Luck Runs Out On Schrader

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Ken Schrader and the “M&M’s”® Racing Team were hoping that luck would be on their side in the MBNA 400. With a strong qualifying run on Friday, the “M&M’s”® car was slated to start 15th and looked poised for a solid run in Sunday’s race. But the “M&M’s”® Racing Team’s luck quickly disappeared after the green flag fell.

Schrader and the team held their starting position during the opening laps of the race. When the first caution flag waved, the “M&M’s”® Racing Team elected to take only two tires and fuel in hopes of gaining track position. But the strategy backfired as Schrader began to immediately fall back through the field. The No. 36 “M&M’s”® car was way too loose on the new tires.

During the next pit stop, the “M&M’s”® crew worked to alleviate Schrader’s loose handling condition by making some major adjustments to the No. 36 car. When Schrader returned to the track, Schrader reported that the car was now too tight.

By the mid-way point of the race, Schrader had fallen one lap down to the leaders and was in 22nd place. With little room to make up due to the lost lap, Schrader remained in 22nd position over the next 150 laps. By lap 370, Schrader had moved up to 20th place.

But the “M&M’s”® Racing Team’s luck ran out just two laps later. At lap 372, Schrader radioed the crew that the No. 36 car had major problems. The track bar had broken which caused the rear end gear to sway back and forth which in turn caused the drive shaft to split in half. Schrader barely made it to pit road before the No. 36 car stopped completely. The damage ended the day for the “M&M’s”® Racing Team as they finished 36th.

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