KEN SCHRADER IS NO STRANGER TO VICTORY LANE AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- For Ken Schrader, driver of the No. 33 Skoal Bandit Racing Chevrolet, winning at Phoenix International Raceway comes easy. Of the many race car ...
KEN SCHRADER IS NO STRANGER TO VICTORY LANE AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- For Ken Schrader, driver of the No. 33 Skoal Bandit Racing Chevrolet, winning at Phoenix International Raceway comes easy. Of the many race car drivers that have competed on the one-mile paved oval, Schrader has visited victory lane most often.
Prior to the 1998 Skoal Bandit Racing Copper World Classic, Schrader was tied with Chuck Gurney as the all-time winner with eight victories at Phoenix International Raceway. All that changed when Schrader collected his second NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour victory last January. In addition to his two Southwest Tour victories, Schrader has collected four USAC Midget and three USAC Silver Crown trophies at the Arizona track.
Although Schrader has enjoyed success in several divisions at one of his favorite tracks, he has yet to visit victory lane in NASCAR's premiere series.
"I love this track," proclaimed Schrader. "I've managed to win in just about every division at the track, but never in a Winston Cup car and that's been hard for me. Since I know the track so well, I just thought the wins in a Winston Cup car would eventually come. Unfortunately, the competition is pretty stiff in Winston Cup.
"Our fourth-place finish at Phoenix last year was the best I've run in a Winston Cup car there in a long time. We qualified strong and then backed it up with a decent finish."
Schrader likes his chances of winning the Dura Lube 500.
"We've got a lot of ground to make up in the point standings," said Schrader. "Phoenix is the place to run strong and get ourselves solidly back into the top 10. Andy has designed an awesome car for the flatter tracks like Phoenix. I think the Skoal Bandit Racing Chevrolet stands a good chance at being in victory lane at the end of the weekend. -more- Page -2 Ken Schrader No Stranger To Victory Lane...
"It would be real neat to win this weekend's Winston Cup race. I've won in a lot of different cars there, but nothing would mean more to me than to finally win in the Winston Cup car."
Most of Schrader's victories at Phoenix International Raceway have come during the Skoal Bandit Racing Copper World Classic. In 1998, Schrader will make his annual male bonding trip to the Skoal Bandit Racing Copper World Classic in January to compete in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour race.
Schrader's commitment to the Skoal Bandit Racing Copper World Classic earned him the prestigious J.W. Hunt Award. The award is given to the "racer's racer," like A.J. Foyt who previously received the honor. J.W. Hunt was a very successful strawberry farmer in Florida and made many charitable contributions to the auto racing fraternity. The Skoal Bandit Racing Copper World Classic was his favorite race, therefore, Phoenix International Raceway started the award.
Although Schrader would like to compete in the Southwest Tour event during the Winston Cup weekend in October, he decided to hand over the steering wheel to Scott Hansen, driver of Schrader's ASA car. Hansen is the defending winner of the event.
"Scott is a good shoe and I know he can get the job done," said Schrader. "He won last year and I know he can do it again. Sure, I'd rather be driving, but I want to concentrate on the Winston Cup race."
As always, Schrader is looking for victory lane at Phoenix International Raceway, but this year he's looking to make the trip in the No. 33 Skoal Bandit Racing Chevrolet.
Skoal Bandit Racing is a service mark of United States Tobacco Sales and Marketing Company Inc.