TOLEDO, Ohio – There is more good news coming from the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards – expect to see a lot of Ken Schrader Racing (KSR) on the tour in 2015.
The No. 52 Federated Auto Parts KSR Chevrolet Impala team, which finished sixth in 2014 owner points with three drivers, is expected to return in 2015 with much the same cast of drivers to include Schrader, Martinsville Speedway track president Clay Campbell and, more than likely, 18-year-old Matt Tifft.
“Right now, we’ve got Clay Campbell in for Daytona and Talladega,” Schrader said. “I can tell you that I’ll be driving in the first Salem race, Toledo, Winchester, IRP (Lucas Oil Raceway), DuQuoin and the last Salem for sure, maybe more. Outside of that, I’m confident that you’ll see some Matt Tifft appearances in there too.”
Campbell finished third at Daytona in Schrader’s car last year.
“Kenny and I go way back,” Campbell said. “He’s been coming to my track for years, so to be driving for Ken Schrader Racing is a dream come true. He’s got a wealth of knowledge so I put a lot of stock into what he tells me.”
Schrader has been a big supporter of both the new ARCA Ilmor 396 engine and the new ARCA composite body, both making debuts in 2015.
“I think that the cost of buying the new body and putting it on will be so much less in the long run than the modern-day steel body,” Schrader said. “Plus the repair costs will be cheaper, and, I like the looks of it. Right now, we’re going to do two (composite bodies) to get started.”
Federated Auto Parts, currently in its 16th consecutive season sponsoring KSR, will return as the team’s title marketing partner in 2015, which includes ARCA, his dirt modified adventures, several Federated appearances, and more.
“It’s been a wonderful association,” Schrader added. “Not only have they been big supporters of Ken Schrader Racing, they’ve been big supporters of our sport overall. They’re bringing people out to the track…utilizing all their participatory options…getting the most out of their association with racing. It’s the way it’s supposed to be done, so it’s a win-win for all. I really enjoy working with them.”
Schrader also said that longtime KSR crew chief Donnie Richeson will be returning to head-up the ARCA effort for the 2015 season. This year marks Richeson’s 12th consecutive season with KSR.
“It’s been a lot of fun…more like family,” Richeson said. “I mean we’re a business…all race teams are businesses, but with Kenny and Ann, it’s been more like family, and that’s the reason I’ve been here as long as I have. We’re on the same page so much. Kenny’s loyal to the sport…that’s his passion. That’s the reason you want to be here, and stay here…he makes it fun.”
Schrader’s story has always been one of the most interesting in motorsports considering the Fenton, Missouri driver has competed in 80-plus races each season for decades. In a combination of NASCAR, ARCA, dirt modifieds and more, a weekend away from racing during the season is rare for the 59-year-old racing icon.
Schrader became the oldest ARCA winner in history (58) in 2013 with his win at DuQuoin. In 74 ARCA since 1981, he has 17 career wins, 19 pole awards, 47 top-5 finishes, 60 top-10s and has led 2,539 laps overall in 41 races.
His ARCA wins came on a wide variety of track types and include the Hagerstown half-mile dirt ’90, Topeka KS road course ’91, Indianapolis mile-dirt ’94, Toledo Speedway ’97, ’04, ’05, ’06 & ‘13, Springfield mile-dirt ’98, Anderson & Salem Speedways ’99, DuQuoin mile-dirt ’06, ’07 & ‘13, Nashville Superspeedway ’01 and South Boston Speedway ’02 & ‘03.
Schrader was also the 1999 ARCA car owner champion with Bill Baird driving. His KSR entry also earned back-to-back Daytona ARCA 200 car owner wins with drivers Mike Wallace in 1994 and Andy Hillenburg in 1995.
His NASCAR career includes over 700 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts, two wins in the Bud Shootout (Sprint Unlimited) at Daytona, three poles in the Daytona 500 and top-10 Sprint Cup championship driver point finishes eight times.
Prior to his major-league stock car career, Schrader got his start in the local hobby stock divisions and open wheel ranks, earning the USAC Silver Crown Series championship in 1982 and the USAC Sprint Car championship in 1983, the same year he formed Ken Schrader Racing, which has endured now for more than 30 years.
-ARCARacing.com. Photo credit: Speed51.com