In the Pits- KSR
Schrader spins stories in new book
Motorsports publisher Coastal 181 recently released “Gotta Race!,” the autobiography of Nextel Cup driver Ken Schrader. The book was written with Joyce Standridge and includes forewords by Rick Hendrick and Bones Bourcier.
Schrader, a four-time Winston Cup winner and three-time pole sitter at the Daytona 500, drives for the famed Wood Brothers/JTG Racing team in the #21 car. Schrader is also renowned as America’s “Prince of the Short Tracks,” ready to race anywhere, anytime on dirt or asphalt—sprint car, midget or late model.
“Gotta Race!” recounts 35 years of racing adventures, told in Schrader’s own distinctive voice to Standridge, a nationally known racing columnist. The book covers Schrader’s career from his beginnings in the 1970s at tiny St. Louis-area bullrings, to open-wheel rides around the country, to the glamour of Indianapolis and Daytona.
“Gotta Race!” also provides insight in-to Schrader’s many racing relationships. One chapter is devoted to his friendships with luminaries such as Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr., Richard Petty, Tony Stewart, Cale Yarborough and many others. The book is packed with 350 photographs, both dramatic and touching, that serve as a personal history of the past 35 years of the sport. It also includes Schrader’s race records, detailing his races from 1971-2005, listing date, track, type of car, car owner, race winner, Schrader’s finish and comments about the race.
So how did the book come about?
“We had a couple of people who wanted to do a book forever, and we figured we’d get around to doing it someday, but then Joyce called,” Schrader said while signing autographs at the Over the Road/Pro Trucker booth during the recent Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville. “I’ve known Joyce and her husband forever. She called, and I said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ I just told the stories, and she wrote it. It’s by her in my words.”
So what will race fans find out about Schrader that might come as a surprise?
“Oh, I don’t know about that,” Schrader said. “It amazes me that anyone wanted to do a book about me in the first place. There’s a lot of stuff in there, I can tell you that. The book came out a little bigger than they thought.”
Fans can purchase the book by calling Coastal 181 toll free at (877) 907-8181 or going online at www.coastal181.com.