ARCA where are they now: Bob Schacht
ARCA where are they now: Bob Schacht
Bob Schacht was a fixture on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards scene for nearly a quarter of a century. Starting in the early 1980s through 2016, Schacht scored 19 career ARCA wins. Now 68 years old, Schacht still has the competitive fire to race. He earned his first championship since 1985 by winning the 2018 Super Cup Series championship, clinching the title in dominant fashion last weekend at the half-mile Jennerstown Speedway in Pennsylvania.
Schacht, in a No. 75 Engineered Components Corp. Chevrolet reminiscent of his ARCA days, finished sixth in the first of two twin 50-lap feature events, which meant all he had to do was start the second to lock up the championship.
A former automotive body man from Lombard, Illinois, Schacht relocated to North Carolina in the 1980s and has made racing his career ever since. Schacht is married to another former ARCA Racing Series driver, Patty Simko-Schacht, who still holds the record for the fastest lap in series history turned by a female, 199.604 miles per hour at Talladega in 1987. Patty's best ARCA finish was a third-place run at Toledo, also in 1987. They have one daughter, Priscilla Schacht.
Schacht has been racing in the Super Cup Series since 2016, and he's stayed busy helping some friends and mentoring younger drivers in various forms of racing.
"There are a lot of young guys in the Super Cup Series right now," Schacht said. "There are a lot of 16, 18, 20 year old guys racing out there, and then there's Bob," he said with a laugh. "I have helped a lot of those younger guys the past couple of years. I also spend some time helping my friends, guys like Jeff Fultz and Steve Wallace, with their late model stuff. We've spent a lot of time in the CARS Late Model tour this year."
Schacht had an impressive 2018 Super Cup Series season. To date, he won five of 12 races, and set two track records. He also reunited with a long-time friend and sponsor, one that dates back to the late 1980s.
"Arne Henrickson has been a friend for a long time," Schacht said. "We didn't have a falling out or anything, but way back when he kind of went his way and I went mine. I called him up a while back and said I was thinking about doing a throwback look on the car, the red and black look from the late 80s, and he decided to jump on and sponsor me again. We had a great year and I won my first championship since the 80s when I won the IRA championship, but this was Arne's first championship of any kind. It was really fun to get back together with him and have that kind of success."
Henrickson also has a long involvement with the ARCA Racing Series, not only as a sponsor, but as a team owner as well. Entries owned by Henrickson were in 85 ARCA races from 1995 through 2007, registering 10 top-five and 30 top-ten finishes with his son A.J. at the wheel.
Schacht made his Super Cup Stock Car Series debut in 2016 at Jennerstown Speedway and has enjoyed the competition in the series and decided to run for the title in 2018.
“I like the format in the SCSCS and the Twin 50 lappers with the opportunity to work on the car in between races,” he said. “I’m actually having fun again doing this, and this championship just tops it all off.”
“We’re already thinking about next year and being back in this series, but we’ve still got one more race to focus on September 29 at Dominion. We’ll get this one under our belts and then concentrate on 2019. I would just like to thank my crew guys who have stuck with me through this and my family’s support it couldn’t have been done without them.”
Schacht still stays in touch with what's going on in the series that he made his name in.
"I pay attention to what's going on in ARCA still," Schacht said. "I keep up with the rules updates and see everything that's going on. I would love to find a way to get back and race in ARCA, but right now the money isn't there for me to get back into it. For now, I am having a lot of fun doing what I am doing, and we're already looking forward to next year. If the right opportunity came up, I'd take a look at it. But I am 68 years old now. I don't have any big dreams of going Cup racing anymore. I just want to come to the race track and have fun."
Bob Schacht and the Engineered Components/ Bob Schacht Motorsports Chevy will be in action Saturday September 29 at Dominion Raceway in Virginia.