NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series veteran Ken Schrader is expected to return to his racing roots Wednesday night, Oct. 12, when the Fenton, Mo., native competes in the Dixie Thunder Series late model portion of the Mopar Sprint Car Nationals at The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway.

A mainstay in NASCAR's premier division for more than 20 years, Schrader was a dominant force in Midwestern short-track racing prior to joining the stock car ranks. He won the USAC Silver Crown championship in 1982 and captured the USAC sprint car title in 1983. He also visited victory lane 21 times in USAC midget competition.

Schrader spends what little free time he has from the NASCAR circuit competing in short-track races across the country. His schedule normally dictates airplane trips between race tracks, but only a short golf-cart ride is required for this dirt-track/superspeedway doubleheader as the Mopar Sprint Car Nationals kicks off UAW-GM Quality 500 Week which culminates with round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The traditional sprint cars of the USAC Valvoline National Sprint Cars Series headline the Mopar Sprint Car Nationals. Defending race winner Levi Jones is locked in a torrid championship battle with defending series champion Jay Drake and veteran Dave Darland.

In addition to Schrader, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup stars Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman are among those whose success in the Indiana-based USAC sprint car series helped catapult them to national stardom.

Adult tickets for the Oct. 12 Mopar Sprint Car Nationals are $25 or can be purchased as part of the SUPER Ticket that includes four nights of racing for just $99. Tickets can be purchased online here or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.