TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 18, 2018) — Outside of a 13-year stint in Mooresville, N.C., Dave Mader III is an Alabama guy to the core. The 62-year-old veteran racer grew up in Homewood, Alabama, lived in Maylene, and now resides in Mobile.
So when the General Tire ARCA 200 comes to life at Talladega Superspeedway Friday, April 27, Mader will be right at home.
“I’m really excited…looking forward to going back,” said Mader. “I’d like to win there, naturally…who wouldn’t?”
The “going back” part is interesting to say the least, considering Mader hasn’t raced at Talladega since 1992.
“Last time I was there I drove the Melling car in the Cup race…finished 18th on the lead lap.
“In ’91, I drove for Clint Folsom in the ARCA races…finished second. Shoulda won both ARCA races. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I look forward to going back and completing that mission.”Mader did win the Michigan ARCA 200 during the ’91 season, and also finished second at Pocono. After a 26-year hiatus, Mader resurfaced this year at Daytona Int’l Speedway where he was fastest in practice. He was running in the top-10 late in the race when he was caught up in a multi-car wreck.
“Motor’s going in right now…I’m down here at the shop today. We had to put a front clip on it; but we’re good to go.”
Mader drove for Spraker Racing at Daytona. After the race, his fiancé, Paris Wixon, purchased the car. Mader will be driving his own No. 63 Chevrolet at Talladega. Jeff Spraker will still be his crew chief. Daytona was the first time that Mader drove one of the newer composite cars, now mandatory in ARCA races at Daytona and Talladega.
“Car was very stable. We were going a little faster in ’92 but the cars were not as stable back then. I really like everything that ARCA’s doing right now, with the bodies, the motors…it’s all very positive. Back 40 years ago when I was trying to do this thing with no money, you might have five to six people in ARCA who could get top-notch Cup motors. Everyone else in the field was just proud to be a part of it. But now, with these composite bodies, the Ilmor motors, there’s so many in the field with an honest shot to win it, or challenge for it.
“I said right before Daytona that you were going to see the best pack racing, and we did. You’re going to see it again at Talladega.”
Mader, who turns 63 on June 30, is also planning to race this year at Pocono and Michigan.
“I’ll be the same age as my car number. Planning to do the same four races next year: Daytona, Talladega, Michigan and Pocono.”
Mader is a 4-time NASCAR All-American Challenge Series champion, and won the Snowball Derby in 1978. Still up on the wheel, Mader won four super late model races on the Montgomery, Alabama half-mile in 2017.A full field of 36 cars is expected for the General Tire 200 at Talladega, live on FS1.
The General Tire 200 at Talladega will be the 56th ARCA race at Talladega since the inaugural event in 1969. Former ARCA winners at Talladega include Ramo Stott, Mark Martin, Davey Allison, Red Farmer, Grant Adcox, Mike Wallace, Frank Kimmel, Justin Allgaier, Ty Dillon, Gus Dean and Justin Haley.
Outside of teching cars the day before, it all happens in one day at Talladega with practice for the General Tire 200 Friday morning (April 27) from 8:30 to 10:20 a.m. General Tire Pole Qualifying (group format) follows at 2:30. The General Tire 200 is scheduled to get the green flag shortly after 5 Friday afternoon.
The General Tire 200 at Talladega is live on FS1. All on-track activities will be featured on live timing and scoring at arcaracing.com, plus live chat.