Cam Strader, a native of Wilson, NC, has accepted the honor of being named the Grand Marshall for the Wilson Jaycees 2000 Christmas Parade. For his accomplishments, he will also be presented the key to the city of Wilson by Mayor C. Bruce Rose.
"This is quite an honor for me," he said. "I grew up in this town, and am glad to tell people I am from Wilson, NC. It will be nice to come home for Christmas and see all my friends and family," he added.
Cam was born and raised in Wilson. His father, Steve, is the owner and president of R.B. Strader Contractors in Wilson, and his mother, Betty, is a schoolteacher at the Elm City Middle School in nearby, Elm City, NC. Cam has one brother, Chris, who is in the management trainee program with the Cintas Uniform Company, in Charlotte, NC.
Cam just completed his first full season in a NASCAR touring series. He raced in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series, and claimed the 2000 Rookie of the Year title. He also finished 7th in the overall points standings. He won the pole position at the Montgomery Motor Speedway and at his home track in Kenly, NC, the Southern National Speedway. Strader's biggest accomplishment of the year was his first NASCAR touring series win at the Myrtle Beach Speedway in July.
One of the many highlights this season was when Strader and his team, acquired sponsorship from Wesson Cooking Oil just prior to the race at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC. The Wesson officials were impressed with Cam, and the California- based company signed on as the primary sponsor for the entire season.
"We've come a long way from those yard karts my brother Chris and I had when we were little. Lots of times when they announce my name at places like Daytona and Charlotte, I think about those days not so long ago when I was racing go-karts and dreaming of some day racing at the NASCAR super-speedways."
Cam began his competitive racing career at the tender age of 10. Since that time, his racing career has produced some awesome results. His first full-bodied stock car experience came in the Super Pro Truck Division at the Southern National Speedway in 1997. Then he moved to the Late Model Division in 1998. He wasted little time being recognized for his exceptional talent and received Motorsports Magazine's "Rising Star of the Year" award in 1998. In his first season with Late Models, he won two races, finished third in points and won Rookie of the Year honors. In 1999, he again won two feature events, had four pole starts, and finished third in points before moving to the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series in 2000.
"Racing is what I love to do," the 21-year old Strader said. "I have a great crew chief in Barry Owen. He's won several championships in the Dash series and he knows what it takes to be successful at this level. My pit crew also works very hard every week. A driver is only as good as the people around him, and in that respect I feel very blessed."
In 2001, Cam will compete in the full NASCAR Goody's Dash Series. His goals for this season are to finish each of the events, and to claim the Championship title. His plans also include selected events in the ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) Series. Cam's goal is to be prepared to run for the Rookie of the Year title in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series by 2002.
The Wesson Cooking Oil racecar will be on display at the Lee Motor Company from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on the morning of December 9th, and Cam will be signing autographs.
At 11:00, during the autograph session at the Lee Motor Company, Strader will receive the key to the city of Wilson from Mayor C. Bruce Rose. "Cam Strader is an outstanding young man. I have been watching him race for a number of years. He is always very kind and courteous to everyone who asks him about racing or wants to look at his car. Cam is an excellent role model for our young people," said Mayor Rose. I want to take this opportunity to wish him all the best in his racing career, and I look forward to seeing him win lots of races in the future."
Strader will do a second autograph session with his racecar on display at the Wilson Wal-mart from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. following the Christmas parade.