DUQUOIN, Ill. – Ken Schrader will be running in all three events at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds during 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 the third driver in the last fifty years to pull off the DuQuoin triple.
A.J. Fike was the last driver to run all three events, doing so in 2004. Before him, it was Larry Cannon as the Oakwood, Ill., barber and politician ran the USAC Midget, Silver Crown and Stock Car events during the last weekend of the 1971 DuQuoin 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).
DuQuoin truly is Schrader country. It’s the mile dirt track closest to his home of Fenton, Mo., and the one he and his father visited during the 1960’s, watching drivers such as Foyt, the Unser brothers and Mario Andretti. Schrader’s short track exploits around the Midwest earned him a legion of fans and they followed him to the Magic Mile at DuQuoin in 1979 when he made his USAC Stock Car debut. On Aug. 25, 1979, Schrader 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 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 20 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 DuQuoin, Schrader broke the Magic Mile victory lane barrier in a big way. He won the ARCA Southern Illinois 100 and a late model race on Labor Day in 2006. He repeated as Southern Illinois 100 champion in 2007 and in ’13. Schrader 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 DuQuoin mile with 11.
ARCA car owner Andy Hillenburg confirmed after the Springfield ARCA event he would field a car for Schrader in the Southern Illinois 100. Schrader’s last ARCA appearance at DuQuoin 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 19th. Schrader ran the Bettenhausen 100 in Springfield, Ill., on Aug. 21 in the same machine that Jeff Swindell ran to second in at DuQuoin in 2016, third in ’17 and fourth in ’19.