There may not be 33 reasons -- the number emblazoned in gold on the side of the Andy Petree Racing Skoal Bandit Chevrolet Monte Carlo -- that make Ken Schrader excited to return to Bristol Motor Speedway for Sunday's Food City 500....
There may not be 33 reasons -- the number emblazoned in gold on the side of the Andy Petree Racing Skoal Bandit Chevrolet Monte Carlo -- that make Ken Schrader excited to return to Bristol Motor Speedway for Sunday's Food City 500.
All he really needs is one. But Schrader has a pair of lures that are drawing back to the track affectionately known as "Thunder Valley."
First, Schrader is essentially fully recovered from the broken sternum he sustained in Daytona. He has been wearing a protective vest since the accident and plans to continue wearing it.
"I am glad I am not headed to Bristol with a broken sternum because it is such a physically demanding track," said Schrader. As a driver, you have to work a lot by shifting and steering constantly. Skinner and Cope will definitely be sore after this weekend."
Both drivers suffered similar injuries in Atlanta. But Schrader has driven injured before. So what's really behind his zeal to get to Bristol? Little more than a rabid love of short-track racing, the style of door-to-door competiton that Schrader cut his teeth on growing up on Missouri bull rings.
"I am looking forward to getting back to short track racing," Schrader said. "The high banks of Bristol is our first short track race and probably one of the most exciting tracks to run. Downforce won't be as much of an issue there, so maybe we can have some good old-fashioned door-to-door racing this weekend."
The Skoal Bandit Racing team will be utilizing "Wild Bill Hickock," which is the same car they ran at Bristol last August and produced a sixth-place finish. The car has also competed at Martinsville and Richmond.
Schrader will attend both Food City Family Race Night in Knoxville, Tenn., on Wednesday, March 25 and Kingsport, Tenn., on Thursday, March 26. He is scheduled to sign autographs at both events from 6-8 pm.
Source: NASCAR Online