ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour Embarking On Huge 2008 Debut Season
15 Points Races and Television Package Will Highlight New Late Model Tour In ’08
For years, short track racers wanted to make it to one particular level. That was the now defunct ASA National Tour, which helped launch many careers in the world of NASCAR, including Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Alan Kulwicki, Dick Trickle, Jimmie Johnson and Reed Sorenson, and made stars of short track legends such as Butch Miller, Mike Eddy, Bob Senneker and Gary St. Amant. Now, those who never had a chance to get to run in the old ASA National Tour will get a second shot at it of sorts, thanks to the introduction of the new ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour.
The new ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour will debut for Super Late Models and Pro Late Models in 2008 with a 15-race schedule and three additional non-points events. The series will also have an extensive television package, with 11 televised events on major networks east of the Mississippi and throughout the Southeast, which will reach at least 32-million households.
“What we would really like is to get back to what the old ASA had; it was a good developmental series for any driver,” said John Kee, Marketing Manager for the ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour. “They can come race with us and run a number of different tracks. We want this to be a good place for the crews too. One thing we’d like to see
happen is put more emphasis on finding good crew members who can set up a racecar for these types of tracks. The old ASA tour produced a lot of successful crewmembers as well as drivers. This can be a developmental series for them as well.”
The schedule includes 15 points-paying races, beginning with Mobile International Speedway Saturday, March 22nd. The track, which is based in the heart of the deep south racing community, draws some of the best drivers from around the Southeast. From there, the series will move to two Georgia tracks, Watermelon Capital Speedway and South Georgia Motorsports Park.
The series will also visit several prominent short tracks, including former ASA competitor Mike Cope’s Bronson Motor Speedway, Hickory Motor Speedway, Senoia Speedway, Dillon Motor Speedway, Music City Motorplex, Concord Motorsport Park and Anderson Motor Speedway. The series will also host one road course event, coming at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC. Watermelon Capital, Hickory and Concord will host two events each, with Concord holding the final point-paying event of the season.
“The biggest thing about this schedule is that we’ve tried to put together a variety of tracks when it comes to size, speed and challenge,” added Kee. “That is evident in having places like Hickory, with the history of the place; Concord, with the high speeds and three different turns (more details forthcoming); and the road course in South Carolina. We’ve got plenty of traditional tracks as well. We’ve got fast tracks and we’ve got tracks that are finesse tracks.
“The road course sticks out of course. I think it will create a lot of excitement. We are going to have guys do a lot of breaking and shifting. The track is being repaved as well, and they are widening the turns, so that will make for some good racing. It is being done at the suggestion of the Cup teams that use that track as a testing facility.”
There will also be three non-points events, including one at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, which will be a conjunction event with the ASA Midwest Tour, plus two other major events to be announced in the weeks to come.
“I love that some of the tracks are so historic, like Hickory and Concord. We know that we’ve had a lot of big names in racing go through there and race. I want to get to the point that people really realize the heritage of this sport. Guys like Darrel Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, Alan Kulwicki and so many others raced many of these same tracks. People need to realize the heritage of this tour.”
The series will also see some new found life in the introduction of a television package, spearheaded by veteran television broadcaster Rick Benjamin and his Carolina Productions company. The exact specifics of the television package and the networks included will be announced soon.
“From the outset, I’ve wanted to get ASA back on television,” said Kee. “A lot of people remember watching ASA and watching some of these guys come up through the ranks. When we first started talking about this, one of the biggest things we wanted to do is get back on TV. Television serves many purposes. It helps build fan favorites and it helps them get used to following these guys and their careers, and to also help some of our guys get sponsorships. The TV aspect of this is very important to help people realize that this is great racing. If you go to an ASA Southeast Tour race, or a PASS race, or the Snowball Derby, you see some great racing. This is some of the best racing out there. That is another important reason to getting it on TV.”
More announcements about the ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour will be released in the coming weeks. The series rules are already available for downloading at the series official website, www.asasoutheastasphalttour.com. The website is currently being redesigned and will be re-launched in the near future.
The ASA SAT rules package will allow Super Late Models, like the cars of the ASA Midwest Tour (Top) and Pro Late Models (Below) to run together.
The series is not a Crate Late Model tour only. In fact, one thing the series’ officials want to make sure competitors know is that the ASA Southeast Tour will be open to a number of different engine/weight combinations, including crate, spec and built engines that utilize both two-barrel and four-barrel carburetors.
“I’ve heard people say you are a Crate Late Model tour, but that isn’t true. There are a number of variations that can run with us, mostly based off of weight. I don’t want people missing out thinking this is just a crate engine tour.
“We are not trying to gather our own little group that only runs with us. We want this series to be open for everyone. When we go to regional tracks, we want local guys to be able to run with us, even if they don’t tour full-time with us.”
For more information on the ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour, contact Jeremy Troiano at (704) 788-2134 and be sure to visit www.asasoutheastasphalttour.com for all ASA Southeast Tour news. For technical and rules and information on the entire series, call Micky Cain at (678) 373-9851.
2008 ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour Schedule
March 22Mobile Int’l Speedway (Under Neg.) Mobile, AL April 5Watermelon Capital SpeedwayCordele, GATelevision April 26South Georgia Motorsports ParkValdosta, GATelevision May 10Bronson Motor SpeedwayBronson, FL May 17Hickory Motor SpeedwayHickory, NCTelevision May 31Senoia SpeedwaySenoia, GA June 14Dillon Motor SpeedwayDillon, SCTelevision July 5Music City MotorplexNashville, TNTelevision July 19Iowa Speedway (non-pts)Newton, IATelevision July 26Concord Motorsport ParkConcord, NCTelevision August 16Anderson Motor SpeedwayAnderson, SC August 30South Carolina Motorsports Park (RC)Kershaw, SCTelevision September 13Watermelon Capital SpeedwayCordele, GA September 20Hickory Motor SpeedwayHickory, NC October 4Concord Motorsport ParkConcord, NCTelevision October 18Under NegotiationTBA October 24Under NegotiationTBA November 8TBA (SEAT & ASAMWS Combined)TBATelevision