ASA & SRL TEAM UP TO HELP FIND A REPLACEMENT SERIES FOR ELITE WESTERN TEAMS
With Southwest and Northwest Series Going Away After '06, a New Market is Born
“The decision by NASCAR to divest of the Elite Divisions came as a big surprise to many, and for that reason, we are in the process of formulating the ASA / SRL Super Late Model Tour as a place for teams and drivers to continue to race using their current equipment and rules,” said Steve Fensler, SRL Director of Operations for Late Models. “Ironically, we had previously discussed this concept long before the announcement, but this large void for the teams and tracks led us to hasten our plans for the new ASA / SRL Super Late Model Tour and to continue the history of close, exciting racing and driver development that the Elite Divisions had provided for so many years.”
A partnership is being formed for 2007 between former
Indy Racing League and Indianapolis 500 competitor Davey Hamilton, Steve Fensler / Director of Operations for the SRL, and ASA’s Dennis Huth, which will form the ASA / SRL Super Late Model Tour based on the existing SRL’s Wild West Late Model Shootout.
“The SRL Wild West Late Model Shootout will continue as planned in 2006 and beyond, but under the ASA affiliation which will offer the drivers greater national exposure and an enhanced insurance package,” Hamilton said. “We are still finalizing the schedule, but it should be similar to this year which had 12 events. Then in 2007 we will roll out the enhanced SRL Super Late Model Tour sanctioned by ASA which will allow those currently in the Southwest and Northwest Tours a way to stay on the track using their equipment.”
While the 2007 plans are still being formalized, the initial concept is to have two divisions based on geography (like “North” and “South” divisions) each with their own schedule. Then, during the course of the season, there would be some ASA / SRL Super Late Model Tour Shootout events pitting competitors from both divisions together.
“The SRL Super Late Model Tour sanctioned by ASA will be a final destination series for many, but also an excellent stepping stone for those drivers and teams that are planning on advancing their careers in stock car racing,” explained Dennis Huth, president of the ASA Racing program which would sanction the ASA / SRL Super Late Model Tour. “The opportunity will be there to learn and gain experience and then move up the ladder to the NASCAR Grand National West Series if that is the desire.”
Teams from the NASCAR Southwest and Northwest Tours might have a place to race in 2007 and beyond after all. (51 Photo)
With NASCAR’s recent announcement that the four Elite Divisions would be shut down for business reasons following the 2006 season, many teams were left wondering what would happen to the highly popular West Coast touring divisions. Though the details still need to be finalized, one group, the SRL Stockcar Racing League and American Speed Association, is planning on having a home for them starting in 2007.