SALEM, Ind. – official release – ARCA photo — Ken Schrader won his 18th career Menards Pole Award Saturday, topping the field of cars in the qualifying session for tonight’s Federated Car Care Fall Classic presented by JayC Food Stores.
In doing so, the 59-year-old Schrader topped his own record to become the oldest short track pole winner in series history. He set the mark last year by winning a pole at age 58 and extended the mark earlier this year at Winchester Speedway. He also is the oldest dirt track pole winner in series history.
The large and building crowd at Salem gave a warm reception to Schrader, many of them lining up immediately for the driver on-track autograph session once the NASCAR veteran was officially awarded the pole for the driver of Federated Auto Parts No. 52 Chevrolet.
Schrader last won a pole at Salem in 2008. He last won at Salem in 1999.
Tonight’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race will be No. 18 on the season.
Current series point leader Mason Mitchell, in the No. 98 TTS-Musselman’s-Wildlife Foundation of Florida Ford, qualified second and, more importantly, gained 10 points in his quest to win the ARCA Racing Series driver championship. He will start the race with a 30-point lead over Grant Enfinger, who qualified fifth in the No. 90 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet.
Kyle Benjamin, who won the fall Salem race in 2013, will start third in the No. 37 Kyle Benjamin Motorsports Ford. Brennan Poole will start fourth.
Cunningham Motorsports teammates Anderson Bowen and Tom Hessert will start sixth and seventh.
Frank Kimmel, in the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota, will start ninth. He was fastest in the opening practice session and second in the final practice. He is making his 42nd start at the .555-mile track located in southern Indiana.