Schrader Talks Dirt Newcomers, Regulars and Ringers for Eldora Veteran NASCAR and dirt racer Ken Schrader joined Dave Despain Sunday night on WIND TUNNEL to discuss Wednesday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway. Following is a transcript of the interview.
FOX Sports’ SPEED offers comprehensive coverage of NASCAR’s return to dirt racing for the first time in more than four decades, beginning Tuesday with live coverage of Truck Series practice at 7 p.m. ET, followed by qualifying on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. SPEED sets the stage for the race Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET with NCWTS SETUP with Krista Voda, following by live coverage of the race at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Q: How will your truck be different from the trucks we see on pavement in all the other series’ races? What will change for this race?
Schrader: “You’re changing a little bit of suspension settings, but you can’t change anything; you can’t do a four-bar anything like that as far as the Late Models or Modifieds run. You run your regular NASCAR truck just like you’d take to Martinsville. It will be sprung a little different. The shocks are different and dirt tires on it, but we’re just going with our normal stuff. NASCAR won’t let us make any big changes, which is good.”
Q: Eldora is a pretty intimidating place, but you’re one of the guys who has mastered it in the past. Given your experience, what advice would you give those who don’t have a lot of laps on dirt to help them through the evening?
Schrader: “When Tony (Stewart, Eldora Speedway owner) first started doing the Prelude (to the Dream), there were a lot of guys who went there that didn’t have much dirt experience either, and they picked it up quick. These guys are so used to these vehicles, I think they’re going to adapt pretty quick. You can’t run them sideways like you get to watch all the good, fun dirt cars do. You’re not going to be able to run the trucks that much sideways. But I guess if I was going to tell them one thing, if you think you’ve got a foot between you and the wall, maybe you ought to just leave two-and-a-half.”
Q: Are the series regulars in danger of being embarrassed by the dirt-track ringers -- you, Kenny Wallace, Scott Bloomquist and maybe Kyle Larson? Is it likely a dirt guy is going to win this race?
Schrader: “I’d stack the deck against the regulars. I think some of the guys who have experienced dirt will run pretty good but the regulars will figure it out. We have four hours of practice Tuesday night (July 23) and an hour-and-a-half of practice before we qualify Wednesday, so I think the regulars will be good. It’s just like the old days when all the road race ringers came into the Cup Series. They always ran good, but it was always one of the regulars who was sitting in Victory Lane.”
Q: Who do you like for the win?
Schrader: “Well, we’re going up there with our Federated Auto Parts truck to win that race and if we don’t by some chance, I don’t really care who does (laughing).”