The ASA Late Model Series Presented by GM Performance Parts has completed both days of the first ever sanctioned indoors races in the ASALMS soon to be five year history. The ASALMS has officially pulled down the curtain on the 2006 season with the Mason-Dixon/Dixieland Challenge II at the DeVos (MI) Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan and preparations are now in full effect for the upcoming fifth anniversary 2007 campaign.
From there, the Columbus, Ohio veteran would hold off late charges from Eddie Hoffman and Rederstorf to claim his first career ASALMS Feature victory.
Sunday Afternoon saw Eddie Hoffman avenge his runner-up showing from the night before as Hoffman started sixth and methodically worked his way through the pack and survived a thrilling side by side dual with pole-sitter and race long leader, Dave Klein and took the lead for good on lap 23.
Hoffman would have to fight off lapped traffic and a late charge from Glenn Gault Jr., and a surging Jason Dietsch as the Wheaton, Illinois veteran would go on to claim the Feature win!
Robbie Pyle (#94) was the big winner during the ASA LM's first running at the Mason-Dixon/Dixieland Challenge II. (ASA LM photos)
It all began Saturday night with the first of two 50-lap Features during the weekend as Dennis Rederstorf, a regular in the Pro Late Models Division at the Auto City (MI) Speedway and Columbus 151 (WI) Speedway Promoter, Pete Moore led the 19-car field to chief starter, Tim Goodlet’s green flag to begin the half century Feature.
Rederstorf beat out Moore to the tight first corner to take the early lead while the rest of the field jockeyed for position. The first of six cautions flew on lap six when Terry Schoppenhorst found himself in the turn one wall ending his evening.
Eddie Hoffman (#8) was the second event of the weekend.
The Mason-Dixon/Dixieland Challenge II, which began on Friday December 15, 2006 saw the ASALMS join in on the festivities beginning on Saturday December 16, 2006 and the series was also part of the weekend on Sunday December 17, 2006 to complete the three day extravaganza on the uniquely shaped 0.25 mile indoors flat concrete oval inside the DeVos Place.
As for the results over the weekend, Robbie Pyle, who earlier on Saturday afternoon won the ARP Bodies/Aluminum Racing Products Fast Qualifier Award, worked his way through the field from his seventh starting spot and took the lead from pole-sitter, Dennis Rederstorf on lap 16.
On the restart, Jason Dietsch was working his way through the field when contact on lap nine forced Dietsch to the rear of the field. By this time Pyle had begun working his way through the pack and on the next restart quickly found himself on Glenn Gault Jr’s back bumper and the battle for second was on. Pyle got by Gault Jr., and then set his sights on Rederstorf.
Pyle made his move on lap 17 and dove underneath Rederstorf as the field drove by the packed grandstands inside the DeVos Place to take the lead. Eddie Hoffman followed Pyle by Rederstorf and the trio pulled away from the rest of the pack with Gault Jr., soon joining them.
After a caution at the halfway point of the 50-lap Feature on lap 25 for Air Quality inside the DeVos Place. Only one more caution flew and it was the most serious incident of the night on lap 29 when Steve Vaughn got sideway and slammed the inside turn one wall hard! He was ok, but the car was done for the weekend.
The last 21 laps ran caution free as Pyle, Hoffman, Rederstorf, and Gault Jr., all drove nose to tail with each driver trying the outside and inside grooves to get around each other. Pyle was up to the challenge however as the Columbus, Ohio veteran would hold off the advances of Hoffman to score his first career ASALMS Feature win!
Hoffman settled for second as Rederstorf picked up a third place finish in his first ever ASALMS start! Gault Jr. Bob Sibila Jr., Dietsch finished sixth after being sent to the rear of the field, Moore, Jack Varney Jr., who started 19th, Mike Marden, and Josh Nelms completed the Top 10.
Pyle not only won one of the two races, but also picked up the Pole Award both nights.
Earlier in the afternoon, Pyle won the ARP Bodies/Aluminum Racing Products Fast Qualifier Award and established the time to bear with a lap measured at 11.787. Pyle’s lap equaled out to 78.743 MPH.
Sunday Afternoon saw Dave Klein and Dennis Rederstorf led the field to the green flag to begin Part Two of the Mason-Dixon/Dixieland Challenge 50 for the ASALMS. Rederstorf was turned around going into turn three which forced a complete restart.
The field got going with Klein, who won an ASALMS Northern Division event earlier this season at the Columbus 151 (WI) Speedway during the Wisconsin 151 Presented by Sign 1-1, beating out Rederstorf to the first corner to take the early lead.
One caution flew on lap three for a spin and then the next 17 laps were caution free as Eddie Hoffman patiently worked his way through the field and glued himself to Klein’s back bumper. The third caution flew on lap 20 when Bob Sibila Jr., and Rederstorf collided sending Rederstorf into the backstretch wall and Sibila Jr., to the rear of the field.
Klein and Hoffman immediately began to battle when the green came back out and the two veterans ran side by side for the next seven laps with Hoffman edging his bumper out ahead of Klein for the first time on lap 23.
Hoffman finally pulled away from Klein for good as Glenn Gault Jr., and Dietsch also drove by Klein for second and third as the Lap 30 mark was clicked off.
Rederstorf returned to the track with a damaged car and tried blending in the field but he did so right in front of the leaders bringing out the fourth caution flag. On the next restart, Hoffman began pulling away from the pack and he put on a show for the crowd with some breath taking passes on the unique 0.25 mile flat indoors concrete oval.
All the while, ARP Bodies/Aluminum Racing Products Fast Qualifier, Robbie Pyle, who started 10th after drawing the maximum 10 for an inversion, was having trouble working his way through the pack. He got up to as high as fourth, but was involved in an incident with Terry Schoppenhorst and Jason Dietsch on lap 44. Pyle and Dietsch were both given their spots back in third and fourth as Pyle now had heavy cosmetic damage.
On the next lap, Pyle’s chances for an addition $4000 on top of the $3000 be earned by winning Saturday nights Feature ended as his badly damaged ride spun in turn four. He restarted at the rear and was never a factor over the last five laps.
Hoffman still maintained the lead and on the final restart, the Wheaton, Illinois driver began pulling away from Gault Jr., and Dietsch and would take the checkered flag en route to winning Part Two of the Mason-Dixon/Dixieland Challenge for the ASALMS.
Gault Jr., held off Dietsch for second while Josh Nelms, Shaun Whitney from 14th, Klein, Sibila Jr., Schoppenhorst, Pete Moore, ad Pyle would complete the Top 10.
Hoffman came into the weekend with two victories at the Music City (TN) Motorplex and one each at the Lake Geneva (WI) Raceway and Grundy County (IL) Speedway for a total of four wins spread over the Challenge and Northern Divisions. Now Hoffman closes out the 2006 season with his fifth ASALMS Feature victory!
Earlier in the afternoon, Pyle won his second ARP Bodies/Aluminum Racing Products Fast Qualifier Award of the weekend! Pyle showed the quick way around the ¼ mile flat indoors concrete oval as he turned an 11.822 lap, which equals out to 77.290 MPH.
Now the 2006 racing season is officially over for the ASALMS. The Lexington, Michigan based series will now look ahead to the 2007 season, the fifth anniversary campaign for the fastest growing traveling series in the entire United States.
The next official event for the ASALMS will be the 2006 ASALMS Awards Banquet and 2007 ASALMS Drivers/Owners Meeting, both are set for Saturday January 20, 2007 at the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center in Louisville, Kentucky.