TOPEKA, Kan. --- August 23, 1998 will mark the date that Ken Schrader Racing and Mike Wallace return to Heartland Park Topeka for their one year anniversary. It will be only the second trip for the No. 52 Purolator PureONE team but Ken Schrader...
TOPEKA, Kan. --- August 23, 1998 will mark the date that Ken Schrader Racing and Mike Wallace return to Heartland Park Topeka for their one year anniversary. It will be only the second trip for the No. 52 Purolator PureONE team but Ken Schrader Racing has competed at the 2.1 mile road course every year for the past seven years.
Ken Schrader Racing began its relationship with Heartland Park Topeka back in 1991 when Schrader raced in the tracks very first stock car race. Schrader sat in the seat of an ARCA car that day in Topeka and proceeded to win the race. That was seven years ago and Schrader Racing continues to race at Heartland Park Topeka each and every year. "In 1991 Dale (Earnhardt) and I were contacted to come out here and compete in the ARCA event," said Schrader, owner of Ken Schrader Racing. "It was the first event they held at this race track and there was, and continues to be, extremely good racing." Ken Schrader Racing has competed at Heartland Park Topeka every year since they started stock car racing. In 1992 Schrader again ran an ARCA car and qualified on the pole for the race. Schrader continued to race in the ARCA Series races at Heartland Park Topeka through 1994, racking up one win, one pole, two top-five and three top-10 finishes. "Schrader has been a great friend to the track," said Bill Kent, president of the track. "He has raced all of the events that we have asked him to run, and he has really helped get our stock car program going. He has been a great friend as well as a great driver. He came out and won our first race and to have a NASCAR Winston Cup star do that for us was very much appreciated."
In 1995 Ken Schrader Racing switched from ARCA to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, with driver Darrell Waltrip behind the wheel. In 1996 Schrader once again drove his own equipment, a Ken Schrader Racing Slim Jim All Pro Series car. He sat on the pole, led the most laps and on a passing incident toward the end of the race, had the most spectacular crash in turn six. Ken Schrader returned to Heartland Park Topeka in June 1996 for his second start in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck that he owned. Schrader finished seventh in his Heartland Park Topeka finale, but he continues to send his Ken Schrader Racing team to the track every year. 1997 marked the first year that Mike Wallace drove the truck for Ken Schrader Racing at Heartland Park Topeka. He will continue the tradition this year when he returns on August 23. "We had a great truck here last year," said driver Mike Wallace. "The team knows this track like the back of their hand. We had a little trouble qualifying because I was a little conservative. But we were running up front, improving from 20th to 7th. Then with a few laps to go, we ran out of gas and needed to pit, but we still finished 14th." "In the last seven years, Heartland Park has become one of the most sought after road course events on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series," said Schrader. "It has a very smooth racing surface and a well planned design."