Ken Schrader races into Alaska for the first time
He knows all about life in the fast lane
"Let's give a big Alaska welcome to Federated Auto Parts sponsored, NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader," as the call goes out over the public address system at Alaska Raceway Park.
Schrader has competed on tracks around the country, but his appearance in Palmer gave him his first opportunity to entertain fans in the Last Frontier.
"We got a phone call about the possibility of coming up, and sounded like an opportunity we couldn't pass on," said Schrader.
He and professional racing have been together for 34 years. Schrader posted 18 wins during that time, including the 1988 Talladega 500.
The NASCAR-sanctioned oval track at Alaska Raceway is in its third season, and Ken Schrader's appearance is a highlight.
"We built a world-class facility, and now we have a couple of years under our belt; now, we're starting to see some racers come in-- like Kenny Schrader," said Michelle Maynor, whose family owns the track.
"Just a phenomenal facility! Man, can't wait to come back sometime," said Schrader.
He plans to spread the word to his friends in NASCAR.
"It's a beautiful trip, you just need to go up," Schrader said.
This race is also significant for him. This time Alaska is the 48th state, as only two states are left in the country for the well-traveled racer to drive.
"Hawaii and Rhode Island, Hawaii's not a problem, and there's not currently a track in Rhode Island," said Schrader.
He raced for only one night, but fans haven't seen the last of him.
"Such beautiful country-- met some wonderful people, I want to ride my motorcycle back and spend some time," Schrader said.
Alaska Raceway has been referred to as the view with a race track. It's what brought Ken Schrader here to what he does best.
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