Veterans Vying For Victories
September 2, 2009 | 1:54 P.M. EST
First on tap for Frank Kimmel and Ken Schrader is a trip to ARCA's hometown in Toledo, Ohio for Friday night's Toledo 200 on a half-mile paved speedway with 18 degree banking.
"I absolutely love Toledo Speedway," Kimmel said. "Toledo's like a second home to me. It's where I won my first ARCA race. It'll always be special to me for that reason alone; but the wins there just seem to get better and better."
Kimmel is the all-time ARCA RE/MAX Series race winner at Toledo Speedway with nine victories. Schrader has won four times.
They will be joined in the race by other previous winners Parker Kligerman and Ken Butler III. Kligerman is fighting to stay competitive in the championship after falling 55 points out of the lead in recent weeks. He kept Kimmel from winning a 10th race at the track this spring.
In fact, Kimmel has found himself winless so far this season as he sits 330 points out of the lead in third place.
"Yah, that's a monkey we really need to get off our back," Kimmel said of being winless. "We've improved our overall program; it's just a matter of putting it all together on raceday. But we're getting closer every time we go out. Toledo would be the perfect place for us to get our 75th win."
"The race strategies at Toledo have changed quite a bit over the last half-dozen years or so. There was a time when you could pit pretty late, bolt new tires on and come back and win the thing.
"But nowadays, there are so many cars on the lead lap at the end that you have to rethink when you can pit, and how late you can pit. New tires work better, but not enough to get you from the middle of the pack to the front in time. The competition is just too strong for that anymore."
Schrader will be trying to keep Kimmel from victory lane this weekend as he's on a mission to make up for his spring race at Toledo where he finished 15th. He is currently in the middle of one of his busiest racing stretches of the year, participating in five events in six days.
"Thought we had second, but we wound up destroyed," Schrader said of the spring race at Toledo. He last won at the track in 2006.
Overall, Schrader has 15 career ARCA RE/MAX Series wins on all types of tracks including short tracks, superspeedways, dirt tracks and even road courses.
He would especially like to take the victory Monday in the Southern Illinois 100 at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. DuQuoin is a one-mile clay speedway. ARCA will be making its 27th appearance at the track.
Schrader has competed in every Southern Illinois 100 at DuQuoin since 2001. In addition to winning back-to-back in 2006 and 2007, Schrader finished second in 2003, third in 2002 and 2008, fourth in 2001 and eighth in 2004.
"I can't miss DuQuoin," said Schrader. "That place is just too special for me. It's one of the first tracks my daddy took me to when I was a kid. I remember sleeping in the back of his station wagon excited as could be. Got to see all my heroes race there. The place was special then, and it still is today."
The Toledo 200 kicks off at 8:30 p.m. (ET) Sept. 4. The Southern Illinois 100 takes the green flag at 2 p.m. (ET) Monday, Sept. 7.