Ken Schrader made history on Wednesday — not only as the first polesitter for the inaugural Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway with a lap of 91.329 mph, but as the oldest pole winner in any of NASCAR’s top national series.
Schrader, 58, topped the previous record set by Dick Trickle, who won the pole at Dover in 1999 at the age of 57. For Schrader, it was his second pole in 100 starts in the truck series.
“I feel a lot of excitement here,” Schrader said. “It’s like the first time we went to the Brickyard 400 or something. It’s got to be the most anticipated US motorsports race in a number of years.
“It’s all about fun. And the better you do, the more fun it is.”
The Mudsummer Classic marks the first time one of NASCAR’s top tours has returned to dirt-track racing since what is now the Cup Series raced at North Carolina Fairgrounds (Raleigh), where Richard Petty won the final race on Sept. 30, 1970.
Schrader, who referred to "The Big E" as “the premier dirt track in America,” couldn’t begin to contemplate the significance should he also become the oldest driver to win in one of NASCAR’s top three series.
Schrader won the first qualifying race and locked in his spot on the pole.