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 12:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (12:18 PM)
NASCAR Now's Ken Schrader will be here at 12:30 p.m. ET to take your questions!
Buzzmaster (12:29 PM)
Ken is here!
Danny McCoy (LV)
Kasey Kahne might not officially be JJ's teammate yet, but he sure did a great job of sealing the win for the 48 with that terrible restart. Very disappointing not to see a Kahne put up any type of fight for the win.
Ken Schrader (12:30 PM)
I don't think over one point that he would do that. Let me tell you, restarts, you've got 900 HP and hot tires, I don't buy that. I think it was legit and Jimmie got a better restart.
So think the Field is sweating now the 48 is getting fired up?
Ken Schrader (12:30 PM)
If they're not they should be. I would definitely be. It looks like they had him beat down a little bit and they bounced right back to what they're capable of. They should definitely be concerned.
Is 20 points too much to make up in the time remaining? How about 40?
Ken Schrader (12:31 PM)
20 points, you have to really do a lot of stuff good. And some of the other guys still have to have some problems. 40 points, I think you're out.
We can safely say that Denny Hamlin is pretty much done, can't we?
Ken Schrader (12:32 PM)
Yeah. It gets to the be the point where you can't do well enough. The other guys have to have problems and they're not all going to have problems.
Who is your pick for Charlotte?
Ken Schrader (12:33 PM)
It's so hard to pick because of how competitive it is. We've seen someone's fortunes change throughout the race. But if I'm going to have to pick one car, I'll pick Jimmie.
Jim Stevens (Wilmington,DE)
Do you think that the 24 of Jeff Gordon still has any chance to win the championship?
Ken Schrader (12:33 PM)
At 47 points back, I have to go with no. Unfortunately. I think they've had the speed to contend for this championship. I was looking forward to them racing for it. But at that many points back, they're done. I think there's a cutoff between 8 and 9.
When will Kyle Busch finally shine in the chase?
Ken Schrader (12:34 PM)
I don't know. From what we've seen, October and November is not when he does shine. We know that team has lots of speed. There are only a couple of guys out there with Kyle's talent. but they haven't been a late season team. It's hard to say.
Kenny do you think Gordon is done this year and are you surprised they were no more of a factor seeing how good they ran during the year?
Ken Schrader (12:35 PM)
Well, he's 47 points out now. Yesterday he lost many. I think he was going to be a factor and yesterday did him in.
Ken Schrader (12:36 PM)
There is a big difference between never having the speed and having the speed and having a little problem now and then. He's had the speed.
Another Nationwide race, another boringly dominant day for a Cup regular. Click, on to the next channel. When is NASCAR going to realize they're killing interest in the lower series?
Ken Schrader (12:37 PM)
I'm a big supporter of, if there's a race, anybody who wants to come race should be able to. There wouldn't be sponsors with some of the teams and the number of people that's employed and the TV package if it wasn't for the Cup drivers who are in it. For those guys to get better and improve, they need to know how fast they are. When those Cup guys come in, they know how good they are.
Do you think this new Chase points system will make this the tightest Chase race yet?
Ken Schrader (12:38 PM)
Yes, it will be. I believe so. It's just no gap. Before, the difference between once you fell out of the top 6, it was 3-5 points. Now it's one point. More cars going into the last race with a chance.
Ken, Just when you think he is done......Jimmie Johnson is 4 pts out of the lead in the Chase. While his run winning 5 straight championships is impressive and unprecedented, do you think the powers that be in NASCAR such as Mike Helton are privately rooting against Johnson to win number 6 in a row for the good of his sport? Is the NASCAR hiearchy worried about fans losing interest in a sport dominated by 1 driver?
Ken Schrader (12:40 PM)
Well, there might be some people rooting against him, but all they can really do is root against him. If they could manipulate things and not make him the champion, then Junior would have already won a couple of championships. They do a wonderful job of officiating those races. They have too many people watching to try and manipulate things. They might be rooting against him, but they want someone winning fair.
Jim Boese (Pensacola, FL)
What's up with Dale Jr. ... it doesn't matter who is crew chief is or was he just doesn't seem to have the same gusto for racing as other drivers do. Usually qualifies somewhere in the middle of the pack and finishes in the middle of the pack. Can't keep blaming crew chiefs and cars, so what's his problem?
Ken Schrader (12:42 PM)
That's the million dollar question. I guarantee you if Mr. Hendrick knew exactly what to do, he would do it. But it's tough. We've seen definite improvement in that team this year, but they still have a ways to go to be a contender. It's not through lack of effort or ability. Something is holding him back.
Mike Daly (Wakefield, MA)
Should more tracks do what Talladega is doing in paying a big monetary bonus for fighting for the lead the hardest in a race?
Ken Schrader (12:43 PM)
Well, it wouldn't work at all of the tracks as effectively as it works at Talladega. There have been 88 lead changes already. They're just saying, if you get us 12 more, they'll give $100,000 to the guy who leads the most. I think it's pretty cool what they're doing.
I"m kinda stumped on this 2 tires vs 4 tires. How can a car be faster on older tires when it is proven that during qualifying the first lap is always faster than the second lap?
Ken Schrader (12:44 PM)
The car is not really faster with two tires than four tires. But the track position overcomes the speed difference. We'll see a lot of difference cars with two tires, if there are some of them up front, they'll get away and the car that got four will catch up eventually, but it will take some time. He has to pass 6 cars to get back there. Track position is the main thing. They're not faster.
Ken Schrader (12:45 PM)
The cars are so dependent on down force that when you get up there and you're in the top 2-3 rows and you're not in the middle of the cluster, you've got cleaner air.
Michael (Flower Mound)
Is Kyle Busch overrated?
Ken Schrader (12:46 PM)
Well, I don't think he's overrated at all, because of what he's done. His statistics and records speak for themselves. They've just got a weaker area they need to work on. When they get that figured out, oh boy, it will be big.
Ken Schrader (12:46 PM)
I really enjoyed watching yesterday's race. I'm amazed. I wasn't convinced the 48 was out, but I was thinking that they may have worn themselves out. They'll make it interesting for the rest of the year!
Buzzmaster (12:47 PM)
Thanks for chatting Kenny!