DUQUOIN, Ill. – Ken Schrader is the oldest winner in ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards history, but he sure doesn’t act like it.
The 59-year-old Fenton, Mo. veteran and defending Southern Illinois 100 winner will be juggling his duties in his Federated Auto Parts modified dirt car and his No. 52 Federated-sponsored ARCA car on Labor Day Monday at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.
“It’s just a little busy at times, no biggie,” Schrader said.
Schrader became the oldest winner in ARCA Racing Series history last year at DuQuoin, leading 47 of 100 laps en route to his 17th career ARCA victory overall. Schrader also won the Southern Illinois 100 back-to-back in 2006 and 2007.
“First time I went (to DuQuoin) was 1964. My dad and I went. I remember sleeping in the back of his station wagon excited as could be. I thought it was the biggest race I’d ever seen. I thought there couldn’t be a bigger race in the world than this. I love the place. Been going ever since.”
In addition to his three ARCA wins at DuQuoin, he finished second in 2003, third in 2002, fourth in 2001 and eighth in 2004. He also earned three Menards Pole Awards presented by Ansell in 2004, ’06 and ’13.
Schrader’s 2014 race schedule mirrors what one might expect from a much younger man; in fact, he’s already got 55 race events in the books – a mix of ARCA, dirt modifieds, pavement late models and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He’s won seven times this year, all in his dirt modified. He’ll be adding two more races before landing at DuQuoin, running at Atwood, Tenn. in his dirt modified this Friday and Saturday nights.
Schrader is among a growing list of entrants for the annual ARCA stock car classic at the historic fairgrounds horse track, one that includes 10-time series champion Frank Kimmel, who has five wins at DuQuoin. Only Tony Stewart’s victory in 2003 prevented Kimmel from sweeping five consecutive wins at DuQuoin.
“It’s been a few years since we’ve won one at DuQuoin, and we’re probably in our best shape ever to win again,” Kimmel said. “We’re definitely looking forward to it. The fairgrounds tracks hold special meaning for me. When you consider the names that have won there over the years, you can really appreciate the history of the place, when, back in the day, you had to do well at these places to win championships and go places.”