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All-Star Circuit of Champions points leader to make Kings Royal debut

Until now, Carson Macedo’s experience with the famed Kings Royal has been limited to what he’s watched online. But the Lemoore, Calif., native finally has “the tools to go there and do well.”

And Macedo – much like he’s been doing all season with the All-Star Circuit of Champions – is ready to put the hammer down.

The ASCoC points leader rolls into the famed high-banked, half-mile Eldora Speedway for the 35th Kings Royal, a three-day event starting Thursday. Battling for wins in the ASCoC, the 410 winged sprint car series owned by Eldora owner and three-time NASCAR Cup champion Tony Stewart, is challenging. That ramps up this weekend when he takes on the sports greatest winged sprint car drivers.

»RELATED: Schatz wins second straight Kings Royal titles

“Everybody is a fierce competitor with the World of Outlaws. The best drivers, the best teams,” Macedo said. “We’re going to go there and do our best. I think from racing the All-Star show during (Ohio Sprint) Speedweek I gained a lot of confidence. Hopefully we can bring some of that confidence to the Kings Royal.”

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Though limited, Macedo has experience with both Eldora and the Outlaws. Macedo finished second to NASCAR Cup driver Kyle Larson during Speedweek’s visit to Eldora on June 16. Macedo also has a WoO victory, winning at the prestigious Gold Cup Race of Champions in California during preliminary action in 2015.

Overall he’s raced about six times at Eldora. Against the Outlaws he’s scored three top-5 and 11 top-10 finishes since 2014.

The Kings Royal starts Thursday with the Jokers Wild event, a full WoO program with a $10,000-to-win feature. The Knight Before follows with another full show and $12,000 to win. The $50,000-to-win show follows Saturday.

North Dakota’s Donny Schatz enters as the two-time defending Kings Royal champion. Schatz, who drives the No. 15 for Tony Stewart Racing, has four Kings Royal titles overall. Retired Steve Kinser holds the record with seven titles. Eight different drivers have won the Kings Royal during the past 10 events.

“If we could go there and grab a top five or a top 10 at a race like that, we’d definitely wouldn’t be disappointed,” Macedo said. “Our goal is always to win. A World of Outlaws race, especially a big one that pays really well, it’d be nice to put our car in a good position. It’s not easy to get those top 10s with the Outlaws, that’s for sure.”

Macedo, who drives the No. 3G for Joe Gaerte Racing, holds a 22-point lead over Findlay’s Chad Kemenah in the ASCoC standings. Aaron Reutzel of Texas is 26 points back and Wooster’s Jac Haudenschild is 86 points behind. The rest of the field trails by 182 points or more.

“I had a lot of confidence in the 3G team coming in. We had a really good season last year, we just didn’t have the opportunity to run as many races,” Macedo said of his run this season. “I’m excited we’re doing this well. I’m not going to say I expected to, but I hoped to. … For me the World of Outlaws is the toughest series out there. It does give me confidence going into it. We have to step up. We’re going to see how we measure up against the best.”

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