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Jul 08, 2014 - 06:21 AM
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Schrader Reconnects With Open-Wheel Roots At Winchester
Posted by: newsla on Jul 08, 2014 - 06:18 AM
Schrader Reconnects With Open-Wheel Roots At Winchester; Looking Ahead To USAC/ARCA Double Duty At Lucas Oil Raceway

Some folks spend most of their time in the present moment, and more power to 'em if they're able to do that. And some spend their time looking ahead to the future, while others, at times, take comfort and pleasure in looking back.


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Right, wrong, or indifferent, Ken Schrader took a long look back this past weekend at Winchester Speedway, and had the time of his life. Schrader, in town for the ARCA race, resurrected his open-wheel roots, as he also looks into the future...to a couple of open-wheel adventures in late July.

"I'm running a midget in two weeks....Seymour's (open-wheel car owner)," Schrader said. "Gotta get some testing in," he jokingly added.

A few minutes later, Schrader got pushed off in an old Edmunds spring-front midget equipped with a Chevy II engine and, for old time sake, took a few laps around the legendary Winchester Speedway.

Winchester, built in 1914, was celebrating its 100th year anniversary over the weekend, which included the Winchester Speedway Old Timers Reunion organization, which brought more than 60 open-wheel and stock car machines from days reaching back to the World War 1 era.

"When I started running Midgets, this would have been a target car. This is what you wanted. Perfect. It's awesome; I can't thank you enough," he told the gentleman who owned the midget and kindly offered up the opportunity for Schrader.

"That was the type of car you wanted when I started in the mid-70s...in the midgets. After running that thing around here at 50 mph, I felt really brave in my stock car because I was thinking...'what the hell was I thinking back then?'"

Schrader is also planning on racing in a USAC Silver Crown Series car at Lucas Oil Raceway (LOR) Thursday night, the day before the SCOTT Geared Up 200 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race at LOR Friday night, July 25. Schrader will be doing the double at LOR, running his own No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet in the ARCA race.

Schrader got his start in racing in midgets, sprints and 'champ cars'. He was the 1982 USAC Silver Crown Series national champion, and backed that up with another open-wheel national championship in the USAC Sprint Car division the following year.

And, of course, when Schrader isn't campaigning his ARCA car these days, he's often aboard his own Federated Auto Parts dirt modified, some events scheduled way ahead of time...others...he'll drop-in unannounced, as was the case on the Friday night before the ARCA race weekend at Winchester. Schrader, in search of a modified race somewhere close to his location, opted for an unannounced visit at Fayette County Speedway in Brownstown, Illinois.

After the Friday dirt modified adventure in Brownstown, he hopped in his 'camper' and drove much the night to arrive in time for his early ARCA wake-up call at Winchester Saturday morning.

Leading up to the ARCA race at Winchester, Schrader raced in Belleville, Illinois Tuesday night, Jacksonville, Illinois Wednesday night, Lebanon, Missouri Thursday night, Fayette County Friday night and Winchester Saturday and Sunday.

"We've already raced in more than 40 races this year, and 13 others got rained out. Plenty more to come."

In addition to Schrader's busy dirt modified schedule, the 17-time ARCA winner has plans to compete in at least five more ARCA races in 2014...at LOR, Berlin Raceway, the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile-dirt, the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile-dirt, and again at Salem Speedway. In the ARCA races he doesn't fill, Matt Tifft will be aboard the Ken Schrader Racing Chevy.

Schrader has already competed in five ARCA races in 2014 - at Salem, Toledo Speedway, Michigan Int'l Speedway, Elko Speedway and Winchester.

Schrader had a big lead Sunday at Winchester with less than 20 laps remaining when a late-race caution brought all the leaders down pit road to jumble the order one more time.

Schrader led 88 laps throughout the day after picking up his 18th ARCA pole and becoming the oldest driver in series history to win a short track pole. He almost pulled off his 18th series win.

"We had a bad vibration for a lot of laps, but nothing fell off and nothing broke," he said. "Then, that caution came out. We didn't need that caution. I really wanted to add my name to the list of stock car winners here at Winchester."

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