In the Pits- KSR
Plenty of thanks to go around
Ken Schrader, driver of the famed No. 21 car for the Wood Brothers Racing team, recently took one last look back at the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup season to thank a host of folks, starting with his crew, sponsors and fans, before turning his attention to 2007.
“This Little Debbie/Motorcraft/U.S. Air Force crew has worked so hard this year with the merger and moving five teams into one shop,” Schrader said after the season-ending Cup race in Homestead, FL. “You al-ways want things to be better, and I’m confident 2007 will be a better year for all of us.
“I do want to take this opportunity to thank all of our sponsors. I’ve met so many wonderful people this year. The McKees and everyone at Little Debbie have been great to work with all year long. It has been good to be back with Ford Motor Company with the Motorcraft sponsorship and in a Ford on the racetrack. The people in Ford Racing gave me my start in NASCAR and the Cup Series. And I’ve certainly been proud to represent the U.S. Air Force. It would be hard to find a finer group of sponsors and people.
“I don’t want to leave out the Wood family and my whole team. For years I’ve enjoyed my friendship with Eddie and Len Wood. It means a lot to be included on the Wood Brothers Racing list of drivers. And I’m looking forward to next season and working with Jon and all the guys on our team. I’d just like to thank everybody for all their hard work and effort.”
In 2007, Schrader will return to the Wood Brothers team as the lead driver of the No. 21 car, only this time he’ll share the ride with Jon Wood, the 24-year-old son of WBR co-owner Eddie Wood. The plan calls for Schrader to drive in 26 Cup races in 2007, and Jon Wood to drive the remaining 10.
Looking ahead to 2007, Eddie Wood said Schrader is “gonna be a great help to Jon because Jon doesn’t have a lot of time in Cup cars. Jon is really close to Kenny. He knows and respects him well, so I think they can help each other, and I look forward to that. I think Kenny is the perfect teacher for Jon.”
Schrader may not run a full schedule of Cup races in 2007 for the first time in more than two decades, but he’ll continue to be the busiest driver in motorsports. He ran in well over 100 events in 2006, including more than 60 dirt-track events for his own Ken Schrader Racing team, and he expects to take the green flag another 100 times or so in 2007. As for Cup racing, it all begins again at Daytona in February.