Thunder Road SpeedBowl
CUP STAR SCHRADER TO RACE THUNDER ROAD
BARRE, VT -- For the first time since the late 1970s, a NEXTEL Cup star will come to Barre's Thunder Road to race. Ken Schrader, a native of Fenton, MO will pilot an ACT Late Model at the high-banked quarter-mile oval in the Fisher/Federated Trophy Dash on Thursday, July 21.


Schrader, who turned 50 in May, is known as a racer's racer and is one of very few Cup competitors who participate in extracurricular race events. It's not uncommon for him to run some 80 races each year. In addition to his Cup ride, the 19-year veteran owns several teams and races in a variety of NASCAR Series including the Craftsman Trucks, Grand National West and Southwest as well as ARCA.
"I've been fortunate to race all over the country on a variety of tracks in many different types of cars," Schrader said, "And Thunder Road's a track I've always wanted to race at. I've heard a lot about it, it's a tough old track, a handling track and I'm glad I've got the chance to actually race there," he explained.
Thunder Road's Late Model cars are also an attractive part of the package. "As co-owner of I-55 Raceway (Pevely, MO) I'm well aware of what other promoters are doing at their tracks as far as rules and the like are concerned. Over the past few years, I've followed with interest, Tom's (Curley) introduction of the crate engine and I think it will be exciting to get behind the wheel of one of those cars."
Eric Williams, always a threat to win at Thunder Road is excited to hear that Schrader is coming to the "Nation's Site of Excitement", "That's great," the Hyde Park, VT resident exclaimed when he heard of the July 21 guest competitor, "It'll be great racing with him, it sounds like a ball!" Williams stated that he didn't think Schrader would have any problems with the Late Model machine, "He races all over the country in lots of different kinds of cars, I don't think he'll have any problems. He'll notice there isn't a lot of horse power, Thunder Road's mostly momentum, but he'll be able to adjust."
ACT Tour regular and second place point man Brent Dragon agreed with Williams, "Schrader has lots of experience to draw from, he'll do well. He will find it some different though with the engine and tires we use. The crate motor is rather numb compared to a Cup engine and the tires are much narrower. Having him there to race will certainly create a lot of interest," he finished.
When asked to describe Schrader, defending Thunder Road Champion, Cris Michaud had just a few words to say, "He's a real racer." When Michaud was informed that he'll have the opportunity to run wheel to wheel with Schrader he got excited, "He's a driver who will give 100% no matter what car he's in. He'll be a threat to win once he gets some practice. I think the most difficult thing for him will be our handicap - no time trials, he's going to have to race to make the field - and from what I've heard about Schrader, that should sit fine with him."
Schrader last raced with ACT in the old Pro Stock Tour at Ontario's Cayuga Speedway, a fast 5/8th mile oval outside of Toronto. When the veteran racer, who first got behind the wheel of a go-kart at the age of three, heads to a new track he's there for the race experience, "I want to spend my time racing," he's said, "It's not only my job, but it's also my hobby. I love the time that I get to spend behind the wheel, and as long as I can, I'm going to race whenever I get the chance."
Schrader's philosophy will certainly play into the hand of experienced race watchers at the Barre, VT oval. Known for its knowledgeable race fans, the track's faithful would rather see a driver strut his stuff behind the wheel rather than stand in line for an autograph. With Schrader they'll get that and he might even win!
The Thursday, July 21 Fisher/Federated Auto Parts Trophy Dash has a post time of 7:00 pm. Spectator gates will open at 5:00, with the pit gate opening for competitors at 4:00 pm. Regular pricing will be in place for this special event with adult admission, $9.00, kids (ages 6-12) will be $3.00 and the "Family Fare", for any two adults and two kids, will be $18.00.