ROME, Ga. — NASCAR and USAC Legend Ken Schrader will climb aboard Mike Vaughn’s Vaden Chevrolet Open-Wheel Modified and make his first appearance since 1984 at Rome Speedway on Oct. 10.
The Vaden Chevrolet machine is a familiar one for Schrader, and it’s a type of race car the veteran driver had a big role in its design.
“I’m looking forward to returning to Rome Speedway and driving Mike Vaughn’s Vaden Chevrolet Open-Wheel Modified on Oct. 10,” Schrader said. “Rome Speedway is a special place because of the Swims Family and what they have contributed to dirt track racing through the years. Mickey Swims always prepares a fast racy surface at Rome Speedway.”
Schrader also spoke about his long-time friendship with Mike Vaughn and what he has meant to dirt track racing in founding Crate Racin’ USA in 2005 and for 14 years building it into making racing affordable through using Chevrolet Performance Circle Track Engines, also known as Crate Engines.
These engines are built and sealed at the factory to prevent any expensive modifications.
“I’ve known Mike Vaughn for a long time, and I’ve always followed what he was doing in the development of racing with Chevrolet Performance Circle Track Engines,” Schrader said. “He was instrumental in building economical Late Model racing with the Chevrolet Performance 604 Engine, and he gave the Chevrolet Performance 602 Engine new life with Street Stocks and Late Model Sportsman race cars.”
The last project Vaughn had with Crate Racin’ USA before selling it in 2019 was to develop an economical Open-Wheel Modified and making it competitive with the 350 Horsepower all-steel Chevrolet Performance 602 Circle Track Engine. The first person Vaughn called was his friend Ken Schrader, who had a lot of experience with Open-Wheel Modifieds.
“When I called Ken Schrader and told him that I wanted to come up with an economical Open-Wheel Modified using the 602 Engine, he immediately knew what was needed,” Vaughn said. “He said I needed to go back to basics with a simple three-link rear suspension. He helped me write the rules for the division, and it has become a success.”