Martinsville II: Ken Schrader preview

'Haven't been giving? Don't plan on taking this weekend' Ken Schrader and the ...

'Haven't been giving? Don't plan on taking this weekend'

Ken Schrader and the #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge return to the .526-mile Martinsville (Vir.) Speedway, for Sunday's Subway 500; the 32nd race of the 2005 Nextel Cup season and the sixth in the "Chase for the Nextel Cup."

The busiest driver in major league motorsports, Schrader, a native of Fenton, Mo., 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 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 Schwan's Home Service Dodge driver Ken Schrader heading into Martinsville:

"You know, if I was one of those 10 drivers, really six or seven now, who have a chance to win the championship, I'd be a little wary about going to Martinsville. Sure everybody points to Talladega as the big 'wildcard' and that's true, because there are a lot of things out of your control at Talladega. But, Martinsville is the last place we bo where you can really get to know your neighbor without causing big-time trouble.

"If you've made somebody mad over the year, especially recently, you had better become a little more wary at Martinsville. It's the last short-track race of the year, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out we'll have a lot of beating and banging going on there. Short-track racing requires a lot of give and take, and if you're one of those few guys racing for a championship, at some point on Sunday you're going to need some giving from your fellow competitors. If you haven't been doing much giving lately, I wouldn't plan on doing a lot of taking this weekend.

"I know that the impound procedure has taken some importance away from qualifying, well-- as long as you're in the top 35 in points it has. But, at Martinsville, it's important no matter how we qualify, because it's pretty hard to pass there. It's flat, short, and requires a ton of braking. The track narrows up in a hurry coming off the turn which adds to the difficulty of passing.

"Now, logic tells me, for every person I out qualify that's one less person I'll have to pass on Sunday. Track position is a premium at Martinsville because it is so hard to pass. In fact, qualifying was so important to me in the spring that after the first lap which was enough to put us in 11th position, I decided to go for a little more the second lap. Let's just say we ended up starting at the rear of the field.

"Having a poor qualifying effort really puts you in a bind at Martinsville. One: it's hard to make up position on the track. Two: it's a half-mile oval, which means, if you qualify in the back, as soon as the green flag drops, that leader's coming. If there's an early caution and we restart single file, then suddenly you're twice as far back as you were before. That means when the leader is crossing start/finish you're going down into turn three, almost a half lap down.

"Point being, you better be on your 'A-game' during qualifying this weekend. Hopefully this Schwan's Home Service team can go out and put down a lap like we did there in the spring, but this time, be able to race with it on Sunday. We're expecting good things this weekend as we always do when we go to Martinsville."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ken Schrader