By Jay Hardin
Track Enterprises Staff
DuQuoin, IL-August 26, 2018-Two of the most prolific and popular racing drivers in motorsport history return to a small piece of southern Illinois real estate Labor Day weekend to challenge a number of area short track stars in the 25th running of the Bill Oldani Memorial UMP Modified race at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. Twenty-seven competitors made the trek to the “Magic Mile” in 2017 and a similar number is expected on the grounds Labor Day weekend.
Two-time USAC national champion and past NASCAR Rookie of the Year, Ken Schrader, of Fenton, Missouri headlines the 2018 entry list along with past NASCAR, IndyCar and USAC champion Tony Stewart of Columbus, Indiana. Schrader tied Brian Shaw’s record five wins in last year’s Labor Day Oldani Memorial leading all 20 laps from the pole after winning his heat race in just over three minutes time Sunday evening. Stewart, who missed heat race competition due to a NASCAR commitment at Darlington, started twenty-sixth in the field and worked his way to second at the end but was unable to wrestle the lead from teammate Schrader.
The drive was reminiscent of Stewart’s inaugural run in the Oldani Memorial in 2011. Joe Cooksey helped set up the car on Sunday night and Monday Stewart started dead last in the 24 car field. By midway he was challenging for a top three spot and the battle he and Matt Mevert of Steelville had for second was one of the best races for position in Oldani history. Stewart also finished second in 2011.
Last year it was Owensboro, Kentucky’s Tyler Nicely finishing third, followed by Paducah, Kentucky’s J.R. Mason and veteran Steve Adams of Humboldt, Illinois.
It’s all part of the holiday doubleheader weekend of racing, featuring USAC Silver Crown on Sunday, September 2 and the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards on Monday, September 3. The DIRTcar Modifieds will race prelims on Sunday and their feature on Monday. Tony Stewart and Ken Schrader will battle with the other strong Modified competitors in the Bill Oldani event.
Tickets will be available at the gate on raceday or fans can purchase advance sale discount tickets by calling the Du Quoin State Fair box office at 618-542-1535 or the Track Enterprises office at 217-764-3200. Full event information can be found at www.trackenterprises.com.