New Hampshire International Speedway Is Unlikely Friend To NASCAR Veteran Ken Schrader Hackettstown, N.J. (September 11, 2000) - It hasn't been without problems lately, but it seems New Hampshire International Speedway suits "M&M's"Â® Racing...
New Hampshire International Speedway Is Unlikely Friend To NASCAR Veteran Ken Schrader
Hackettstown, N.J. (September 11, 2000) - It hasn't been without problems lately, but it seems New Hampshire International Speedway suits "M&M's"® Racing Team driver Ken Schrader just fine and has been home to some of the Missouri native's strongest runs. The best overall performance of the "M&M's"® Racing Team in the 2000 season came just two months ago at the one-mile oval.
When the "M&M's"® Racing Team made their last stop at New Hampshire, the team turned in its best qualifying effort of the season with a strong seventh-place start. Schrader's knack for getting around NHIS at a rather quick clip continued well into the race as the "M&M's"® Pontiac ran right with the leaders for the majority of the day, spending a lot of time in the outside groove.
The finish for the "M&M's"® Pontiac did not reflect the true performance of the team and car as a rain shortened event cost the team a top-five finish. The team made a gamble on pit strategy, taking only two tires and a half tank of fuel, fully anticipating that rain would flood New Hampshire International Speedway before they needed to stop for gas. The rains came about 30 laps later than anticipated and the team was relegated to a 23rd-place finish. The end result didn't cloud the minds of driver, crew chief and team, as they felt good about their performance.
"Our last trip to New Hampshire was one of our better runs -- if not the best run -- we've had all season," Schrader said. "We were really counting on rain so we gambled on our pit strategy jus a little bit. The stop didn't play out the way we wanted, but we still left feeling good about how we qualified and how the "M&M's"® Pontiac ran."
The driver of the most colorful car on the track definitely has a feel for New Hampshire International Speedway. He is almost always a threat to win the pole position, with two top-qualifying efforts to his record and has only qualified outside the top 10 once. Schrader has only had one bad starting position at New Hampshire, but that was a technicality in 1998. Schrader was fifth fastest in qualifying that day, but a block of lead that fell out of the car during his qualifying run got him disqualified and he ended up starting 28th.
Including both qualifying and the race, Schrader said he couldn't put his finger on his successes in New Hampshire.
"I can't tell why I seem to run so well there, especially since it is not the kind of track that I particularly like. There is something making me successful there and I'm not going to complain about that," Schrader said.
"With all the plusses of having a strong performance record at a race track, I have to admit that I do like going to New Hampshire for some selfish reasons as well," Schrader said. "We have a great relationship with the Bahres and Ann and I also have some really good friends in Boston that we always visit when we go there, so New Hampshire is always a really nice trip for us."