Press Release


Sister of Earl Baltes Will Crown King; Tickets on Sale For Unique Winged Sprint Car Race July 17-18

Susie Barga, pictured here selling reserved seats in 1989, will crown the 2015 Kings Royal winner. Larry Reese photo
Susie Barga, pictured here selling reserved seats in 1989, will crown the 2015 Kings Royal winner. Larry Reese photo

ROSSBURG, Ohio (July 9, 2015) – Word from the castle of Eldora Speedway has come down that Susie Barga, sister of Eldora founder Earl Baltes, has been chosen as the Royal Sovereign for the 32nd Kings Royal on July 17-18.

Tickets can be purchased at or by phone at (937) 338-3815.

Barga, 87, from Versailles, Ohio, is often at Eldora races and worked with the Baltes family for many years.

“It’s about the highest honor I could ever have, “Barga said. “I worked with Earl all my life. He was a great leader, advisor and one of the best persons I’ve ever known.”

The Kings Royal is a two-day winged sprint car show that was started in 1984 by Baltes. While the racing has always been spectacular, it’s Saturday night’s post-race victory lane ceremonies, and the $50,000 winner’s check, that has set the event apart from all others.


The winning car pulls into victory lane and the ceremony begins with one queen placing the cape on the winner, while the other hands the driver a scepter. The Royal Sovereign is summoned to the stage carrying the crown while the driver kneels down.

Barga then will state: “With the power bestowed upon me, I hereby crown thee King (driver’s last name) the 32nd,” and places the 14-inch high crown on the winner’s head. The driver then sits down on the 287 pound throne which has been used since 1984.

Superstars like Steve Kinser (1984, 1988, 1991, 1997, 2003, 2005 and 2010), Jac Haudenschild (1987, 1994 and 1998), Sammy Swindell (1992, 1999 and 2012), Donny Schatz (2007 and 2009) and brothers Dave (1993 and 1995) and Dale Blaney (2000) have all be crowned King. The Kings Royal is on currently on a run of seven different winners in seven years.

“I’m pretty excited. I’m thrilled to do this and am honored. I don’t believe it at all. I tell people I’m going to do this and they don’t believe me,” laughed Barga.

“I hope Earl is looking down on all this and smiling,” said Barga of her brother who passed away on March 23, 2015.

Former Royal Sovereigns:

Royal Sovereign Russ Clendennen (far left) poses with 1987 Kings Royal winner Jac Haudenschild
Royal Sovereign Russ Clendenen (far left) poses with 1987 Kings Royal winner Jac Haudenschild.

1984: Tim Bertke
1985: Charlie Buck
1986: Tim Bertke
1987: Russ Clendenen
1988: Ralph Capatani
1989: John Padjen
1990: Don Martin
1991: Cary Agajanian
1992: Bert Emick
1993: Bill Holder
1994: Tom Schmeh
1995: Russ Clendenen
1996: Chris Economaki
1997: Ted Johnson
1998: JimWahlie
1999: Berneice Baltes
2000: Gene Frankart
2001: Brad Doty
2002: Terry Baltes
2003: Jack Hewitt
2004: Earl Baltes
2005: Jack Hewitt
2006: Kasey Kahne
2007: Tom Deery
2008: Shirley Kear
2009: Bob Kinser
2010: Jean Lynch
2011: Earl Baltes
2012: Doug Wolfgang
2013: Charlie Fisher
2014: Shane Carson

About Eldora Speedway:
Since carved from a cornfield in the natural amphitheater that existed between the Eldora Ballroom and the Wabash River by bandleader Earl Baltes in 1954, Eldora Speedway has grown to be a frontrunner in motorsports growth and stability. Celebrating its 62nd season in 2015, Eldora hosts the biggest events in short-track racing including the 21st annual Dirt Late Model Dream by Ferris Mowers; the 32nd annual Kings Royal Weekend; the third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic; and the 45th annual World 100. The complete schedule for Eldora’s 62nd consecutive season, including ticket and campsite information, is available at and can be requested by phone at (937) 338-3815. Fans can get behind-the-scenes access of Eldora Speedway by following @EldoraSpeedway on Twitter, hitting ‘Like’ at and on The Eldora Speedway app for the iPhone, iPad and Android is available for free download via iTunes and Google Play.