In the Pits- KSR
Schrader goes to great lengths to win Du Quoin ARCA race
It took 30 years to get there, but NASCAR Nextel Cup Series veteran Ken Schrader finally got to where he always wanted to go—to the Winner’s Circle at the historic Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Du Quoin, IL. Schrader, in his own Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet, handily won the 54th annual ARCA RE/MAX Series Southern Illinois 100 on Labor Day afternoon, just hours after finishing 23rd in a Nextel Cup race in Fontana, CA the night before.
Schrader swept the day, posting the fastest practice speeds and winning the Pork Pole Award, his 13th career series pole. Schrader then led 63 of 100 laps en route to his 14th career RE/MAX Series triumph in his 42nd series attempt.
“It feels great to be here,” said Schrader from victory lane. “I first came here with my dad in 1964; we slept in his station wagon. We first started racing here in the mid-70s. I ran a midget here. I raced a USAC stock car here in ’79. I think we’ve run just about everything you can run here. The track was absolutely beautiful today; we’ll be back next year.”
Schrader led the first 23 laps before making his mandatory pit stop, handing the lead to Billy Venturini, who led through lap 43. Schrader, who had raced back through the pack, took the lead back on lap 60 and never relinquished it. He took the checkered flag 3.656 seconds ahead of Brett Rowe. Rowe, who earned Highest Finishing Rookie of the Race honors, got within one length of Schrader with 20 laps remaining, but faded in the closing laps.
Schrader’s crew chief Donnie Richeson won the SK Hand Tool Crew Chief of the Race award.
In other news, Schrader, who drives the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers/ JTG Racing on the Nextel Cup circuit, teamed up with Miss Teen North Carolina Melissa Lingafelt to help raise more than $5,000 in support of the Angel View Crippled Children’s Foundation.
As part of the Miss Teen USA Pageant, contestants bring items from their home state to auction off as part of the fundraiser. For Miss Teen North Carolina, an autographed racing helmet seemed like a natural fit. Prior to this year's Coca-Cola 600 race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Melissa, aided by Schrader, got all 43 competing drivers to sign the helmet during the pre-race drivers meeting.
The helmet fetched $5,100 at an auction held in conjunction with the Miss Teen USA Pageant in Palm Springs, CA, which represented more than half of the $10,000 raised by all of the contestants. Melissa, 16, finished first runner-up in the pageant and was voted the Most Photogenic.