NASCAR/ARC​A Vet Ken Schrader enters Toledo’s Menards 200

Apparently, nothing wears out Ken Schrader. With 80-plus races on his 2013 schedule, the 57-year-old Fenton, Missouri veteran racer is already “20-some-up” on the season, and it’s barely spring.


“It’s going to be a busy year, and a better one too because we have more ARCA races on our schedule this year,” said Schrader.


“But we’re already 20-some-up on the year so far. Been racing the dirt modified quite a bit already.”


Schrader is already preparing for what will be his 61st career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start in the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway Sunday, May 19.


Federated, which sponsors most of Schrader’s racing endeavors, will also be the title sponsor on his No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet in the ARCA Racing Series.


“We haven’t raced Toledo in a few years, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s always been one of my favorite ARCA tracks. Tom (Hessert) put our Federated car on the pole there a couple years ago, and won the race at Salem (Speedway) last year, so we’ve got some good momentum. We’d like to be running the Federated ARCA car everywhere, like we did with Tom; but our situation changed. Even though we can’t run the entire ARCA schedule, what the change did do was allow me to come back and play more, and that’s just fine with me. I’m really looking forward to it.”


Schrader is slated to race in four ARCA Racing Series events in 2013 to also include the Akona 250 presented by Federated Car Care at Elko Speedway on June 1, the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (mile-dirt) on Labor Day, September 2, and the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Salem Speedway on September 14.


In addition, Schrader’s season includes 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races with team owner Frank Stoddard in the No. 32 FAS Lane Racing Ford, and at least two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events at Eldora Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway.


But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Schrader, who spends most of his time behind the wheel of his Federated Auto Parts modified playing on dirt bullrings across America, coast to coast. But it’s more than just a play in the clay – it’s about crossing the finish line first, which he’s already done, winning twice this season at Volusia Speedway Park and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. And that’s not all. Schrader won on the final night of the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia in February, and was crowned 2013 Speedweeks Gator Champion.


“It felt pretty good,” said Schrader, who became the only driver to win the Gator Championship and the overall points total in the same year. “It’s the second time we won the championship down there; we worked pretty hard at it. It feels awesome.”


During Schrader’s ARCA tenure, which reaches back to 1981, he has 15 career ARCA wins, including four victories at Toledo in 1997, 2004, 2005 and 2006. The last time Schrader raced in the Menards 200 at Toledo was in 2010 when he finished sixth after leading 52 laps.


“One of the things I really like about Toledo – it’s got multiple grooves, and you can pass on the outside if you need to, which is real helpful on a tight little short-track.


“But it’s more than that; I’m just a really big fan of the ARCA Series. Toledo is its hometown track, and I really enjoy being part of that. We’re looking forward to running at Elko, DuQuoin and Salem later this year too. I’m just a real fan of a series that runs all those different types of places.”


His ARCA triumphs are a stark reminder of his versatile driving skills, with wins at Toledo, the Topeka, Kansas road course, the Indiana State Fairgrounds mile-dirt, the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile-dirt, DuQuoin, the Hagerstown Speedway half-mile dirt, Nashville Superspeedway, and other short tracks at Salem, South Boston Speedway, and Anderson Speedway.


In 60 career ARCA starts, he’s logged 39 top-fives and 47 top-10s overall, with 15 Menards Pole Awards presented by Ansell. Through it all, he’s led an impressive 2,063 laps in 34 races.

Schrader was also the 1999 ARCA Racing Series car owner champion with Bill Baird driving, and a back-to-back car owner winner at Daytona with Mike Wallace and Andy Hillenburg.


His NASCAR career includes four Sprint Cup Series wins at Charlotte, Dover, Talladega, and Atlanta, two wins in the Bud Shootout at Daytona, three poles in the Daytona 500, and eight top-10 Cup championship points finishes.


Prior to his stock car career, Schrader first made a name for himself in USAC where he earned the USAC Silver Crown Series championship in 1982 and the USAC Sprint Car championship in 1983. He has 33 career USAC victories overall in Silver Crown, Sprints and Midgets.


Tickets are on sale now for the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway. Tickets are $15, compared to $25 on race day, and will be available starting Friday at Menards stores in Toledo, Defiance, Holland, Oregon, Sandusky and Findlay.


The weekend’s activities include ARCA Racing Series practice and qualifying plus an ARCA Truck Series 50-lap race on Saturday, May 18. The Menards 200 is Sunday, with an autograph session at noon and the race at 2 p.m.


ARCA Racing PR