ANDERSON, Ind. — Anderson Speedway track president Rick Dawson announced during Wednesday’s City of Anderson Little 500 Festival that NASCAR and dirt track legend Ken Schrader will make his Pay Less Little 500 debut on May 27, driving for Brad and Tara Armstrong.
Schrader will make his asphalt sprint car debut in the Armstrong Racing No. 99, taking the reins after Tanner Swanson qualified fifth for last year’s race, but retired after just eight laps and finished 33rd.
The Fenton, Missouri native made 763 starts at NASCAR’s premier level between 1984 and 2013, claiming rookie of the year honors in 1985 in addition to four wins, 23 poles and 184 top-10 finishes over his 30-year career.
Schrader drove for some of the most notable teams in NASCAR, including Wood Brothers Racing and Hendrick Motorsports, finishing a career-best fourth in points during the 1994 season driving Hendrick’s famed No. 25 car.
He also has considerable short track experience on both dirt and pavement, having scored 18 wins in the ARCA Racing Series and numerous more behind the wheel of his UMP dirt modified at tracks across the country.
Schrader began his career successes in the open wheel ranks, however, winning the USAC Silver Crown Series championship in 1982 and following that up with the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series title the following year.
That will make his appearance in this year’s 500-lap classic at the Anderson quarter-mile a homecoming of sorts, despite the fact it will be his maiden try in a sprint car on pavement.
Schrader joins retired NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, who is driving for defending race winners Hoffman Auto Racing, as one of the notable names in this year’s Little 500 lineup.
The 69th annual Pay Less Little 500 week kicks off on Wednesday, May 24 with five hours of open practice for competing teams, all leading up to race day on Saturday, when 33 drivers will battle for 500 laps in the most grueling short track race in America.
For more information on the Pay Less Little 500, visit andersonspeedway.com/little-500.
Anderson Speedway contributed to this report.