59-Year-Old Veteran Bob Schacht Back in the Saddle; Enters ARCA Race at New Jersey Motorsports Park Road Course MILLVILLE NJ (9-4-09) - Bob Schacht's ARCA RE/MAX Series driving career spans over four decades. It's also impressive. The...
59-Year-Old Veteran Bob Schacht Back in the Saddle; Enters ARCA Race at New Jersey Motorsports Park Road Course
MILLVILLE NJ (9-4-09) - Bob Schacht's ARCA RE/MAX Series driving career spans over four decades. It's also impressive. The 59-year-old driver, in 181 career start, has 19 series wins among 55 top-five finishes and 92 top-10s. In addition to 16 career poles and 1,887 laps-led in 56 races, the veteran driver has fielded top-notch equipment for a variety of drivers over the years.
However, in an effort to field cars for others, the Chicago-born and raised racer hasn't driven much over the last decade. In fact, in the last nine years, Schacht has just one ARCA RE/MAX Series start. Make it two counting the upcoming September 13th South Jersey Building Trades 150 at the 2.2-mile New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) road course.
So why now after nearly 10 years away from the saddle?
"It's fun," said Schacht from his Mooresville, North Carolina race shop. "I can go there and have fun. There's no ulterior motive. I'm in my own deal, so I don't have to listen to anyone."
When asked if this would be a sign of things to come, Schacht replied, "Well, never say never. But I'm 59. Where am I going? There's nothing I'm trying to prove. I just want to have some fun and get my fix in. Funny thing is, I'm probably more competitive now than I've ever been, which is really scary. Meaner the older I get too.
"But I'm going to New Jersey; I don't care what anyone says. I'm going. Who knows, it could be my last hurrah."
Schacht, after an eight-year hiatus, returned to the series to race at NJMP last year where he started 19th and finished 9th.
"I'm sure we could have finished even higher before the rain came. We're coming back with a better car. I've got another car entered too - same car that Frank (Kimmel) drove there last year, so if anyone needs a good, quality piece, we've got one."
Schacht has been fielding 'good, quality' pieces for a variety of drivers over the years including himself. Schacht's first ARCA RE/MAX Series victory reaches back to 1980 at Illiana Speedway in Schererville, Indiana. The last time he went to victory lane was 18 years later at Memphis Motorsports Park in 1998. In between are victory lane credentials worth crowing about in a wide variety of track shapes and sizes including six wins at Pocono Raceway, three at the Nashville Fairgrounds, two at ORP and one each on the DuQuoin mile-dirt, Pensacola FL, Sandusky OH, Springfield MO, Salem (500-lapper) and on a road course outside of St. Louis. That puts Schacht in a very small category of drivers who have earned wins on short tracks, dirt tracks, superspeedways and road courses.
Schacht, who always fielded his own equipment as well as quality cars for dozens of drivers over the years, has his own opinions regarding the development drivers coming through the ranks these days, including current ARCA RE/MAX Series championship contender Parker Kligerman.
"Parker's the real deal. The kid is really, really good. He reminds me a lot of Stuart Kirby. (Schacht introduced Kirby to stock car racing via ARCA). I mean, the first time Stuart saw Pocono he broke my track record by over a second. Then we took Stuart to the World 600 for the first time (Cup race at Lowe's) and he qualifies 20th. Incredible. But, where is he now?
"Parker's got the talent, but he's also got to make all the right moves. It's just like anything else; the well could dry up tomorrow."
Schacht is explicit in regards to what he means by making 'all the right moves'.
"They move up too soon; then they get consumed by everything you have to deal with at that level. Then people say he was just a flash in the pan.
"In reality, a lot of these young kids today are not always there on talent. Without the money, where would they be? The way everything is today - last 10 years anyway - you need more than talent to bring to the party. You need money; and when you run out, you're gone.
"I'm on my own dime at New Jersey, so I'm gunna go have some fun; that's all there is to it."
Practice for the ARCA RE/MAX Series at NJMP is scheduled for Saturday, September 12th from 12:20 - 1:20 PM and from 1:50 - 2:50 PM followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 4:30. The 150-mile race is slated to go off at 1:00 PM Sunday afternoon, September 13th. The event will feature live streaming video and audio of all the on-track activities at ARCAracing.com through the ARCA Racing Network.
This year's ARCA RE/MAX Series event at New Jersey Motorsports Park marks the 12th time the series has raced on a road course since its inception in 1953.