Colt James Kicks Off ASA LM Season With a Hometown Victory
San Antonio is the Site of Racer's First Challenge Series Triumph
The first event of the 2007 ASA Late Model Series season is now officially in the books.  The 2nd annual Alamo 200 is now complete for the crown jewel of the ASALMS, the Challenge Division.

The first race was at the fast half-mile San Antonio Speedway (TX) as the 200-lap Feature paid a larger than normal $10,000 to win and $1,000 just to start.

Colt James salutes the crowd from victory lane.  (Chuck Gonzalez / C.G. Photos / ASA LM Photos)
The Lone Star State fans went home very happy as Colt James, from near-by Buda, Texas swept the entire program by winning the ARP Bodies/Aluminum Racing Products Fast Qualifier Award and then in the 200-lap Feature, worked his way up from his ninth starting spot and took the lead from veteran Eddie Hoffman on lap 52 and went on to score the biggest Feature win of his career; It was his first ever in the ASALMS Challenge Division and second overall of his ASALMS career.

James won his first career ASALMS Feature, a Southern Division event, back on June 3, 2006 at the Southern National (NC) Raceway Park in Kenly, North Carolina. That night, James would also win the Fast Qualifier Award and then go on to win the Feature.

Veterans Peter Cozzolino and Eddie Hoffman led a stout 31-car field to Chief Starter, Joey Aycock's green flag to begin the deuce century feature in South Texas. However trouble ensued as the field made its way to turn one as rookies Kyle Eastham and Austin Siebert collided sending both into the Turn One wall forcing the first of two complete restarts.

Opening Night jitters continued as on the second restart, Jim Ross spun in Turn Two forcing the field to scramble. Finally on the third try, Hoffman edged out Cozzolino to the first corner to take the early lead while the rest of the field began to settle in behind the veteran duo.

On lap 12, the third caution of the evening flew for 17-year-old Keeton Hanks, who was making his debut with the potent Allen-Hock Motorsports Team, backing his Chevrolet Monte Carlo into the Turn Two wall. Hanks would later come back out, but was multiple laps down.
The biggest incident of the night occurred on lap 32 when a spin in the middle of the field triggered a massive 11-car pile-up in turns one and two.  Among the heavy hitters involved included; 2006 ASALMS Northern Division Champion, Jesse Smith, 2005 Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year, Brian Campbell.  In addition, Travis Dassow, who was making his debut with the T.D. Racing Development Team (The former WalTom Racing Team) was involved, as well as John Wes Townley, Jack Smith, Bill Tomlinson, rookie Michael Simko, and others. Most of the combatants involved were able to continue with various degrees' of cosmetic damage.

The field finally settled down on the full moon night in Southern Texas as Hoffman maintained his lead. Colt James patiently worked his way through the field and on lap 44 found himself glued to Hoffman's back bumper.

After trying high and low to get around Hoffman for several laps, James finally maneuvered his way around the crafty Wheaton, Illinois veteran on lap 52 to take over the lead to the roar of the partisan crowd on hand and began pulling away from the rest of the field.

Three more cautions flew, mostly for spins and single car accidents before the halfway point of the 200-lap Feature as James continued to hold down the point heading into the Lap 100, 10-Minute Halfway Break.

Hoffman was second and was trailed by Two Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year title contenders, Sean Murphy, in his first career ASALMS start, and Andy Hanson. Cozzolino slipped back to fifth and that's where he stayed heading into the pits for service.

The second half began with a bang, literally, as heading down the backstretch the
lapped car of Jack Smith was spun, which resulted in another multi-car pile-up that
knocked out three drivers, all Texans.  The three Texas based drivers were; 19-year-old
Ryan Lawler, 17-year-old Cody Smith, and 16-year-old Kyle Sirizzotti, who all saw their
nights come to an end.

James continued to set a torrid pace when the green flag came back out while Hoffman
held down the second spot. Several more cautions for spins slowed the pace and each
time, James would take advantage of great restarts to keep Hoffman and the rest of the
field at bay.

The most serious incident of the night occurred on lap 170 as Jack Smith was turned
around coming out of turn four forcing the field to again scramble.  Jim Ross had
nowhere to go and was hit by another car resulting in his machine making a direct
right hand turn into the turn four wall. He was shaken but otherwise ok and was done
for the evening.

The last of 16 cautions came out on lap 193 when Derek Thorn slowed in turn two with
a flat tire and suspension damage. This offered Hoffman one last chance to track down
James and retake the top spot.

But James wasn't to be denied as he would fend off one last charge by Hoffman to take the victory.  Hoffman settled for second in the caution plagued race as Cozzolino worked his way back up to third ahead of Murphy, Hanson. Charlie Menard, Michael Annett, Tom Smith, Tommy Grimes, and Dassow, who recovered from the Lap 32 multi-car pile-up, would complete the Top 10.

Earlier in the afternoon, James started the afternoon off right as the 23-year-old Lone Star State driver won his first career ASALMS Challenge Division Fast Qualifier Award with an 18.480. James' lap measured out to 97.403 MPH. The ASALMS Track Record in San Antonio, Texas remains an 18.469.

The GM Performance Parts Shootout was cancelled for this event as 34 cars were officially entered and after losing three during the Friday Practice Sessions, both ASALMS Co-Founder/President, Ron Varney and San Antonio Speedway C.E.O/Promoter, Terry Dickerson elected to start the remaining 31 on cars on hand for the 200-lap Feature.

The next event for the ASALMS will be the Southern Division 2007 Season Opener on Friday and Saturday March 16-17, 2007 at the Bronson (FL) Motor Speedway for the running of the Gator 100 Presented by Pennzoil.   As for the crown jewel of the ASALMS, the Challenge Division, the next event is set for Friday and Saturday March 30-31, 2007 as the Music City (TN) Motorplex in Nashville, Tennessee is the site for Race Number Two on the Championship schedule; The Spring Clash 200. Joining the ASALMS Challenge Division will be the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour and the CRA Super Series.

Second Annual Quality Pre Owned Cars and Trucks Alamo 200 Presented by Express Lube and FLF Racecars

Pos. Start Car #/Driver Laps Status
1. 9 015 Colt James 200 Running
2. 2 8 Eddie Hoffman 200 Running
3. 1 11 Peter Cozzolino 200 Running
4. 3 32 Sean Murphy-R 200 Running
5. 4 08 Andy Hanson-R 200 Running
6. 16 13 Charlie Menard 200 Running
7. 5 12 Michael Annett 200 Running
8. 18 27 Tom Smith-R 200 Running
9. 12 22 Tommy Grimes 200 Running
10. 8 89 Travis Dassow 200 Running
11. 15 45 Michael Simko-R 200 Running
12. 11 81 Jesse Smith 200 Running
13. 17 09 John Wes Townley 199 Running
14. 20 28 Jack Smith 199 Running
15. 29 61 Chris Archer-R 199 Running
16. 7 5 Derek Thorn-R 193 Suspension
17. 25 47 Chris Fontaine-R 193 Running
18. 31 77 Brian Campbell 171 Running
19. 19 114 Jim Ross 170 Accident
20. 6 15 Kris Stump 141 Accident
21. 30 111 Tom Grothues 125 Mechanical
22. 14 35 Keeton Hanks 109 Running
23. 22 18 Cody Smith-R 104 Accident
24. 13 131 Ryan Lawler 101 Accident
25. 10 93 Kyle Sirizzotti-R 100 Accident
26. 23 36 Ryan Durst-R 85 Mechanical
27. 27 115 Lloyd Alexander-R 51 Mechanical
28. 24 14 Brent Seeley-R 32 Accident
29. 21 3 Bill Tomlinson 31 Accident
30. 28 16 Austin Siebert-R 0 Accident
31. 26 20 Kyle Eastham-R 0 Accident
DID NOT START: 4 Thor Anderson-R, 24 Bryant Goldsmith-R, 71 Danny Ouderkirk

Lap Leaders: 11 Peter Cozzolino-Pole, 8 Eddie Hoffman 1-51, 015 Colt James 52-200.
Cautions: 16 for 72 Laps
Time of Race: 2 Hours 14 Minutes 05.626 Seconds

James rolls his #15 under the checkered flag.