South Boston: Race report

SOUTH BOSTON VA (10-18-03) -- By Don Radebaugh -- Ken Schrader, in between nearby NASCAR events at Martinsville Speedway, squeezed in a Saturday night ARCA RE/MAX Series short-track war at South Boston Speedway where he cashed in big with a...

SOUTH BOSTON VA (10-18-03) -- By Don Radebaugh -- Ken Schrader, in between nearby NASCAR events at Martinsville Speedway, squeezed in a Saturday night ARCA RE/MAX Series short-track war at South Boston Speedway where he cashed in big with a victory in the Bank of America 200.

"It feels good," said Schrader in victory lane. "The car was good all night. It's the same car we won with here last year. I really wanna thank Federated Auto Parts for giving us the opportunity to get out a little and have some fun. We love running with the ARCA series, and we'll do it every chance we get."

Frank Kimmel, with a noticeably war-torn racecar, battled from way back to finish second in the Advance Auto Parts-Pork Ford over local favorite Hermie Sadler who passed Jason Jarrett on the last lap to finish third in the Bailey's Cigarettes Chevrolet.

Jarrett finished fourth in the Gladiator GarageWorks Pontiac in front of LW Miller, who made his return to the series a productive one with a solid fifth place finish in the Murtco-Hurley's Supermarkets Chevrolet.

Schrader, who earlier in the day finished eighth in the Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville, missed the ARCA practice session at South Boston as a result, but made up for it with a new one-lap track record and his eighth career ARCA Old Milwaukee Pole award.

In addition to winning the National Pork Board Pole-Win Bonus, Schrader led 156 of 204 laps en route to his tenth series triumph in his 29th series attempt -- all this before he would race in the next-day 500-lap Winston Cup race at Martinsville.

And with a record ARCA/South Boston 15 cautions mixed in throughout, Schrader also dodged a half-dozen bullets with Sadler hot on his heels for the first 85 laps before both pitted for fuel and tires.

That gave the lead to Jarrett who never pitted during the scheduled 200-lap race. Jarrett led up through lap 124 before Sadler and Schrader, on fresher tires, got by the former leader.

While Schrader worked on Sadler for the lead, Kimmel, after pitting three times to repair his badly bruised machine, began to surface as a bona fide threat. Kimmel, whose car sustained a good deal of damage in an earlier wreck, made the move on Jarrett for third and immediately went to work on Sadler, who by now had been replaced by Schrader as leader of the race. From here, the top-ten cars, all on the lead lap, stayed tightly bunched until the end as caution after caution for wreck after wreck kept all the front-running players within striking distance of each other. Then with less than five laps remaining, both Kimmel and Jarrett slipped by Sadler when he got too loose in turns one and two. And just as the while flag was about to be unfurled, it was replaced by yet another caution which prompted ARCA officials to extend the length of the race in order to deliver the mandated green-white-checker finish. In the end, Schrader kept Kimmel at bay by a length while Sadler got back by Jarrett.

Travis Geisler, in his career-first series start, finished an impressive sixth in front of Ron Cox who steered the 1-800-SERVPRO-Dayco Belts & Hoses Pontiac to the finish in seventh. Norm Benning finished the season on a high note with an eighth place finish in his own unsponsored Chevrolet. Aaron Fike, who just prior to the RE/MAX Series event, won the 50-lap USAC Midget Series feature, finished ninth in only his second series start with Billy Shotko trailing in tenth in the Sara Lee Foods Chevrolet.

Kimmel, who started 14th, won the Hoosier Tire Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions while Todd Bowsher, who got caught up in someone else's wreck, received the Landrum Spring Hard Luck honors for his troubles.

The next event for the ARCA RE/MAX Series will be the 51st national championship awards banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky on Saturday, December 13th. Former NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Bobby Allison will be the Guest of Honor while Kimmel will be celebrating his fifth series title.

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Series ARCA
Drivers Ken Schrader , Frank Kimmel , Hermie Sadler , Jason Jarrett , Ron Cox , Todd Bowsher , Norm Benning , Aaron Fike , Bobby Allison , Travis Geisler