KEN SCHRADER STARTS HIS 2006 RACING SEASON WITH THE STORMPAY.COM DIRT LATE MODEL SERIES AT THE ICE BOWL
CLARKSVILLE, TN - NASCAR Nextel Cup star Ken Schrader of Fenton, MO will begin his 2006 racing season competing with the StormPay.com Dirt Late Model Series at the 16th Annual Ice Bowl at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, AL on January 7-8. Schrader will attempt to make his second series event by qualifying for the $2,500-to-win NeSmith Chevrolet 40.
Schrader finished fifth in the StormPay.com Dirt Late Model Series Crate Racin' USA World Championship Race at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, FL on December 3. After the race, Schrader said he was impressed with the GM Performance crate engine that costs one-tenth what an unlimited dirt late model engine costs.
After his Ice Bowl competition with the StormPay.com Dirt Late Model Series powered by Crate Racin' USA, Schrader will begin to concentrate on his "day job," getting ready for the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup season with a new ride. For 2006, Schrader will step into the legendary #21 Woods Brothers Ford.
The entry of Schrader is just part of the equation of drivers that will make up the Ice Bowl driver roster for the StormPay.com Dirt Late Model Series' first National Touring points event of the 2006 season.
NASCAR Busch Grand National regular Kenny Wallace of St. Louis, MO has also announced his intentions of running with the StormPay.com Dirt Late Model Series at the Ice Bowl driving a car out of the Villanow, GA-based Jeff Smith Racing stables.
Add to the nationally-known NASCAR drivers a good mix of dirt late model seasoned veterans, weekly drivers trying to make a name for themselves, plus young drivers making their first ventures into dirt late model racing, and you have the makings for a part of the sport that is gaining popularity among dirt late model fans.
Dirt late model veterans that include National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame driver Jeff Purvis of Clarksville, TN, Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN, and Mike Head of Ellenwood, GA will join Schrader and Wallace.
Carrying the torch for the weekly racers will be the defending StormPay.com Dirt Late Model National Champion Denny Slayton of Rossville, GA, along with Jeff Fields of Aragon, GA, Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, GA, Curtis Cline of Douglasville, GA, and Robby Bilbrey of Albertville, AL.
Chris "The Survivor" Turley of Oxford, AL will be coming out of the Talladega Short Track Junior Late Model Division to compete for the StormPay.com Dirt Late Model Series Rookie of the Year honors. The 23-year-old driver gets his nickname because he is a surviving cancer patient, who was paralyzed during chemotherapy, and drives with hand controls.
It's the affordability and dependability of the crate engine that has brought these drivers together. The engine gets it name because it is built, sealed, and put into a crate at the GM factory, where it is shipped to a GM dealership. The engine can be purchased by the racer right at the dealership, who then takes it home in the crate, unpacks it, and places it right in their dirt late model chassis.
The steel-head "602" engine sells for $2,800, and the aluminum-head "604" engine sells for $4,800. Race cars using the 602 engine weigh 2,200 pounds, and get a 150 pound weight break over the race cars using the 604 engine that must weigh 2,350 pounds.
On Saturday afternoon, January 7, the StormPay.com Dirt Late Model Series will participate in Qualifying to set the top 18 cars for the NeSmith Chevrolet 40, and the top six qualifiers will run the Fast Car Dash to determine the top six starting positions for Sunday afternoon's main event.
Qualifiers 19 on back will line up for B-Main action on Sunday afternoon, January 8 to fill the starting field for the NeSmith Chevrolet 40 to be run later in the day.
For more information about the 16th Annual Ice Bowl visit the Talladega Short Track web site at www.talladegashorttrack.com, or call (256) 831-1413. For more information about the StormPay.com Dirt Late Model Series powered by Crate Racin' USA visit the series web site at www.stormpayracing.com.