Hackettstown, N.J. (February 3, 2000) --- Heading into the 2000 Daytona 500, Ken Schrader already has a long list of accomplishments to his credit. He has four Winston Cup wins, 23 pole positions and 15 outside pole positions. He has 64 top-five...
Hackettstown, N.J. (February 3, 2000) --- Heading into the 2000 Daytona 500, Ken Schrader already has a long list of accomplishments to his credit. He has four Winston Cup wins, 23 pole positions and 15 outside pole positions. He has 64 top-five and 169 top-10 finishes in 458 career Winston Cup starts and is nearing the $14 million mark in career earnings.
This year he makes his debut with the "M&M's"® Racing Team and MB2 Motorsports. But what stands head and shoulders above his accomplishments is that in 15 years of full-time Winston Cup competition, Schrader has not missed a race.
Schrader competed in his first full season of Winston Cup racing in 1985 and he's made the field for every race since. His 15-year starting streak equals 453 consecutive starts. Schrader has developed what today's rookies are hoping for...longevity in the most competitive form of motorsports.
Since winning rookie-of-the-year honors in 1985, Schrader has carved out his niche in racing history with his perseverance and determination to be the best on any given Sunday. "I am actually pretty hesitant to talk about any kind of streak, especially one that refers to how many years I've gone without missing a race," Schrader said. "I'm not normally a superstitious person, but sometimes you just don't want to test fate. "But I'm not really worried because this "M&M's" Team has great equipment and they work hard. They want to start my sixteenth year of full-time competition in a big fashion and won't be satisfied with anything less than the pole position."
Schrader made his first Winston Cup start in 1984 in a car fielded by Elmo Langley. He had four more starts in Langley's cars before landing a full-time ride with Junie Donlavey. Schrader's sponsorship backing from "M&M's" Chocolate Candies has come a long way from his rookie year with Donlavey. Schrader won his rookie title with no outside funding, just hard work by the team and solid driving skills. "Junie really took a chance on me in 1985, but I think when the season was over we were both proud of what we accomplished. For a rookie driver and an un-sponsored team to make every race, much less win the rookie title, was a huge accomplishment for all of us. The sport, as well as myself, has come a long way since 1985.
Schrader moved to the Hendrick organization in 1988 and spent nine years with the team. Three years with Andy Petree Racing ended in 1999 when Schrader elected to drive the "M&M's"® Pontiac Grand Prix for MB2 Motorsports.
The entire team is excited about the 2000 season. "Our test session went really well in Daytona and I am very happy with the Pontiac. We made some great strides in our first two test sessions together, and Sammy has had a very productive off season in the shop. "Having 15 years of consecutive starts is nice, but I don't look at that in the big picture. I look at the next race and the next round of qualifying. I won't be happy unless we are sitting on the front row at Daytona. There is so much going on during speedweeks that it gives you a lot of time to learn about your car and really gel and come together as a team."
Schrader's 15-year streak of consecutive Winston Cup starts is a feather in his cap and he'll be looking at the next step in his career
... winning his fourth career pole position for the Daytona 500 and a trip to victory lane.