekend at Fremont (Ohio) Speedway left to come.

This will be the series’ first stop at Eldora this year. Last year, Brent Marks and David Gravel won the Governors Reign put on by the series to give Eldora one sprint car show last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car Series at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., and Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway hosting its $20,075-to-win National Open on Saturday, forecasting entrants outside All Star regulars is difficult.

The series will race for 25 laps and $6,000 to win.

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