The man himself made a startling announcement in victory lane after winning the 28th Sportsman Nationals at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on August 22. Ken Schrader will be running in all three events at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds over the Labor Day weekend. If Schrader can start the main event in the USAC Silver Crown Ted Horn 100, the ARCA Menards Southern Illinois 100 presented by Lucas Oil, and the Oldani Memorial Modified race he would be just the third driver in the last fifty years to pull off the Du Quoin “triple”.
A.J. Fike was the last driver to run all three events, doing so in 2004. Before him, it was Larry “Boom Boom” Cannon as the Oakwood, Illinois barber and politician ran the USAC Midget, Silver Crown and Stock Car events during the last weekend of the 1971 Du Quoin State Fair. The other drivers to pull off a “triple” looks like a racing hall of fame, Tony Bettenhausen (1960), Rodger Ward (1960 & 61), Len Sutton (1961), Parnelli Jones (1963), A.J. Foyt (1963 & 64) and Bobby Marshman (1964).
Du Quoin truly is Ken Schrader country. It’s the mile dirt track closest to his home of Fenton, Missouri and the one he and his father visited during the 1960’s watching drivers such as Foyt, the Unser brothers and Mario Andretti. Ken’s short track exploits around the Midwest earned him a legion of fans and they followed him to the Magic Mile at Du Quoin in 1979 when he made his USAC Stock Car debut. On August 25, 1979, Ken qualified third and was running near the front when the engine in his Ford Granada let go. He watched as Rusty Wallace led Don White, Bay Darnell and A.J. Foyt to the finish line.
Schrader ran three more stock car races under the USAC banner and then would be absent from the Southern Illinois 100 until returning twenty years later. He finished second in a 1979 USAC Midget event held on the Magic Mile and ran five USAC Silver Crown races between 1981 and 1985 with a best finish of third in 1983.
Twenty-seven years after making his stock car debut at Du Quoin Ken Schrader broke the Magic Mile victory lane barrier in a big way. He won the ARCA Southern Illinois 100 and a CARS late model race on Labor Day of 2006. He repeated as Southern Illinois 100 champion in 2007 and in 2013. Ken also found victory lane in the Oldani Memorial modified event a record seven times between 2011 and 2019. Schrader is the all-time leader in main event wins on the Du Quoin mile with 11.
ARCA car owner Andy Hillenburg confirmed after the Springfield ARCA event he would field a car for Schrader to drive in the Southern Illinois 100. Schrader’s last ARCA appearance at Du Quoin was in 2019 when he set fast time and finished ninth. He won the modified event in 2019 and made his first Silver Crown appearance in 32 years in 2017 when he finished nineteenth. Ken ran the Bettenhausen 100 at Springfield on August 21 in the same machine that Jeff Swindell ran to second at Du Quoin in 2016, third in 2017 and fourth in 2019.
Ken Schrader, Track Enterprises, USAC, ARCA, UMP and the Du Quoin State Fair look forward to welcoming all race fans back to the Magic Mile after a COVID interrupted 2020 season. The Ted Horn 100 USAC Silver Crown race is Saturday night September 4 along with heats for the Oldani Memorial, the Southern Illinois 100 ARCA Menards race is Sunday night September 5 along with the 20-mile Oldani Memorial for the UMP DirtCar Modifieds.
Tickets will be available on raceday or by calling the Du Quoin Fair office at 618-542-1535. Info and tickets can also be obtained by calling the Track Enterprises office at 217-764-3200.
Track Enterprises PR