Texas II: Ken Schrader preview

Ken Schrader Comments on Texas and Cup's 'Yellow Fever' Ken Schrader and the ...

Ken Schrader Comments on Texas and Cup's 'Yellow Fever'

Ken Schrader and the #49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge return to the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway, located in Fort Worth, Tex., this week for Sunday's Dickies 500; the 34th race of the 2005 Nextel Cup season and the eighth 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 Texas:

"Can't tell you how much this Schwan's team and myself have been looking forward to getting back to Texas. We had a really strong car here in the spring and we had a few things happen that kept us from having a really strong finish. That car was a top-15, maybe a top-10 race car. Hopefully, we can have that strong of a car this weekend at Texas.

"Texas Motor Speedway is just about to turn 10 years old, I think it happens next year. But, I can remember when this place opened how everyone said it wasn't that racey, it only had one groove. Well, most 'new' tracks only have one groove, but once that place (Texas) settled in a bit and got a lot of laps on it, it didn't take long for that second groove to come in. Now, it's become one of the raciest one-and-a-half mile ovals we go to.

"Anytime you want a driver to thoroughly endorse racing at your race track, give him room to pass. I know some of the racing this year hasn't necessarily looked like it, but believe it or not, most of us don't like to run into to one another out there. So the more room and the more racetrack we can use to pass, usually means the better we'll like the track, and generally means, the better show we'll put on.

"Someone asked me the other day why there has been a higher number of cautions this year? My only explanation is that it's just gotten so competitive that we're running so close to one another. I mean, back in the late '80s early '90s, the difference between the guys running in the front and the guys running around 25th was probably about two or three seconds (per lap). Now, we're talking about tenths of a second being the difference between first and 25th or 30th or even more, depending on where were at.

"The cars are running closer together and also, there's more pressure than ever to perform. That comes with money. The more and more money these sponsor and owners are kicking into the car, the more they expect as result. Drivers, crew chiefs, mechanics, engineers, everyone is feeling the heat to perform more than ever before. Throw all of that in the mix with these cars being so similar and so many teams being able to compete and that's probably a lot of the reason we're seeing more cautions.

"Hopefully, the Schwan's team can avoid those cautions this weekend and have another solid run. David (Hyder, crew chief) and the guys keep preparing great handling racecars and that's what made this thing so good at Texas in the spring. Now, if we can just finish like we were running in the spring, I'll consider it a pretty good weekend."


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ken Schrader