Archive

Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year 2010!

December 31st, 2009

As we bring the end to another year and we start making New Year’s Resolutions that may last a week, we think back over the past year to the joys of the birth of a few future new members, some who have had some illness and are now well on the rebound. We celebrated one 21st birthday and others that have wanted to started counting backwards. Some have felt the disappointment of having to buy all new gear because their driver switched teams or sponsors and others that found the joy of true love. We have seen history with a 4th Championship in a row and other drivers that would just as well forget the season never happened. We even crowned the first 3wide Chase Champion. What 2010 holds we will not know, all we can do is pray for health and happiness in the coming days. Always remember you have the thoughts and prayers of us all during you daily routines. In the next year I hope as many 3wide members can meet one another as possible, so our worldwide “Friendship” that we have built grows even stronger. Shall we never forget those men and women in uniform that serve and protect us daily for us to have our daily freedoms.

Happy New Year!!!

From the entire Chevtech family


leftturns190

A Nutter Story: Robert Gee “Pied Piper of NASCAR”

December 30th, 2009

Along Highway 29 at the corner of Moorhead Road stood a little diner The Apollo, but across the street was Charlotte Motor Speedway. During race dates, everyone from drivers, crew chiefs and parts cleaners could be found eating breakfast or lunch. It became a magnet for the hopefuls looking for work and the break needed to get into their beloved NASCAR. From there they would be sent to a house around the corner where a tough looking big guy cigar in mouth would be working on fabricating cars.

This man was ROBERT GEE, the man who’s son in law would become 7 times Winston cup champion Dale Earnhardt and grandfather to Dale Earnhardt Jr and Tony Eury Jr. He would also play a big part in the lives of Darrel Waltrip and Rick Hendrick, along with many others helping them get a foot in the door,

Robert Gee was the best body man of his era. Independent teams would flock to him for help where he would labour over the cars as if they were his children. The cars were so well made, there was never any question as to whether they would fit the templates, as they always did.

He had no education in aerodynamics, but he could look at the race car and figure out how to reduce drag. He was a perfectionist. Its no coincidence when a youngster called Rick Hendrick needed work on his car he headed to Gee’s body shop. Mutual respect was soon forged between them, andyears later the two would come together with a fledgling HMS operation. Hendrick sponsored Gee’s dirt track car and they co-owned the Busch car in which Dale Earnhardt won Hendricks first ever NASCAR race.

Rick Hendrick employed Gee as his fabricator on the cup cars by day and Gee worked at his own shop at night working on their Busch cars. Rick thought so much of him, that when Gee suffered his strokes, Hendrick kept him on the payroll and was a fixture at the hospital. It was during those difficult times the two families grew closer together and a strong bond was formed.

Whilst working on Ken Schader’s car in January 1994 Robert Gee suffered his first stroke,then a second and fatal stroke arrived in October that same year.

Following are some of the people who got their break into NASCAR due to Robert Gee:

Brett Bodine – worked as a fabricator under Gee waiting for his ride,he became race winner and now a NASCAR executive.

Darell Waltrip – fielded his cars out of Gee’s modest backyard shop for three seasons, he went on to become three time champion.

Jimmy Makar – lived with Gee for four months when he first got into the sport, went on to be vice president of Joe Gibbs racing.

Tony Eury jr. –  at sixteen hung round his granddads shop learning the trade says “you learned the lesson, no matter what you did, you did it the best”.

Robert Jr and Jimmy, Gee’s sons, today hang bodies in Dale Earnhardt Jr’s JR Motorsports shop.

Dale Earnhardt, the former seven times champion, was married to Gee’s daughter Brenda (1971-77). He often went to his in-law for assistance. It was Robert’s connections that got Earnhardt his first ride in cup, promising owner Johnny Ray “if he wrecks the car I will sort it out”.  Earnhardt raced it to the front, but was caught up in a crash. Gee was true to his word he rebuilt the car.

Dale Jr says he felt intimidated by him. “Grandpa Gee always looked tough. Cigar in mouth, at the grill cooking, you felt if you got to near the big man he would slap the s##t out of you. He was scary for a kid. He looked like he was about to bite your head off.”  Junior finally  learned what a kind generous and gentle man his grandfather really was when he got to know him whilst Gee recovered from prostrate cancer.

After Dale Earnhardt’s death in 2001, Kelly and Dale jr. turned to Hendrick for advice. They remembered the strong bond of trust that had formed and how well their granddaddy had been treated.

Jimmy Gee remembers “People who knew my Daddy, knew what he had done in NASCAR. He just loved to help people and help get folks started. Joe public don’t have a clue the impact he had on racing. He now lives through his friend Rick Hendrick and grandsons Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Eury Jr. They do it for him, with every lap they turn on the track.

Nascarnutter

.

(G) Happy Birthday Junie! 12/31/2009 (^)

.

Prayers for Mrs. Red! :hug (F) (F) (F)

leftturns190

ChevyTech: A Christmas that will NEVER be forgotten…………

December 24th, 2009

Years ago I did a lot of volunteer work here in town I wont go into details but we were a group from all different careers both men and women that gave their time to the community. Like most parents we would give the boys many smaller presents and one special something on their wish list. This Christmas we thought would be real special for all of us, for one of the few times the wife’s Mom would be flying in for the holidays. The wife had all the small gifts wrapped and ready except for the oldest son’s special gift a new bike! All was going as planed until a week before the big day and I started in with a fever and the flu. With time running out off to Wal-Mart I went for his bike, shivering and shaking from the fever I pick out the bike he had his eye on every time he saw it. The people in the check-out must have thought I was in withdrawals from the way I was shaking. Now living in a small house and no garage we figured if I put it in my office close the door all would be safe until early Christmas morning. The plan was set and I was back in bed sick as a dog. Meanwhile the wife’s Mom came in and also was just finishing a cold and flu so the wife is running around getting the final touches to Christmas finished up and running from bedroom to bedroom caring for us both. The day before Christmas Eve I drag myself out of bed to go put the bike together. I walk into the office, my door is open and box with the bike is nowhere to be found! Everyone starts looking around searching, calling around and about that time Barry walks in and told the story. He went pale and had the look of panic on his face and said “We thought it was for the Toys for Tots collection” and they picked everything up yesterday. By this time still sick I had to come home to lie down and break the news to the wife. She starts to go off in tears and I was told “Go find a bike somehow, someway, someplace!” I told her everyone is calling and searching and if need be Al will go to the owner’s house of the local bike shop he knows. Finally around lunch time Christmas Eve day the bike was located and they were on the way to pick it up. They knew I was still sick and Ray said he will be glad to drop it off after Christmas Eve services at church around midnight. Now with me and mother-in-law sick and the boys in bed everything finally hit the wife and not wanting to be heard walked out sat in the car in the driveway and cried her eyes out part in worry because we’re sick and part in joy, when Ray and his wife pulls in the drive like Santa in a Monte Carlo with a bike still in its box sticking out of the truck.

Christmas morning arrives!!!! All the present are open and the oldest is looking for that special present that he knew Santa would bring……… surely Santa wouldn’t have forgotten. I ask him to please carry this bag of wrapping paper from all the presents and just set it on the back porch. Down hearted he takes the bag out only to see Santa hadn’t forgot after all!!!  With the patience of a saint he knew I wasn’t feeling good and didn’t want to ask me to put it together so he could go ride. He waited and when the boy’s god parents came over to exchange gifts Charles put it together. He rode that bike till the sun brought that special day to an end………….

A Christmas none of us will ever forget…………..

Merry Christmas to all of our 3wide family and may Santa make this year special for all!

ChevyTech and family

leftturns190

03champkenseth: Ross Kenseth – The Future Racer!

December 20th, 2009

Ross Kenseth is the son of Matt Kenseth.  Ross started his racing career in 1999 in Kid Kart Class at the age of 6 and finished first in points.  In 2000 he started Box Stock Class and finished 3rd his first year and the next year 2001 finished first in points.  From 2002 to 2004 he ran some races and some local dirt tracks in Wisconsin, in 2004 he won 6 races.  2005 he debuted in the INEX Legend Car Division, won one race and had 7 top 5’s.  He moved to the Limited Late Model Division in 2007.  In 2008 he competed in the Big 8 series, raced at Madison Int’l Speedway and Dells Raceway Park, he earned Rookie of the Year titles at Madison and in the Big 8 series with 6 wins and 20 top 5’s, and he was also the youngest to win at Madison in the Late Model Division, breaking his father’s record for youngest winner.

Ross’ car number is #25 and he chose this number because Matt’s number at Madison Int’l Speedway was #8 and his current #17 add up to 25, and it’s also the day of his birthday!  Ross races for his father Matt and his grandfather Roy, Generation 3 Motorsports.  Tony Stewart also had a hand in getting Ross started!  Thanks Tony!

Ross had a great year this year in 2009.  In the Big 8 series he is the champion and the youngest champion, once again beating his father’s record.  Ross had 11 wins this year and 10 top 5’s.  He also raced in the Snowball Derby this year starting 2nd but finished 12th.

Ross has to keep his grades up to be able to race and good news Ross is doing great at school all grades are B’s or better!  Ross in my opinion has done a great job at a very young age and I hope to see him racing on the NASCAR circuit in a few years.

Ross also plays Basketball for his school, he is 6′ 2″, and from what I’ve read, he does great at that also!

03champkenseth

leftturns190

Here’s a little something…………

December 17th, 2009

…. that you don’t see before the race!

From ChevyTech

.

Several times this year we’ve had race reports from a 3wide family member. So how about a different view of the biggest race of the year? Each year starting in about a week from now things would really pick up at our dealership, not in sales but incoming cars and trucks from GM plants. We were the largest volume dealer in the southeast and was not uncommon for us to get 3 to 4 car transports in a week some days we may get no loads to 2 or 3 a day. Each will hold anywhere’s from 12 little cars to 6 full size trucks or a combo of both. This time of the year our transports could increase up to 5 or 10 a day.  Each car and truck would have to have its “Maroni Sticker” checked for either our dealers name at the bottom or General Motors Corp. (a maroni sticker is the one in the window that gives ya sticker shock) The speedway would give me a list of Vin numbers, Model and color for a code to be place in each corner of the windshield, a Corvette would be Vet1 or ISC15 for a Venture Van depending on who would be receiving the vehicle. These vehicles could be an Aveo or HHR for the display tents to the Pick-up trucks for the fire trucks or clean-up duties on the track during the 500 and the Corvettes for the drivers to ride around for the crowd in pre-race. Oh I almost forgot your favorite Chevy driver and owner have to have something to ride around in for the 2 weeks they are here. So far seems pretty simple right???? Well if ya ever get a chance take a good look and a car or truck that just comes off a transport, its much like toys at Christmas “Some assembly required” GM ships cars and trucks with plastic that covers seats, carpets, door panels etc along with a package of hub caps, owners manuals, 1 key in the ignition and the other with the remotes could be in the ash tray, glove box or floating on the floor. some HHR’s have rear spoilers that have to be drilled and installed and Corvettes have front spoilers under the radiator area and all the safety trucks we installed bedliners too. I won’t bore ya with the fact the speedway wanted the navigation discs and remotes with the second key labeled and kept separate for their office. We would get about 50 ready and even with the large amount of employees the speedway has we would call in a crew of 5 drivers because the speedway wanted each vehicle washed, filled with gas and delivered to the holding area at the speedway where they would add the body wrap for the Pace Cars and Driver’s name to the sides of the car they would ride in for pre-race or issue the car for a ISC employee to use for the rest of the year. Between the end of December to a week before the Daytona 500 we would prep between 450 to 500 vehicles!!  and here’s the part that might surprise you we did it with 3 guys!!! Frank would check them in, check the list for vehicle number and tag the paper work, Jay would do the work and I would find room the park em, inspect em, call in drivers, deal with the GM Rep and Speedway Rep along with my normal duties as Used Car Service Manager to get all the used cars ready to sell at our used car lots. And don’t forget the July race we only did around 100 vehicles.

So this year when your sitting back ready to watch Sunday races remember some guy worked his tail off so the drivers can ride around the track.

P.S. Our Parts and Service Director would get tickets for the races from our GM Rep and of course he would take the tickets and have a contest in the main service department whoever had the most labor hours in a day would get 2 tickets for the race the next day. My guys got tickets for the Motorcycle races.

leftturns190

Got Stories?

December 14th, 2009

I need some stories! I got everything that was on my mind out in the last post – there just doesn’t seem to be much that’s grabbing my interest right now… ‘cept more of Junior getting outta HMS… and I think I wrote enough about that for a while. ;)

Anyway, those of you who haven’t wrote an “About Me”, go for it! We all like hearing your stories! If you don’t want to write about yourself, write something about a driver, or a fun one to hear would be what brought you to NASCAR, or why you were drawn to your favorite driver! (Y)

Maybe you have some other interesting story to tell. It’s the off season, so we can open it up a little wider to other topics, just nothing political – those are better  kept to the comment section.

Anyway, send some in! Don’t be bashful!

Have a great time with race chat in our NASCAR forum!

leftturns190

leftturns190

I Preferred Dale Earnhardt Junior To “Jeff Gordon Junior”

December 10th, 2009

In 2007, to the dismay of a lot of his fans, Dale Earnhardt Junior announced that he was moving to Hendrick Motor Sports, owned by his self proclaimed “2nd daddy” and would be driving a white #88 car starting in 2008 . Rick Hendrick claimed he would make Junior his “top priority”, and a dubious Earnhardt Nation sat back and hoped for the best. However, beyond even our worst fears, it’s been a total disaster!  Junior’s throwing away the last of his prime years with an owner who hasn’t (and in my opinion never will) supported him. What more do we all need to see before it becomes apparent that Rick’s only concern for Junior is the sponsorship money he can bring in to support his Golden Boys, Jimmie & Jeff? And beyond that, it’s just not in Junior’s DNA to be an HMS corporate drone, whether he presently desires to be one or not! It’s time for Junior to clue in that he needs to make a move and get back to what worked for him!

By the middle of his first season with HMS, 2008, it became clear that Junior was FAR from Rick’s “top priority”. After Junebug and Tony Eurey Jr. started beating Jimmie and Jeff week in and week out, Rick became alarmed that there would be no “Fourpeat” or “Drive for 5”. So, in mid season Rick took the #88 team’s ONLY engineer, Darion Grubb, and had him work on the #48 team who already had three! Junior’s performance immediately dropped, and Jimmie’s and Gordon’s simultaneously went up! Imagine that!

Everyone: the media, Rick, his drivers, his crew chiefs, even the competition say what makes HMS so great is their engineering edge over their competition. Junior and TEJ named that as one of the reason’s they were so excited to go there! Rick, Jimmie, Gordon, Knaus, LeTarte are constantly bragging about it! The competition is constantly lamenting it! So, after Junior started beating the Chosen Ones on the track every week, “POOF” the engineering support gets taken away from his team! Then the media ponders what’s wrong with Junior all of sudden? Hello!

So, you’d think that the drop in performance the 2nd half of 2008 would prompt Rick to put more resources back into the #88 team, right? Wrong! Rick proudly announces that he’s doing all he can do to make Tony Stewart’s new team successful, and that he’s giving Darion Grubb, Junior’s engineer, to Stewart HAAS as Smoke’s crew chief! Now I’m a big Smoke fan, and I’m happy for him that he acquired such a talent as Grubb for his CC, but come on! Rick said that Junior was going to be his top priority! How can he go around in interview after interview bragging about what a great guy he is for giving Smoke Grubb and other engineering support, and even more insulting to Junior, bragging about how when Jimmie struggled he brought in more engineering support for him by taking away Junior’s only engineer, and not have the obvious dawn on him that if that was so positive to Smoke & Jimmie, it was also equally negative to Junior whom he took it away from?

No one is that clueless, especially not someone as smart as Rick Hendrick! There’s no way to not realize that if giving the support to Jimmie and Smoke was a huge positive, taking it away from Junior would equally be a huge negative! Rick just demonstrated where his priorities lay, and they weren’t with Junior! After a strong first half of the season, the #88 team’s performance steadily dropped, and though they ended up making the Chase, they finished 12th in the points.

So, that’s how things lay when the 2009 season started off. Darion Grubb gone to SHR and Junior’s left with minimal engineering support for a team that’s not even driving the same chassis as his teammates at the time! It’s been disclosed that Tony Eurey felt like he was being run out of the shop and not given the support he needed. Insiders have since come out and supported that there was a lot of fact behind that feeling – that Tony Jr. was isolated at HMS and not allowed to bring in his own people and was resented by a lot of the HMS personnel he had to work with. This was the atmosphere of the #88 team starting the 2009 season, reduced effectively to a one car team driving different cars than their teammates with no engineering support!

But hey, Rick will get on the ball and do something about it right? I mean Junior being his “#1 priority” and all! Nope! No need! Rick’s a clever man! He knows he has a built in fall guy to take all the blame for his lack of support. I mean EVERYONE knows that it’s always the crew chiefs fault, right? So, as the team trudges through the first half of 2009 with poor performances, the cries got louder and louder against “that idiot crew chief  Tony Eurey Jr.”! All the while Rick sits back and offers the team no support other than cashing Junior’s sponsorship checks! Then, when the cries turn to a roar by mid season, Rick announces his sudden concern for Junior, and fires Tony Eurey Junior, letting him take all the blame for Rick’s failing to support the team! No wonder the man’s such a good car salesman! One can see why Slick Willy admired him so much and gave him that nice little pardon!

Now prior to that, Rick didn’t think the #88 team’s crew chief needed any engineering support, but I guess that only applies when the crew chief is named Tony Eurey Junior, cause he replaced Tony with FIVE engineers! (Three with the engineer label, and two with the co-crew chief label.) Now, if it was all TEJ’s fault, why all of a sudden did the #88 team need all this engineering support? With no fall guy to blame everything on, was Rick finally paying attention to his “#1 priority” and going to give it the support he should’ve been giving it a year and a half earlier? So we Junior fans hoped! However, it soon became apparent that five 4th stringers weren’t half as good as one great crew chief! HMS has a lot of resources and depth of personnel, but being on the bottom of the totem pole on a four car team, the #88 got whoever wasn’t nabbed by the three more established teams. It’s also apparent by his past behavior that Rick’s not going to make the effort required to change that. Even with some slightly positive moves made this off season, they fall way short of what’s needed – a top crew chief for starts! The only thing Junior actually had before Rick fired TEJ!

Junior needs to wake up and realize that HMS just isn’t the place for him! I know Rick has renewed his pledge to make Junior his #1 priority, but please! Been there done that for a year and a half! Junior has to clue in that anyone who would do what Rick did to him for so long has proven he’ll NEVER really support him! Junior would be naive to trust him at this point! This whole “Junior to HMS” deal smelled bad from the start. Out of the Evil Witch’s cauldron and into the HMS “Death Star”! HMS was the enemy of Earnhardt Nation! They were the “Evil Empire” to us RCR/DEI guys, and we all held our noses and hoped for the best when he announced he was moving there. But it’s just not working! He’ll never fit in! HMS’s polished, corporate atmosphere is far removed from the blue collar, family orientated culture Junior grew up with. He doesn’t fit in at HMS. They’re not his kind of people. He’s not respected there. He’s trying to go against nature: trying to make a circle fit in with a bunch of square-holes!

He’s never going to win a Championship HMS! He’ll just sink into mediocrity, and as has already started, some of his fans and of course his detractors will start talking about how he just can’t drive anymore. Most fans don’t understand that it takes a lot more than just a driver and a crew chief. If the team isn’t performing, fans think first to the CC, then to the driver. Well, changing cc’s didn’t work because that wasn’t  the problem! A lack of support from the owner was and is! And guess who that owner is going to blame next for his failings?? The driver! From the look on his face and the tone of his voice in interviews over the last few months, it looks like the owner might’ve already convinced Junior that it IS the driver’s fault!

Wake UP Junebug! You have a legion of fans who still believe you’re a great driver, but you have to stop acting the fool! Look around and see what a lot of us saw a year and half ago! You’re not getting the support you need! You need to pay more attention to what’s going on with your team off the track! A driver just can’t show up and drive the car – he has to stay on top of his team and make sure he’s getting what he needs to be successful! No other top driver would tolerate being treated like this! Stop trying to be “Mr’ Nice Guy” and/or an HMS drone! It’s way past time to stand up and do something about your situation!

Junior with his white cars is trying to distance himself from his bad arse “driver in black” father. He’s said as much in several interviews in recent years – that he wants to be the guy in the white hat in contrast to his father’s black hat reputation. Well, I for one liked Junebug a lot better as Dale Earnhardt Junior! His trying to be Jeff Gordon Junior isn’t working and is making me ill!!

It’s time to get back to your roots and your people Junior! I know there are contract issues, but surely something could be worked out to move the #88 car to a JRM Cup team, or HMS satellite SHR. Heck, you have the money to buy yourself out of a contract! Blow things up and go with my dream: a black #33*RCR car owned by someone who actually WOULD treat you  like he was your “2nd Daddy – Richard Childress! You two are the solution to each others problems – you need an owner who will do his best for you, and Richard needs the sponsorship money for his cars! RCR is your kind of culture, and your kind of people! Your old racing family from the DEI days would flock there for you!

Where ever it may be, Junior needs to make a move before it’s too late. JRM or SHR is certainly doable, even at this late date. Being satellite HMS teams, contract details could be worked out and Junior could at least have control over his own situation. Times a ticking, and so is the patience of a lot of his fans!

Sorry, I know this was a long rant, I probably should’ve waited to post this until after I had a chance to edit it tomorrow, but I hate editing my own stories! Just be thankful I didn’t get into what I feel about the whole Whanica deal! It just keeps getting worse and worse for Junior at HMS! It’s time for it to end!

leftturns190

*Now don’t get mad at me Clint Bowyer Fans… I’m a fan of his too. Clint back to the 07 and Mears down the road.

Randy's Rants

A Date Which Will Live In Infamy!

December 7th, 2009

December 7th 1941 “A Date Which will Live in Infamy” the words delivered at 12:30 December 8th 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a speech that lasted 6 1/2 minutes and shall never be forgotten. 33 minutes after the speech Congress passed a formal declaration of war against Japan and officially brought the U.S. into WWII. Many went to bed the night before not knowing that within hours some would become Hero’s and many more would make the ultimate sacrifice in the days that followed.  Word spread back in the states and over time many became unsung hero’s in their own right, building planes, tanks, anything needed in the war effort. Many others heard the call and enlisted to fulfill their duty to their country.

68 years later again we try to express our thanks to each of those men, women and their families who’s lives were changed forever that day and those un-named people behind the scenes. While today’s number of Peal Harbor Survivors dwindle we will never be able to express out thanks to them and their brothers in arms that have and currently serve us daily to give us the freedom we have today. Nor can we ever forget our allies who also fought and gave their lives hand in hand then and now.

Freedom isn’t Free and We Shall Never Forget” God Bless them all!!!

.

:usaf: :navy: :guard: :army: :usmc: :flag2:

.

Happy Birthday Kevin Harvick & Ryan Newman!!!

.

:39: (^) (G) (^) :29:

leftturns190

Chevytech: Kenny Schrader!

December 5th, 2009

Kenneth Schrader (born May 29, 1955, in Fenton , Missouri ) is a second-generation race car driver. He currently drives part time in the Camping World Truck Series and ARCA RE/MAX Series. He is also the owner of Ken Schrader Racing, and races for his team in the Craftsman Truck Series. He is a first cousin once removed of fellow NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. Schrader is married to Ann Schrader and they have two children, Dorothy and Sheldon. The family currently resides in Concord , North Carolina .

Despite having a full-time NASCAR ride for over twenty years, Schrader frequently races at local tracks between NASCAR races. He races in many racing divisions, and has been successful in any division he has stepped into. He owns a dirt late model and dirt open wheel modified car. Both of these cars, along with his Craftsman Truck Series and ARCA series cars, are sponsored by Federated Auto Parts. He owns I-55 Raceway in Pevely , Missouri , and is co-owner of Macon Speedway, near Macon , Illinois , along with Kenny Wallace, Tony Stewart, and local Promoter Bob Sargent.

Schrader began his racing career in Missouri in go-karts, before moving up to sprint cars in 1971, racing in various locations across the Midwest . In 1980 he started racing in USAC’s stock car division, and was the series Rookie of the Year. He returned to USAC’s Stock Car division in 1981, finishing third in points. In the early 1980s, Schrader moved to the USAC series, competing in its various sprint car competitions. Schrader attempted to qualify for the 1983 Indianapolis 500 but wrecked his car in practice. In the USAC series, he won four USAC sprint car races, six Silver Crown races, 21 in USAC midgets, and 24 midget races in other divisions.

Schrader made his NASCAR debut in 1984 in the Cup series, leasing out the #64 Ford normally owned/driven by Elmo Langley. He ran his first race at Nashville , qualifying 27th and finishing nineteenth in a 30-car field. He ran four more races in the 64 that season, his best finish a seventeenth at North Wilkesboro Speedway. In 1985, he signed to drive the #90 Ultra Seal Ford for Junie Donlavey full-time. He had three tenth-place finishes and finished 16th in points, winning Rookie of the Year honors. In 1986, Red Baron Frozen Pizza became the team’s new primary sponsor, and Schrader had four top-tens, including a best finish of seventh twice, and finished sixteenth in the standings in points for the second consecutive season. In 1987, Schrader won his first career pole at the TranSouth 500, where he led 19 laps and finished fifth, his first top-five. He had nine other top-tens and finished tenth in the final standings. He also made his Busch Series debut at North Carolina Speedway, finishing fifth in his own #45 Red Baron Ford at North Carolina Speedway.

In 1988, Schrader moved over to the #25 Folgers Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. In his first race, he won the pole for the Daytona 500, beginning a three-year streak in which he won the pole for that race. After failing to qualify for the following race and purchasing a racecar from Buddy Arrington, Schrader won his first career race at the Talladega DieHard 500, and finished fifth in the final standings. He won his second career Cup race the following season at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and finished fifth in the standings again. He also received his first career Busch Series win at the Ames/Peak 200.

Kodiak became Schrader’s sponsor in 1990. Although he failed to win, he collected three poles, and seven top-fives, dropping to tenth in points. In 1991, he got his third win at the Motorcraft Quality Parts 500, and his final win to date at Dover International Speedway. He had nine total top-five finishes and finished ninth in the final points standings. In 1992, he dropped to seventeenth in the standings after posting eleven top-tens. The following season, Schrader returned to ninth in the points and won a career-high six poles. He had his career-best points finish in 1994, when he finished fourth. He also won his most recent Busch race at Talladega .

In 1995, Budweiser became Schrader’s primary sponsor. He won his final pole with Hendrick at Pocono Raceway and dropped back to seventeenth. He survived a horrifying crash in the DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. After he improved only to twelfth in the standings in 1996, Schrader left the organization.

He signed to drive the #36 M&M’s Pontiac Grand Prix for MB2 Motorsports. In his first year of competition, Schrader had two top-tens and finished eighteenth in the standings. He posted five top-tens in 2001, but dropped to nineteenth in the standings. During the Daytona 500, he was collected in a final-lap crash where Dale Earnhardt lost his life, the image of Schrader peering into Earnhardt’s car, only to jump back and frantically signal for assistance, is etched into the minds of many racing fans; his interview with Jeann Zelasko during Fox Sports’ postrace show was the first sign to many that something was terribly wrong with the seven-time Winston Cup Champion, as he appeared visibly shaken and, upon being asked if Earnhardt was okay, stated “I don’t know, I’m not a doctor”.

Despite an original lack of sponsorship, Schrader was announced as the driver of the #49 BAM Racing for 2003. Soon, 1-800-Call-ATT became the team’s primary sponsor. One memorable moment from the season was early in a race at Pocono Raceway, when he spun around in Turn 1 and smacked the wall hard with the rear end of his car, flipped once, then came to rest on the apron of the track in flames.

In 2006, Schrader drove the #21 Little Debbie/Motorcraft/United States Air Force Ford for Wood Brothers Racing. In 2007, he ran a part time schedule with the Wood Brothers, sharing the ride with rookie Jon Wood. After the team fell out of the top-35 in owner’s points, Bill Elliott became their new driver until the team returned to the top 35. Schrader returned to BAM Racing at Indy, and later regained his spot with the Wood Brothers beginning at Loudon, before being replaced again by Elliott late in the year. Schrader also drove seventeen races in the Craftsman Truck Series for Bobby Hamilton Racing in the #18 Fastenal Dodge, earning two top-five finishes.

Schrader returned to BAM Racing in 2008. However after making only 2 of the first 5 races, BAM Racing switched to Toyota . After the 6th race of the season at Martinsville , where Kenny qualified the new Microsoft Toyota in 7th place and finishing 37th, BAM Racing decided they needed to sit the next 2 races out in order to complete a fleet of the new Toyota cars. After the 2 weeks, it was announced that a primary sponsor had backed out of its deal, leaving BAM Racing and Kenny with no other option but to temporarily suspend operations.

Schrader qualified a fourth Richard Childress Racing entry into the Coke 600 in May. He qualified the #33 Camping World sponsored Chevy in the 33rd position, and finished 33rd. Schrader signed a multi race deal in August that would allow him to share a seat with Joey Logano for Hall of Fame Racing in the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota in various races through the end of the year. It was later announced that he would split the 2009 Cup schedule with Phoenix Racing’s #09 car alongside Brad Keselowski, Sterling Marlin, and Mike Bliss, but never ran. He made two starts in the Truck Series for himself, and seven starts in the ARCA series with six top-tens in 2009.

Would be nice to see Kenny get a good ride for the 2010 season or get more time in the broadcast booth.

In Sprint Cup:

4 Wins  184 Top tens  23 Poles

In Nationwide:

2 Wins  39 Top tens  5 Poles

In Camping World series:

1 Win  30 Top tens  1 Pole

leftturns190

Karfil: Strangers in a strange world

December 1st, 2009

Hello all 3Wide members, this is how my story begins …

3 years ago (middle of 2006) I was suddenly surprised by the announcement that my favorite driver would go to the USA to race NASCAR. Although I like him a lot, followed his career several years and saw him race once in Belgium, my first thoughts were “what the #%^! is Nascar?”. Never heard of this kind of racing, didn’t know what to expect, and so on.

So that first year, I followed him on the internet (Nascar.com, Fox sports,…), looking everywhere to find something about him. Which what was not that easy since I don’t receive any American tv over here.

In 2007 I started to get more into it and followed each week the race on the leaderboard of Fox sport and also set my first steps into this world by starting chatting to other people of Fox. You would believe what I sometimes had to put up with of comment, but it didn’t bothered me because I had my believes in him and there were also plenty of nice people to chat with. They taught me more and more about Nascar and it was fun. Still the thing that bothered me the most was, that I could only follow figures and no images. But unexpected he collected his first victory.

In 2008 lots of people I met on the internet were complaining about the stupid and rival comments on Fox, so a few of them started their own site, which is already known by a lot of people as 3 Wide Alley. Surprisingly they invited me too to join and the small family started to grow. The fun about this all, is that each member supports a different driver but they respect each other (even when some drivers do stupid things during a race). During this year I also find unexpected a site on the internet where I could follow the races live and man I can tell you Nascar really got to me. Starting by rooting for 1 driver I know have several favorite drivers, but the main one will always be the best one for me.

This year I have followed each year all races live except for one, due to medical issues and what’s more even my wife is slowly getting into it. Not so really for the races but for all the nice people over here.

My driver did very well this year and I’m happy that he has achieved this in 3 years, but he still needs to go a long way but I keep hoping he’ll make it one day. So fingers crossed and hoping for next year.

But what I really want to mention also is, how this all has grown. Never thought that the interacting has become a little more then just race talking but also, although the distance is very long, about carring for each other. My wife and I had some problems lately, but never imagining that these people supported us (especially my wife) in these difficult times. You all can’t imagine how it helped her through the lonely evenings.

So thank you all for this and letting us be a part of this family. We hope that this can continue for several years.

And at last I wanna say a few words on behalf of myself and the wife : “ KP hang in there and become better, we miss you big guy”

3 Wide Alley, thanks !

Hope you enjoy it.

See ya’ll later on 3Wide.

Karfil

(^) Happy Birthday Tonysgurl!!! (^)

leftturns190