In the Pits- KSR
Schrader nears milestone at end of busy season
Ken Schrader, driver of the Motorcraft Ford Fusion for Wood Brothers Racing in NASCAR Nextel Cup Series events, is a racer’s racer. He’s known as the driver who will race anything, anywhere, any time. Racing is his business. Racing is his hobby. Racing is his all-consuming passion.
Schrader’s love of the sport takes him to short tracks all over the country, where he races in late mod-el, sprint and ARCA events. He’s also running a limited NASCAR Busch Series schedule this year and has competed in several NASCAR Grand National races.
In addition, Schrader has two tracks of his own: I-55 Raceway, a 3/8th-mile, high-banked dirt oval in Pevely, MO, and the Paducah International Raceway, another 3/8th-mile, high-banked dirt oval, in Paducah, KY.
How busy is Schrader’s racing schedule? As an example, consider the week of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1. On Tuesday night, he made a charity appearance at the new Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA. On Wednesday, he was racing on the 3/8th-mile dirt oval at Heartland Park in Topeka, KS. Thursday, after an appearance in Kansas City for his Motorcraft sponsor, Schrader competed in the Late Model Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville, IA.
Following a couple of days of NEXTEL Cup activities on Friday and Saturday at the Kansas Speedway near Kansas City, KS, Ken went back to Knoxville Speedway for another event on Saturday evening. On Sunday, he was back at the Kansas Speedway for the Nextel Cup Banquet 400.
By the time the 2006 season ends, the Missouri native plans to run in approximately 120 races. His heavy schedule on American short tracks gives Schrader a unique prospective on the state of short-track racing in the country.
“I think short track racing is just like any other business,” Schrader says. “If they are providing the service, they are doing OK. It would be the same as with restaurants or any other business.
“It’s all about the service,” he continues. “The short tracks that are successful are getting the fans in and out. They have a clean facility, provide a good show for the entertainment dollar and in the case of dirt tracks, are not totally dusting you out. The fans are having fun, and the drivers are having fun. It is good family entertainment.”
Schrader, one of the busiest drivers in the business, is scheduled to reach a significant career milestone on Nov. 5 at the Dickies 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. If all goes according to plan, the race will mark Schrader's 700th Nextel Cup Series start. Richard Petty is the all-time leader in Cup starts, having started 1,184 races in his 35-year career.