Demanding Summer Schedule Slated Through Knoxville Nationals
New Oxford, PA – July 20, 2021
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: Mike Campbell (campbellphoto.com)
Kyle Reinhardt has been anxiously awaiting his first opportunity to tackle “The Big E”, Eldora Speedway, in Western Ohio. Eldora is legendary and is often mentioned in the same breath as Knoxville Raceway. Both are facilities where any sprint car driver wants to someday stand in victory lane.
In the midst of his first season on the road, traveling with the All Star Circuit of Champions, Reinhardt and the Capitol Renegade team added the Kings Royal to their schedule. Make that two Kings Royals. Mid-July 2021 would provide four consecutive nights of racing, including the 37th and 38th Kings Royals. Both crown jewel events would pay a whopping $175,000 to the winner, so it certainly seemed like a good opportunity to make their debut and learn a lot in one week.
7/14: Jokers Wild at Eldora Speedway – New Weston, OH
(57 cars: Qualifying 21st in Flight 2, Non-Qualifier 1st, Heat 12th, C-main 4th)
The Jokers Wild, a Kings Royal preliminary night, is run under the World of Outlaws format, which meant the 57 teams that entered competition Wednesday night were divided into two flights for qualifying. Kyle Reinhardt was the 4th car to hit the speedway in Flight 2, but he was unable to capitalize on the early slot. He registered the 21st quickest lap of the 28 cars in his group, which meant he would need to race in an 8-lap non-qualifiers event. Finishing in a transfer position in that race would put Reinhardt directly into a heat race, where he would have a chance to race for a spot in the B-main or A-main.
The Neptune City, NJ native jumped out to a lead in the non-qualifiers race, and never looked back, winning the race and claiming his spot in the third heat race. After starting 12th in the heat race, Reinhardt was unable to make forward progress in the opening laps. Needing to get to at least 6th position to avoid the C-main, the team decided to pull in early and save the equipment for the next battle.
Reinhardt started 4th in the C-main, needing to finish in the top two positions to advance to the B-main, however it wasn’t in the cards. He ‘held serve’ and finished 4th, missing the cut, and bringing an end to his first night at Eldora.
Thu 7/15 & Sat 7/17: 38th King’s Royal at Eldora Speedway – New Weston, OH
(61 cars: Qualifying 46th overall, Heat 6th, B-main 14th)
Last year, the pandemic caused the 2020 Kings Royal (the 37th edition) to be postponed to 2021. For Eldora Speedway, scheduling two major events in one week, when combined with logistical and ticketing considerations, meant the 2021 King’s Royal (the 38th edition) would be run before the 37th edition. Confused? Yeah, not surprised, but just go with it.
The Thursday evening show used the traditional Kings Royal format, with the entire 61 car field qualifying as one group against each other. An unlucky pill draw put Reinhardt 50th in the time trail order, which he used to log the 46th fastest lap of the evening.
The qualifying result landed the All Star Circuit of Champions Rookie of the Year candidate in the 8th starting spot for heat number four, but he would have to wait nearly two days to take the green flag in that event. The rains came just after heat one was completed Thursday night, delaying the rest of the program to Saturday afternoon.
When the show resumed Saturday afternoon, Reinhardt rolled off in the 8th starting spot of heat number four. On the tricky daylight surface, he charged into 6th place on the opening lap and held onto the position to transfer directly into the B-main. In that Last Chance Showdown, passing was at a premium and Reinhardt settled for a 14th place finish.
Sat 7/17: 37th King’s Royal at Eldora Speedway – New Weston, OH
(58 cars: Qualifying 43rd overall, Heat 8th, C-main 5th, B-main 16th)
Following a break that lasted nearly three hours while the track was reworked and fans were cleared out and reprocessed to allow ticket holders from the rescheduled 2020 event to settle into their seats, 58 teams rolled onto the speedway to kick off what was officially the 37th King’s Royal as the sun began to set.
Once again, the special event format was in use, meaning the entire field qualified under the clock as one large group, not in flights. Qualifying late in this format can be difficult as track conditions deteriorate. Reinhardt had drawn a high pill, placing him 53rd in line to hit the track. His best lap of 13.705 was only good enough for 43rd overall.
Reinhardt started and finished 8th in the first heat event of the night, transferring him to the 7th starting spot in the C-main. Kyle was aggressive and managed to battle his way forward as far as 4th for a few laps, but he found himself in 5th when the checkered flag fell on the 12-lap race. With six cars transferring, it was good enough to move on to the B-main.
Starting on the back row of the B-main, in 21st position, knowing it was a tall order to transfer to the A-main, Reinhardt made the most of his seat time. Once again, he passed cars, chipping his way forward to the 16th spot by the time the 15-lap last chance showdown concluded. The night, and week, came to a close for the Capitol Renegade team.
When asked about his first experience making laps at Eldora Speedway, without hesitation Reinhardt quickly summed it up in a single word: “Intense“.
“We raced pretty well, but we didn’t time trial well, so it was an uphill battle. I was learning every time I hit the track and the team was learning too. We were improving each day“, Reinhardt commented, reflecting on his performance in his inaugural trip to the legendary facility.
“Our goal coming here was to make one of the big shows. We didn’t accomplish that goal, but we did build a good notebook for next time. I got more comfortable each night. If we can step up our qualifying game next time, we’ll be right in the mix. I’m really looking forward to coming back here in September“, Reinhardt said.
RQM Motorsports would like to thank Capitol Renegade, Capitol Custom Coaches & Trailers, Champion Brands, Fibreworks Composites, Henry’s Wrecker Service, J&J Auto Racing, FK Rod Ends, Kinsler Fuel Injection, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Kelly Racing Fuel, B.C. Walter Trucking, Arai Americas, Auto Meter, KSE Racing Products, InTech Trailers, Fel-Pro, Taylor Ignition Wires, Miller Welders, K&N Filters, Mettec, AL Driveline, Jesel Valvetrain, DMI, All-Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads, ISC Racers Tape, HMS Motorsports, Ultra Lite Brakes & Components, Rider Racing Engines, Saldana Racing Products and HP Engines for their support during the 2021 racing season.
The next four weeks will be quite a test for Kyle and the Capitol Renegade team. In a few days, they will travel to the Midwest to resume the All Star Circuit of Champions schedule. The series will close out July with 7 races in 9 days across Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa. The team will remain on the road to open the month of August, competing in the 360 and 410 Nationals at Knoxville Raceway, as well as the Capitani Classic at Knoxville and the Front Row Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway.
“We’ll be away from home for a long stretch this summer but I’m looking forward to getting back to the Midwest and racing a lot. I’ve raced at Lake Ozark, Knoxville, and Southern Iowa, but like most of our schedule this year, the other stops will be new for us. We’ll keep building our notebook. The more we race, the better“, Reinhardt said.
The All Star Circuit of Champions schedule for the remainder of July takes team through parts of Missouri, Kansas and Iowa.
- July 23 – Lake Ozark Speedway, Eldon, MO
- July 24 – Lake Ozark Speedway, Eldon, MO
- July 25 – Humboldt Speedway, Humboldt, KS
- July 27 – I-70 Speedway, Odessa, MO
- July 29 – Missouri State Fair Speedway, Sedalia, MO
- July 30 – 34 Raceway, West Burlington, IA
- July 31 – Knoxville Raceway, Knoxville, IA
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