ANDERSON — Veteran racer Ken Schrader said he wouldn’t have returned for the 70th running of the Pay Less Little 500 is he didn’t want to be here.
I want to be here,” Schrader said Wednesday before testing at Anderson Speedway for the May 26 classic driving for car owner Brad Armstrong.
In his first ever sprint car race on pavement Schrader started 25th and finished 10th completing 488 of the 500 laps.
“It was pretty much what I expected last year,” Schrader said. “I was caught off guard by how big an event this is.
“When I was racing in USAC we always ran the Night Before the 500 at IRP (Lucas Oil Raceway),” he said. “USAC wasn’t running pavement then and I never had the opportunity to get up here.”
Schrader said competing in the Little 500 was not on his bucket list.
But when I got a telephone call last year I instantly said no,” he explained. “I thought about it a little bit and decided to try it. I had a lot of fun, I wanted to come back and do better.”
Schrader said the 500 laps at the high banked quarter-mile oval was no more physically demanding then racing 500 laps at Bristol or Dover.
“You can run 500 laps at Bristol or Dover and you have to deal with the heat,” he said. “There was no heat here. “You know you did something at the end of the day.” Schrader said like in any race he tries to get into a rhythm during an event.
“It’s pretty close to Bristol,” he said of Anderson Speedway. “Like Dick Trickle used to say it’s like flying a jet in a gymnasium.”
Schrader said at the end of the 2017 race car owner Brad Armstrong asked if he wanted the seat out of the sprint car.
“I said no,” he smiled “I’m not committing, but I’m not saying no.” Schrader said he returned to finish better in the Little 500.
“The plan is to be more aggressive, but you have to finish,” he said. “I’m coming back to run better.”
During his long career, Schrader has competed in almost every form of racing on dirt and pavement from late models, modifieds and stock cars. A year ago, Schrader competed in 65 events.
Schrader is no stranger to the high-banked quarter-mile oval, recalling he won the first USAC Regional Midget Race at Anderson Speedway. He also has competed at the track in an ARCA and ASA stock car and a modified over the years.
Schrader has seven wins in NASCAR’s top three divisions with his last race taking place in 2013. He is a former Silver Crown and Sprint Car champion with USAC.
To purchase tickets for the 70th Annual Pay Less Little 500 presented by UAW-GM you can call (765) 642-0206 ex.21 or stop in the track. All tickets are $40 per person and all seats are reserved.
Entry List: http://andersonspeedway.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2018-OFFICIAL-ENTRY-LIST.pdf