A couple of weeks ago after it was announced that the second American Speed Association Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment event of the 2009 season would be named the "Joe Shear Classic," Steve Einhaus had a message on his phone. The ASAMT Vice-president had a message from three-time NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip.
Waltrip was interested in supporting the event named after the popular driver who passed away in 1998. He raced with Shear in many ARTGO and ASA events during the 1970's and 80's including multiple events at Madison International Speedway back when it was known as Capital Super Speedway. The last time the two competed together at the famous half-mile oval was at the ASA/ARTGO Challenge Series event on June 19, 1984.
"Although I didn't know Joe as a personal friend, I knew him as a special friend of mine in racing. He was a quiet man and did his talking on the track in that beautiful #36," Waltrip stated. "I have a great respect for someone so great and yet so humble. His pursuit of excellence is something I'll always remember, he was a "racers racer" and in the racing world thats one of the best compliments you can get. God Bless Joe Shear and his entire family."
For the May 3rd event, Waltrip will be sponsoring the Joe Shear Hard Charger Award. Shear was well known for starting near the back of the starting field and quickly working his way to the front. Many will never forget when he won his eighth National Short Track Championship at Rockford Speedway in 1997 where he overcame adversity to take home what would become his last feature win.
The driver who passes the most cars in the 136-lap event will win a bonus of $536 that Waltrip personally contributed. The fast qualifier will be the only driver to have the opportunity to start last and go for the bonus by passing the most cars. Ultimately, its who passes the most cars that will win the bonus.
"To have someone like Darrell Waltrip contact us about being a part of this event says a lot about the impact Joe Shear had on his competitors," Einhaus stated. "He earned respect and this is a perfect example of how he will always be remembered."
He also will sponsor the Darrell Waltrip Excellence Award that will be given to a driver that shows a special "Excellence in Racing." An award that he hopes to continue as an annual award.
"The event just keeps getting bigger and better and we are putting every thing that we can into the payout and bonuses for this event, all in honor of the #36. Darrell told me that he has always wanted to do this award for short track racing and for our series and the Joe Shear Classic to be selected is a tremendous honor," Einhaus said. "He wants to do this every year for the Joe Shear Classic, it just shows the type of person that Darrell Waltrip is, he hasn't forgotten about short track racing, and he's a class act."
The "Joe Shear Classic" will be on Sunday, May 3rd at Madison International Speedway located in Oregon, WI. Qualifying will begin at 2 p.m. with racing at 4 p.m.
The BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet will also be competing in the Joe Shear 38 that afternoon as well.
For more information on MIS, please visit their site at www.madisoninternationalspeedway.com.
To learn more about the American Speed Association Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by Echo Outdoor Power Equipment log on to www.asamidwesttour.com or call the ASA Midwest Tour office at (262) 514-3880 or e-mail Tim Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Steve Einhaus at email@example.com.
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