By: Mitchell Breuer
The ARCA Menards Series race Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway was determined by a one-lap shootout with Corey Hiem maneuvering his way to the lead after restarting third, getting help from his Venturini Motorsports teammate, Drew Dollar.
However, there was another driver that followed the duo to the front.
65-year-old, Dave Mader III, who restarted fifth and had avoided all the carnage to get him in a perfect position. The driver of the No. 63 Diamond C Ranch Chevrolet followed the Toyota tandem and proved he could still hang with the young rising stars of the sport in critical moments where everything was on the line.
“All I could do is do my job,” Mader said. “Whoever was behind me gave me a great push through three and four and all the way through the corner.”
Heim ultimately drove to the win, but in the final corner what Mader made one of the most impressive moves of the race, soaring past 2020 ARCA Menards Series Champion Bret Holmes, Nick Sanchez, and Dollar, to snag a runner-up finish.
“This is huge, I am 65-years-old, this is for all the old people,” Mader told News From The Pits. “Isn’t that great?”
The Alabama native had not seen a top-10 in nearly 30 years, with his last one ironically also coming at Talladega in 1991.
Since then, he has made starts across the NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, and ARCA Menards Series hoping that another moment like this would come along.
“Circumstances had not been kind to us, and it was finally kind to us today,” Mader said. “It shows that if we were not the victim in some cases, we probably could have had another top-three finish.”