Ken Schrader has made a living out of driving in circles.
That doesn’t mean the 54-year-old gets dizzy, though.
No, for Schrader, going ’round in circles is basically second nature.
Especially considering his 20 years of successes in the NASCAR elite series.
Schrader got his start burning rubber at the young age of 3, when his father, Bill, tied a cable from his go-kart to a post in the backyard of their Missouri home. Schrader would drive around and around in circles until his go-kart would run out of gas and he would ask his dad to fill it back up so he could continue.
“I guess you could say that I’ve been dizzy ever since,” Schrader said. “I really don’t think it is an exaggeration when I say that racing is all I’ve ever known. I’ve been racing since I could walk, and it is really all I have ever wanted to do. To be honest, I would race everyday if I had the opportunity.”
After numerous top place finishes in the Nextel Cup Series, the Craftsman Truck Series, the NASCAR Grand National West Division, the NASCAR Auto Zone Elite Southwest Series and the ARCA Series, racing everyday is almost exactly what Schrader has continued to do — especially at small race tracks around the United States.
And, on Thursday, Aug. 13, the racer will be showcasing his talent in his No. 9 Modified at Sioux Speedway in Sioux Center.
Deemed Ken Schrader Night, the semi-retired NASCAR legend will start off the evening with a meet and greet.
“Fans will be able to come down and get an autograph from Ken,” said Sioux Speedway race director Darlo Mulder. “It will be open to the first 350 people that buy a ticket.”
Schrader will then race in the Modified division, but Mulder said the night will still feature Hobby Stock, B-Modified and Stock Car races.
Following the races, Mulder said those fans who weren’t present at the meet and greet can mingle with the racer in the pits — an opportunity Mulder himself will no doubt be taking advantage of.
“I’ve always been a big Kenny Schrader fan, and I’m really excited to meet him,” Mulder said. “I’m just excited to have someone that big in Sioux Center. Hopefully it will draw a big crowd and everyone else will appreciate the opportunity, too.”
“I want to spend my time racing. 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.”
As Sioux Speedway only holds four races each season, race director Darlo Mulder tries to make each event original.
“We try to find something unique to make every night different,” he said.
Although the speedway has never featured a NASCAR legend like Ken Schrader, Mulder is quite excited for the opportunity to host such a distinguished racer.
“Usually, when tracks have a big event like this, the ticket price is pretty high, but we’re not doing that,” Mulder said. “We’re charging the normal ticket price, and that’s quite a good deal to watch someone like him race.”
What’s more, all of the proceeds from the night go towards the Sioux County Fair.
Sioux Speedway is located on the Sioux County Fairgrounds, one mile east of Hwy. 75 on Seventh Street N.E. in Sioux Center.
At a Glance:
What: Ken Schrader Night
Where: Sioux Speedway, one mile east of Hwy. 75 on Seventh Street N.E., Sioux Center
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13
Cost: $9 for adults; $5 for ages 9-12; ages 8 and under are free; $25 pit pass
Contact: (712) 441-1705
Online: www.siouxspeedway.net or www.schraderracing.com
This article appeared in the August 8, 2009 edition of DISCOVER! Magazine