By Jay Hardin
Track Enterprises Staff
Du Quoin, IL-(August 28, 2019)-The driver with the most main event wins on the Magic Mile of the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds returns doing double duty this weekend as three-time ARCA Menard’s Southern Illinois 100 winner Ken Schrader is slated to pilot his own number 52 Ford in Saturday night’s 100-mile event. Schrader, a six-time winner of the Bill Oldani Memorial UMP Modified event also returns to contest the 20-mile affair with heat races Saturday and the finale Sunday.
Schrader’s mile track debut came in 1979 at Du Quoin in the 100-mile USAC Stock Car event. After terrorizing local short tracks in sprint cars and stock cars it was only a matter of time before the popular driver began moving up in the professional ranks. It was fitting that his first appearance on one of the big dirt tracks came at a facility he and his father visited, the one closest to his Fenton, Missouri home.
Ken’s first USAC race for Henry Sieveking had mixed results. He qualified 3rd and started directly behind A.J. Foyt. However, the Ford Granada soon developed mechanical issues and he was forced out after 28 miles. He finished 5th in the 1980 stock car race, and 16th in 1981. He also made his first appearance in a dirt champ car on the Magic Mile in 1981 finishing 11th. Finishes of 12th, 3rd, 28th and 30th followed.
NASCAR called and Schrader ended up as their Rookie of the Year. His NASCAR obligations kept him from running at Du Quoin for 15 years, returning in 2001 to contest the ARCA stock car race where he finished fourth. It wasn’t until 27 years after his first appearance at Du Quoin that Ken was able to enter victory lane. He won the 2006 Southern Illinois 100 from the pole and repeated again in 2007 and 2013. Add in six wins in the Oldani Memorial plus a crate late model win in 2006 and the ten main event victories put Ken Schrader at the top of the Du Quoin Magic Mile victory list.
Schrader’s last ARCA appearance at Du Quoin came in 2016 when he started 2nd and finished 3rd. His last appearance in a dirt champ car was in 2017 when he finished 19th for owner Dennis McQuinn.
Practice for the 67th ARCA Menard’s Southern Illinois 100 begins Saturday at 2:30 p.m. with pole qualifying at 5:30 and the 100-mile race at 8. It’s all part of a tripleheader motorsports weekend that also includes the USAC Silver Crown Series on Sunday night and a pair of Monster Truck shows on Monday.
To order tickets, visit the Du Quoin State Fair box office or call 618-542-1535. Tickets will also be available at the box office on raceday. For more info, visit www.trackenterprises.com.