Hoping for similar car, different results Ken Schrader and the ...
Hoping for similar car, different results
Ken Schrader and the #49 Red Baron Dodge this week return to the Monster Mile, the Dover International Speedway, for Sunday's MBNA Race Points 400; the 28th race of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season and the second in the "Chase for the Nextel Cup."
Driving a car emblazoned with the Red Baron frozen pizza colors this week, Schrader is a native of Fenton, Mo. The busiest driver in major league motorsports, Schrader has raced and continues to race on virtually every type of speedway in virtually every type of race car. In 2005, Schrader plans to once again race over 100 races and throughout his career has raced at over 310 different racetracks around the nation.
Red Baron frozen pizza products are distributed under the Schwan's Consumer Brands North America banner, which also markets other leading frozen-food retail brands that include Tony's® and Freschetta® frozen pizzas, Pagoda® Asian specialties, and Larry's® potato side-dishes. Schwan's Consumer Brands is a division of The Schwan Food Company, whose Schwan's Home Service business unit sponsors Schrader and the #49 BAM Dodge throughout the remainder of the season
The team is owned by Beth Ann and Tony Morgenthau, investors from Coral Gables, Fla. Ms. Morgenthau, whose initials make up the name of the team -- BAM Racing -- is the only female car owner in motorsports to become involved without prior family connections. General manager Eddie Jones is a veteran of the NASCAR Nextel Cup wars, enjoying a championship career as a crew chief, mechanic and team leader. Crew chief David Hyder has over 20 years of racing experience both driving and as a chief mechanic.
The Schwan Food Company is a privately held manufacturer and marketer of fine frozen foods through its nationwide Schwan's Home Service home-delivery service, its Schwan's Consumer Brands North America retail grocery business, and its Schwan's Food Service Group foodservice unit. Headquartered in Marshall, Minn., Schwan's production and distribution activities in the United States and Europe employ 24,000 people. Among its well-known brands are Schwan's®, Tony's®, Red Baron®, Freschetta®, Pagoda®, Mrs. Smith's®, and Edwards®.
The thoughts of Red Baron Dodge driver Ken Schrader heading into Dover:
"My first thought when approaching Dover this weekend is, 'Man, I sure wish we could bring back the car we had there in June.' Of course, the problem with that is I'm not sure how happy I'd be with the handling, considering we destroyed the front end last time there.
"What's more aggravating is that car was one heck of a race car. Hyder (David, crew chief) and the guys at the shop have done a great job all year setting up the handling on these racecars. I'm confident that there aren't many teams out there that handle better than we do on a week-to-week basis. Dover was a great example. We were flying through the field, didn't qualify that well, but once the green flag dropped we took off.
"You hate wrecking any time, but man, you really hate it when you tear up a good race car. Now, a bad race car-- there've been a few times you wouldn't mind bouncing one of those of the wall. But as we all learned in June, everyone found out there on the backstretch that whiskey and Schwan's ice cream don't mix.
"But, that's the beauty of taking notes. Our guys can apply what worked on the Schwan's Home Service Dodge in June, and put that setup into the Red Baron Dodge this weekend. Hopefully, we'll qualify a little better and won't have to pass as many cars once the race starts. But, if we handle as well as we did in June, it doesn't matter, we can get the job done.
"What happened to us at Dover in June has happened to us a lot over the past few years at Dover. We seem to be fast during the race, but we can't manage to stay out of trouble, and as best I can recall, I don't think any of the incidents have been our fault.
"That's typical at Dover. We carry a ton of speed through the turns and it just seems like everything narrows up in a hurry. If some guys get together coming off of either one of the turns you're going to be pretty limited on where you can go. Your momentum is carrying your car off the bottom of the turn and straight to the outside wall. There's limited visibility coming off the turn, it's kind of like coming out of tunnel, so your reaction time is cut down because you can't see it as quick as you can at other places.
"But, there's nothing we can do about that race. We've had some good runs of late and hopefully we'll carry that momentum into Dover this weekend. Everyone on this Red Baron crew is confident we can duplicate the car we had there in June and this time, bring it home with a great finish."