Homestead: Ken Schrader preview

Compliments from one of the Chase's 'biggest supporters' Ken Schrader and the ...

Compliments from one of the Chase's 'biggest supporters'

Ken Schrader and the #49 Red Baron Dodge head to the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway this week for Sunday's Ford 400; the 36th and final race of the 2005 Nextel Cup season.

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.

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 thoughts of Red Baron Dodge driver Ken Schrader heading into Homestead:

"This weekend is exciting for a lot of different reasons. For those few drivers still with a shot at the Nextel Cup, those guys are down to their last shot and you can bet they're going to be driving their tails off, doing everything in their power to win. At first, when the 'Chase' format was explained to us, I have to admit, I wasn't sold. But now, I'm one of its biggest supporters. I mean, for the second year in a row, it's all come down to the last weekend undecided, and that's exciting, not just for the fans, but for the competitors as well.

"Even as a driver who is not in contention for the Cup, it's hard not to get caught up in all of the buzz surrounding the Chase. You find yourself checking the points after each race to see how tight the race for the points has become. The Chase has definitely added a lot of interest into the last 10 races of the season.

"We've got Red Baron back on the car this week and I know I've told this story before, but it means a lot to me. Red Baron was one of my first sponsors ever in the Cup series and we've always had a great relationship. Since the day of my first go around with Red Baron back in 1986, they have always kept my Mom's freezer stocked with two Red Baron Frozen Pizzas... always! That's really all you need to know about how I feel and what Red Baron has meant to me during my career.

"The end of the season always makes you reflect back on your year. Obviously, everyone on this Schwan's team would like to have finished better in the standings. If you look at our total points, we're actually quite a bit better than we were last season, but the competition has improved as well. Anyone that has watched this team and kept up with us this season knows that we've been much more competitive than we ever were before.

"I can't say enough about the guys on this team. BAM Racing has assembled a great group of guys and they really do a good job getting these cars ready to race each week. It's obvious that this team is close to turning the corner. Honestly, on a weekly basis, I've had some of the best handling racecars of my career this season, and I owe it all to the guys on this team, they've done a great job. Hopefully, we can end this season with a great run at Homestead this weekend and really give ourselves something to be proud of."


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ken Schrader