Chat with Ken Schrader
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, NASCAR driver Ken Schrader stops by to chat about the news on and off the track. He will also appear on Monday's NASCAR Now at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
After driving the Sprint Cup Series full-time for over 20 years, Schrader now rides part-time, mostly for his own ARCA and Truck Series teams with Schrader Racing.
Send your questions now and join Schrader Monday at 1:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:26 PM)
Ken will be here in a few minutes to take your questions!
Nick (Richmond VA)
Drivers have said that increasing the speed of the cars will make the 2car push harder to do because they cars are unstable at higher speeds. Does NASCAR listen to these comments and consider them as an option?
Ken Schrader (1:35 PM)
NASCAR always listens. They make the decision they come up with based on what everyone is saying and what they're seeing. The biggest reason we've got it right now is we have two tracks with brand new pavement and fairly new pavement. If the tracks were as rough as they used to be, they couldn't do it.
Jake (Irving, TX)
Hi Ken, it was clear that #48/#88 improved their positions by passing under the yellow line. Do you think NASCAR should dock them positions?
Ken Schrader (1:36 PM)
No. No. They weren't underneath the yello. Jimmie has his left down on it, flirting with it. That was a 100% good pass.
anglee88 (Reidsville, NC)
So happy you are backing talking about racing! I have missed you and the show on speed! What are your predictions about Dale Jr this season?
Ken Schrader (1:37 PM)
If he stays on pace the way he is, he can be one of the guys to compete for a championship. It's still early, but he left Daytona something like 24th in points and he's up to 3rd now. I really like what I'm seeing. I got to talk to him and he's definitely committed and working hard at it.
Hi Ken, do the Sprint Cup drivers think this is better restrictor plate racing then what everyone is used to watching? I find much more fun to watch
Ken Schrader (1:38 PM)
I think a lot of the drivers are really enjoying it. It's not 30 cars in a pile up right now. It's more 2 by 2 and you can control your own destiny. These guys have to focus on being smooth when they're pushing. But they're really enjoying it.
Nick (Richmond VA)
Is there anything NASCAR can do to limit the 2 car push with the new car design?
Ken Schrader (1:39 PM)
The new pavement. The push is just the draft taken to the next step. The reason it was able to take to the next step is the new pavement. If the cars were going up and down with the rough parts of the pavement. But with the new tracks, it's allowed this to take place.
Phillip (Wilmington, NC)
What happened to Tony Stewart?
Ken Schrader (1:40 PM)
Well, they've just been off their game a little bit. They've had some good runs all year and haven't been able to have the good strategy or something has happened late. They rolled the dice for some fuel mileage things that haven't worked. They need to do some work. They're 12th in points, but they don't want to be there.
Brandon M (Carolina Shores, NC)
Kenny,Being an awsome rescrictor plate racer yourself, what do you think about the new two car draft? Do you think it is better than the old pack style racing? Also, great run for your ARCA team on Saturday!
Ken Schrader (1:41 PM)
I like it. I like what we've been watching. It's making the drivers work as far as making them think about who they're going with. And making their decision about whether they're going to push or not. Junior made the commitment that he was going to help Jimmie win the race, because more than likely they weren't going to be by themselves at the end so he couldn't pull out and try to win himself.
How amazing is it that in the past 2 years JJ has won on road, short, restrictor, 1 mile, cookie cutter, flat etc.. tracks. His championships aside has any other driver ever had so much success in so many different styles of racing in such a short time?
Ken Schrader (1:42 PM)
Nobody's had that much success at all of those types of places because he's been dominating so much. It's been done in the past but not as well as he has. Jimmie has done a phenomenal job and his team also.
Who has to realistically start thinking about wins to get in the Chase now?
Ken Schrader (1:44 PM)
There are obviously guys in danger. There will be if you look at the cars that are going in and then with the most wins. You need to be in the top 10. But we're at 8 of 26 races. You need to be in there so you don't have a hole to dig out of.
Ram (Houston TX)
What a finish !!!! Do u see people getting to embrace this new style of racing with the 2 car drafting. I hated it but seeing what Jr and jj did, well let's say I can't wait till Daytona.. Tks for ur time.
Ken Schrader (1:45 PM)
I sure hope people do. We can't argue with the closeness of the finish. You can't argue with the lead changes. I like everything about it that I see. There has been some phenomenal racing. Not all people like it. But as far as good competitive racing, they've got that right now.
When we see a car in flames like Ragan or Kahne yesterday, do drivers feel that inside the car?
Ken Schrader (1:46 PM)
It depends on where the flames are coming from. Most of the time you have an idea of what's causing them. Kasey's car had all of that black smoke. He got it to where he needed to be with the fire people. You're pretty relaxed as far as getting out. You just kind of get used to that stuff.
Joe White (Charleston, WV)
Does JR win a race this year?
Ken Schrader (1:47 PM)
I would think so, yes. Here we are 8 races in and he's got 5 top-10s and 2 top-5s. Yes, he's got one pole already. I see him winning the race.
why weren't tires an issue at all yesterday ,esp. considering the issues the past few races... ? Is it the quality of the track?
Ken Schrader (1:48 PM)
Goodyear brings different tires for different tracks. They had an extremely good tire for Talladega. 95% of the time, they've got something really good for us. Sometimes we get caught off guard with weather conditions or a change in a rule. It's not normal when we have tire problems. Most of the time, we don't.
Really don't like this 2-car draft @ Dega & Daytona. Obviously, it diminishes the # of drivers who can win by half. The 2nd car no longer has a prayer of a chance if it tries to pull out and pass for the win. Think JJ would have been as thrilled were he the one pushing? I seriously doubt it!
Ken Schrader (1:49 PM)
I definitely think so. I think that's the Hendrick mindset right now. They know the better they do as an organization, the better it will be for all of them. Anyone in there would have been thrilled to see the 88 in Victory Lane. Jimmie would have been happy too. He would have been partially responsible for it.
Hi Kenny, Can you explain why Kasey Kahne's car exploded into flames like it did. Sure was glad that he was ok.
Ken Schrader (1:51 PM)
It was an oil fire from when he hit. It's only going to burn so long before it goes out. Unless you've got a hole in the tank or something, the fire will go out.
Kyle Busch (Las Vegas)
Ken, should I listen to NASCAR fans and not race NW and focus on a SCS championship or is it ok for me to win in the lower league NW and take that away from guys who don't have Cup rides and are trying to win in NW and be hated by most?
Ken Schrader (1:52 PM)
That series wouldn't be a series that sponsors and owners were looking at the drivers if the Cup drivers weren't in there running to see how they stack up. They say they're going to have a race and you show up with a legal car, you should be able to run. That series is dependent upon Cup drivers running in it.
Which is harder on a driver, the en-masse pack drafting or this two car hookup? Seems for 500 miles either one is gonna be a rough day. Thanks Ken
Ken Schrader (1:53 PM)
I'm thinking the two-car drafting. You have to stay hooked up with one another. If you're in the front, you have to do certain things to stay hooked up. These guys have stepped up their workload.
Ken Schrader (1:54 PM)
I hoped you enjoy the race as much as I did. I thought we saw a great restrictor plate race. I can't wait for Daytona.