TOLEDO, Ohio – official release — ARCA photo — When Ken Schrader comes to town, he usually manages to sneak in the full ARCA tour.
After testing all morning with rookie Matt Tifft at Toledo Speedway, ahead of the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care coming May 17-18, both Schrader and Tifft visited the ARCA home office.
“Can’t test at Toledo without doing the whole tour,” Schrader said. “It’s a neat little set-up out here. When you come to Toledo, you gotta do the full ARCA deal.”
Tifft, 17, is planning to run in as many as 10 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races in this year, including Toledo for the upcoming 73rd appearance of ARCA on its home track. Tifft is also planning on making his superspeedway debut at Pocono Raceway this year. But for now, it’s all about the Menards 200 at Toledo. Tifft, with Schrader and crew chief Donnie Richeson assisting, spent the morning making laps around the half-mile oval.
“The late model line I ran here last year is different than the ARCA line you have to run. You gotta arc these ARCA cars a little more,” Tifft said.
“We really progressed throughout the day. Struggled a little early off. Just watched Schrader run a couple laps, sat in the van with him. Got a line figured out. Really, really happy with the race runs there at the end. I think we’re going to be good when we come back.”
Tifft made his ARCA debut last year at Toledo, finishing fifth after qualifying seventh.
Schrader will be running a two-car Federated Auto Parts team when they return for the Menards 200 – Schrader in the 52 and Tifft in the 10. Schrader, already the oldest winner in ARCA history, will turn 59 on May 29. He has no plans for retirement.
“Not thinking about that (retirement) at all; we’re still having too much fun,” Schrader said.
“We’ve been very fortunate that Federated Auto Parts has been with us for 15 years now, so this makes a lot of this possible. I still love running these ARCA races and my dirt car. Toledo’s so much fun to run, and we can’t wait to come back and do it again. Matt’s done such a terrific job here today. He’s a smart little racer; he’s got this pretty-well figured out.”
Schrader, a five-time ARCA winner at Toledo, is the defending Menards 200 winner.
Tickets are on sale now for the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway. Tickets are $15, compared to $25 on race day, and are now available at Menards stores in Toledo, Defiance, Holland, Oregon, Sandusky and Findlay.
The weekend’s activities include two ARCA Racing Series practice sessions Saturday, May 17 from 11:45-12:30 and 1-1:45, with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 3:30. An ARCA-sanctioned Sportsman feature race will follow qualifying Saturday afternoon. The Menards 200 is Sunday at 2, with an autograph session from noon to 1. Pre-race and driver introductions follow the autograph session.
The Menards 200 is live on FOX Sports 1.