Loudon: Ken Schrader preview

Schrader beginning New England stand Ken Schrader and the ...

Schrader beginning New England stand

Ken Schrader and the #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge head to the Magic Mile, the New Hampshire International Speedway, located in Loudon, N.H., for Sunday's New England 300; the 19th race and the start of the second half of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season.

Driver of the #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge, 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. Schrader continues a winning career with BAM Racing, which fields the Schwan's Home Service team.

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 Schwan's Home Service Dodge driver Ken Schrader heading into New Hampshire:

"New Hampshire is really one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. It's a flat one-mile oval that's a pretty demanding race track. With the long straights and the flat turns you have to have a car that can handle and really get through the center of the turn. You have to be able to set the nose of the car in order to get back on the throttle. If you have a car that is pretty bad 'tight off' (having trouble turning left when exiting the turn) then you're going to be in for a long day."

"Think of it as a long Martinsville. They're both flat tracks, flat turns, with long straight-a-ways. Except at New Hampshire, because the track's a half mile longer, you're carrying a lot more speed going down into the turn. You have to have good brakes to get the car 'woahed down' going into the turns. Then you have to be able to pick the throttle up as quickly as possible in order to get down the front stretch."

"Like most flat tracks, you have to be smooth. Now, yeah, you have to be smooth almost everywhere we go if you're going to have any success, but it's emphasized more at a flat track. Because, if you're just a little bit off your line getting into the turn, not only are you going to lose time in that turn, you aren't going to be able to make it up going down the straightaway either. It'll take you about half a lap before you can begin to make up for the mistake you made half a lap ago. To make things worse, if you happen to slide up out of that inside groove, you're probably going to lose about five or six positions in the process-- if you're lucky."

"A lot of us grew up on flat race tracks, and for me, it's always nice to get back on one. That's one of the reasons I love coming to New Hampshire. The Bahre family has been great to the series and they've poured a ton of their time and money into making the speedway one of the best tracks that we go to. The fans in the New England states really know their racing and they always pack the stands. Some people don't necessarily think of New England as a real hot bed for racing, but they hold their own."

"In addition to running the Schwan's Home Service Dodge this weekend, just in July alone, I'll be running several races up there; Stafford, Connecticut on the 13th, Wiscassett, Maine on the 16th, then back up to Barre, Vermont on the 21st. I can't think of a better way to get things going with a good run at Stafford on Wednesday followed by a good run at New Hampshire on Sunday in the Schwan's Dodge. We've been working hard the past couple of weeks between racing and testing. Hyder (David, crew chief) and the rest of our boys have got this race team running as good as it ever has and we'll be looking to continue that momentum this weekend."


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ken Schrader