Looking through the record books there are not many drivers with short track racing careers as decorated as Dave Mader III. A Snowball Derby and World Crown 300 winner, Mader joined the Alabama Auto Racing Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2012. He was a champion in four consecutive seasons in the All American Challenge Series in the 80’s. He did it all.
A few years ago, Mader was forced to hang up the helmet to take care of some medical problems. In 2012, he sat out the entire season and returned to run a few events in 2013. This season Mader looks 10 years younger, as he is six for eight this season in Super Stock competition at Five Flags Speedway (FL) and Mobile International Speedway (AL).
“Oh it feels great. Winning again was something I didn’t think would happen again,” said Mader. “This is what I have done all my life. Years ago I found out I had two blockages and I really was feeling bad and I had to get out of the car. I got the cardiologist and now I feel better and we’re having fun again.”
Mader is running a Super Stock, which is similar to the Late Models he drove in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The car he’s winning with right now was a former Late Model for southeast journeyman Gary Nix.
Mader won the 1978 Snowball Derby and years later has told the tail over 1000 times. He still managed that same victory smile when he captured the win at Five Flags Speedway (FL) on Friday night.
“Winning in this is fun,” said Mader. “I know this is not Super Late Model, but there is competition here and to win in anything is special.”
There are no plans of slowing down for Mader. Even at the age of 59, he said racing until the age of 70 is a goal and not a stopping point to throw in the towel.
“I plan on going as long as I can,” said Mader. “Red Farmer is still going. I want to do this into my 70’s. This is all I have ever done and I can’t imagine life without it.”
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Operations Manager – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com