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Schrader Files ARCA Entry for Springfield

8 August 1998

By Don Radebaugh

While most Winston Cup drivers will be on their way home from the upcoming Saturday night short-track war at Bristol to enjoy a rare opportunity to relax on a Sunday afternoon, Ken Schrader will be on his way to Springfield, Illinois to go dirt-track racing ARCA style.

Schrader, originally from nearby Fenton, Missouri, will return to his roots Sunday afternoon, August 23rd at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield when the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series lines up on the one-mile dirt oval for the annual Allen Crowe Memorial 100. Schrader will drive an Ed Rensi owned Team 83 Chevrolet Monte Carlo as a teammate to full-time ARCA driver Jeff Finley. "I never miss a chance to run an ARCA race at Springfield," said Schrader from his shop in Concord, North Carolina. "We ran second to Steele there last year so we need to improve by one. I'll be driving one of Ed Rensi's Chevrolets so I know I'll be working with great equipment. I've always loved running the dirt miles so this is an opportunity I really look forward to."

Finley, after taking over the driving duties of the ARCA Team 83 Chevrolet, has posted 6 top-five finishes including two runner-ups, won his first Talladega Pole Award and has vaulted from eighth to as high as third in the series standings before falling to fourth. "It's a great honor to have Kenny drive for us," said Finley. "Not too long ago I was about ready to hang it up and go home but Kenny stepped in and let me work out of his shop, and then the opportunity came up with Ed Rensi. The combination of the two is the best thing that ever happened to me in motorsports. Kenny shares race set-ups with us and Ed provides the very best equipment. It's the perfect combination and I owe my career to them."

Schrader has four ARCA victories to his credit, one on the clay in Hagerstown in 1990, but the versatile driver has never won an ARCA race at Springfield or DuQuoin; two perennial venues on the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series tour. Current ARCA point leader Frank Kimmel, winner of seven out of 13 ARCA races in '98, is also winless at Springfield as are veterans Mark Gibson and Bob Strait, all of whom have filed entries for the upcoming show.

Three time ARCA champion and defending Springfield race winner Tim Steele has also filed an entry as has 59 year-old Dean Roper in the Mueller Brothers Pontiac. Roper, the all-time dirt winner in ARCA competition with nine victories, wants to become the oldest driver in history to win an ARCA race. Currently Iggy Katona, after his 1974 Daytona victory at 56, is the oldest to win an ARCA event.

The Allen Crowe Memorial 100 will be the 16th ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series race held on the Springfield mile since the series first raced there in 1983.