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'Kid' Benjamin & Ken Schrader... They Meet At Elko Speedway Bull-Ring
Posted by: newsla on Jun 18, 2014 - 04:42 PM
'Kid' Benjamin & Ken Schrader... They Meet At Elko Speedway Bull-Ring; ARCA's Akona 250 Coming Saturday, Live On CBS Sports Network

There are 43 years between them - the oldest ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards winner, Ken Schrader, and the youngest winner in series history, Kyle Benjamin.


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Despite the generational gaps and years apart, Schrader, 59, and Benjamin, 16, will likely get inches apart on the tiny .375-mile Elko Speedway short track this Saturday during the third annual Akona 250 presented by Federated Car Care.

"These kids today are not only coming with a lot of talent, but they're all in really good stuff," said Schrader, whose victory last September on the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds dirt mile squarely place him in the record books as the oldest ARCA winner in history.

"I'm sharing the track with kids younger than mine. But, once the green flag drops, they're all just another racer I'm trying to beat. It doesn't matter who's in the seat, or how good they are; your job is to go out there and beat them to the checkered flag."

In classic Schrader form, he adds, "We're all strapped in the cars; I can't see him. It's not like we're wrestling or pushing cars around the track."

Schrader, who has amassed more than 700 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts and has also won 17 ARCA races, attended the inaugural Akona 250 in 2012, and vowed to come back and race, which he did in 2013, earning the Menards Pole presented by Ansell and finishing fifth in the race. Schrader drives his own No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet.

Benjamin, driving then for Venturini Motorsports - he now drives for Roulo Brothers Racing - finished seventh last year at Elko. And like Schrader who changed the history books in 2013, Benjamin did the same on the other end of the scale - becoming the youngest winner at Madison Int'l Speedway last August at 15 years young.

"It's really cool racing with Ken Schrader," Benjamin said.

"He's so knowledgeable about this sport; you can definitely learn a lot from him. You can also talk to him and learn a lot; he's really good that way. Those things mean a lot to us...that he takes the time to talk about things we should be learning.

"Even without talking, all you have to do is get behind him on the track and take notes. It's an honor for all of us to be on the same track with him."

Benjamin hopes to improve on last year's finish at Elko.

"It's a small track, and I'd say it's absolutely a little difficult because of it. The cars don't want to turn because the cars are so heavy. But I like the challenge of it. I look forward to getting back there and running. I know we can do better than seventh."

Benjamin actually drove for Schrader at one time.

"He (Benjamin) did an awesome job for us in our K&N car...ran third at Dover," Schrader added. "He's a good kid; he runs good."

Benjamin is also the youngest Menards Pole winner in ARCA history, having earned the honor at Toledo Speedway last year. After becoming the youngest winner at Madison, Benjamin turned right around and won at Salem Speedway in September of 2013.

Raceday at Elko starts with ARCA Racing Series practice from 1:30-2:15 p.m., with final practice following from 2:45-3:30. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell follows at 5:30 with the Akona 250 set to take the green flag at 8.

Legends Cars will accompany the ARCA Racing Series for this year's event with a feature event race at 6.

The Akona 250, along with ARCA Racing Series events at Winchester Speedway and Madison Int'l Speedway, marks the first of three events to be televised live on the CBS Sports Network in 2014.

ARCAracing.com will also feature ARCA Racing Series live timing and scoring of all on-track activities.

Akona 250 Discount Tickets on Sale at 36 Menards Stores Across Minneapolis Tickets are on sale now for the Akona 250 presented by Federated Car Care at Elko Speedway. Tickets are $20, compared to $30 on race day, and will be available at 36 Menards stores in the Minneapolis, Minn. market.

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