Darlington: Ken Schrader race report

Ken Schrader Rallies To 10th-Place Finish After Battery Failure and Handling Issues at Darlington Scores Fifth Consecutive Top-10 Finish in KHI Truck DARLINGTON, S.C. (August 15, 2010) - Ken Schrader overcame a brush with the wall, a battery ...

Ken Schrader Rallies To 10th-Place Finish After Battery Failure and Handling Issues at Darlington
Scores Fifth Consecutive Top-10 Finish in KHI Truck

DARLINGTON, S.C. (August 15, 2010) - Ken Schrader overcame a brush with the wall, a battery failure and a ill-handling race truck to score his fifth straight top-10 finish in Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) equipment. The No. 2 team showed patience and persistence, battling adversity and adjusting the Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q machine throughout the Too Tough To Tame 200, earning a 10th-place finish at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

The hard work began early for Schrader and the No. 2 team. While attempting to hone in on a fast race setup, the No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado was turning more tightly than expected during the first lap of final practice due to a 22-degree track temperature change, and Schrader brushed the wall, damaging the truck's splitter and scraping the right side. The team repaired damage in time to make a few laps in the practice session, preparing the truck for a solid sixth-place qualifying effort.

The team was confident about the race ahead, but before the green flag waved, they experienced a major setback. When given the command to start his engine, Schrader was unable to fire up the No. 2 Silverado due to a dead battery. After getting a push start, Schrader brought the KHI machine to pit road for a battery replacement, sacrificing his top-10 starting position and taking the green flag from the back of the field.

Encouraged by crew chief Butch Hylton, the team believed they could recover from the setback, and by lap three Schrader had moved up 12 spots into the 23rd position. The first yellow of the night waved on lap five for a spin in turn one, and Schrader relayed to Hylton that the truck was turning too freely. Hylton called Schrader down pit road for fuel and a track-bar adjustment, and the No. 2 truck restarted on lap eight from the 23rd spot. It would take only seven more laps for Schrader to break into the top 15, but once there, he struggled with the handling of his truck until the caution waved on lap 47 for debris.

Schrader explained to Hylton that the handling was getting worse, and that the truck was transferring all of its weight onto the left front spring while in the turns, causing it to shoot up the track towards the wall. Hylton called for a full-service pit stop which would include four tires with air-pressure adjustments, fuel, a track-bar adjustment and the removal of a spring rubber. Unfortunately, the spring rubber was difficult to remove, and the stop became very long, forcing Schrader back to the 17th position for the restart on lap 51.

The yellow flag waved four more times before lap 100, and as the handling of the No. 2 truck declined, Hylton called Schrader into the pits under each caution, making major air-pressure, wedge, spring-rubber and track-bar adjustments. Running 14th when yet another caution waved on lap 107, Schrader finally relayed that the truck was handling better and that he could stay out of the pits to make up track position. With enough fuel to make it until the end of the race, Schrader and Hylton mutually decided that their best bet now was to stay on track to earn as many positions as possible. Running consistently fast lap times, Schrader moved the truck up into the ninth position, which he held onto until five laps remained in the 147-lap race. Passed by one of his competitors and moved back into the 10th position, Schrader held his ground until the checkered flag waved. Driver's Point Standings leader Todd Bodine earned his third win of the season, followed by Timothy Peters, KHI teammate Ron Hornaday, Johnny Sauter and Austin Dillon rounding out the top five.

"We really just didn't run enough laps in practice," said Schrader following the race. "Unfortunately, we had to spend time repairing the damage from my brush with the wall and we didn't get to make any long runs in final practice. We lost a lot of ground when we couldn't fire the engine up at the beginning, and we struggled with the setup for most of the race. By the time we finally made it a little better, there weren't enough laps left to do much with the truck. I'm glad that I was able to earn my fifth straight top-10 finish for KHI and give us a decent points day, but I was really hoping for a lot more tonight."

The No. 2 moved up a spot to second in the Owner's Point Standings, now 85 points out of first place. The Truck Series hits the track again on Wednesday, August 18 for the O'Reilly 200 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway where Elliott Sadler will be behind the wheel of the No. 2.

-source: kbi

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Ken Schrader , Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Johnny Sauter , Elliott Sadler , Austin Dillon