Bires and Sauter Enter ASA Midwest Joe Shear Classic
Madison Race Will Start Off '09 Season This Weekend
By Kevin Ramsell, ASA MW Tour PR Report
Two central Wisconsin drivers will be coming home to compete in the Joe Shear Classic this Sunday at Madison International Speedway. Mauston's Kelly Bires and Necedah's Johnny Sauter will join an elite field of Super Late Models drivers to compete in the American Speed Association Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment season opening event.

Bires, who recently finished fourth at the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Nashville Super Speedway in a Kevin Harvick owned #33, will be competing in a Super Late Model prepared by his brother Chris Bires and will be a teammate to ASAMT Touring Star Tim Schendel. "My brother called me and asked if I wanted to come and race. Its a good opportunity, a good car. Its a premiere late model series in the region right now and I cannot wait."

This will be Bires first event in the ASAMT, a series that is catching a lot of attention at NASCAR shops in North Carolina, "Its the most competitive late model series in the country," Bires exclaimed. "Just talking to other NASCAR drivers, they have mentioned it. Some don't realize the strong competitors they have running in the series. Its definitely the best of the best."

One of the drivers that was asking him questions was Kevin Harvick, who gave Bires the opportunity to drive his Nationwide Series car at Nashville. "The week of the Nashville race, I was up at Kevin Harvick Incorporated. Kevin was asking me about the ASAMT and about some of the tracks. He had some of the track websites printed out along with the schedule," Bires explained. "He is building a late model to run in a series like the ASAMT. He really had no idea on how competitive the series is or what he needed. I helped him out by putting him in the right direction to where he can come up there and be competitive. He is looking forward to maybe doing some events with the ASAMT this year. I think there is a good chance that you may see him show up at one of the events."

Bires is looking forward to returning to Madison International Speedway, a track that has been good to him. In 2006, he held off Matt Kenseth to win the All-Star Challenge event which also featured Tony Stewart. "MIS is a great place to race. I have always enjoyed racing there since we had our family owned cars when I was 17 and 18. We definitely get around there good and with the good equipment underneath me, we should have a good shot."

He is also looking forward to competing in a race honoring one of his heroes growing up, "I remember watching Joe in the old ARTGO series and basically he was THE MAN. He was the man at short track racing. He was quite impressive."

So far in Bires career he has 54 starts, one top-five, and eight top-ten in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition and has eight starts and one top-ten finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He is also the 2006 ASA Late Model Series champion.

Johnny Sauter, the 2001 American Speed Association Champion, will be competing in his eighth ASAMT event on Sunday. So far in ASAMT competition he has collected two ECHO fast time awards, three top-five and three top-ten finishes.

This season he is competing full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driving for Thorsport Racing driving their Funsand #13 Chevrolet Silverado. He recently picked up his first top-ten finish of the season at the recent event at Kansas Speedway.

Sauter will be competing in his own Super Late Model.

So far in his career he has 76 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series where he has one top-five and three top-ten finishes. He has 196 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series where he has three wins, four poles, 21 top-five and 49 top-ten finishes. And so far in the NASCAR Camping World Series, he has 16 starts with one top-five and three top-ten finishes.

The first ASAMT practice will begin at 11:30 a.m. The fan gates will officially open at Noon. The first 1,000 fans will receive a special edition Joe Shear hero autograph card.

The Big 8 Series first practice will take place at 12:15 p.m. followed by the second ASAMT practice at 12:45 p.m. The final Big 8 Series practice will take place at 1:30 p.m.

ASAMT ECHO/Oregon Cutting Systems "Quick Cut" Qualifying will get underway at 2:00 p.m. followed by Big 8 Series qualifying. The popular Driver Autograph Session will take place at 3:15 p.m. in the main grandstands.

The racing action will get underway at 4:00 p.m. with the ASAMT Last Chance Race(s), 25-laps. That will be followed by the Big 8 Series Last Chance race(s). The ASAMT Hoosier Tire Fast dashes (10-laps) will be next.

The Big 8 Series Joe Shear 38-lap feature event will be up first. Following their event, the ASAMT feature cars will start lining up during a special pre-race ceremony.

The Joe Shear Classic presented by ECHO Chainsaws 136-lap feature will be the final event of the afternoon. The event will take a break at lap 100 and then return for a 36-lap shootout.
Sunday's admission prices are: $17.00 for ages 12 and up. Ages 11 and under are FREE.
On race day, Five Star Race Car Bodies will be raffling four original designed Joe Shear door panels that they have created specifically for this event. Each is a one of a kind panel, representing four of Joe's famous paint schemes.

Special thanks to Powersource Racing Engines and Lowell Dalsoren for being lap sponsors for the event. If you would like to be a lap sponsor, please contact Steve Einhaus at steve@asamidwesttour.com.

For more information about Madison International Speedway, please visit their website 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 tim@asamidwesttour.com or Steve Einhaus at steve@asamidwesttour.com.

To learn more of the Daytona Beach, Florida-based Racing Speed Associates or the American Speed Association Racing Member Track program, call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to info@asa-racing.com. For news and information from racetracks and regional tours involved in the American Speed Association, visit www.asaracing.com.

ASA™, ASA Racing™ and American Speed Association® are trademarks of Racing Speed Associates, LLC.  Racing Speed Associates, LLC is not related to or affiliated with ASA Late Model Series, LLC.





Johnny Sauter ran a handful of ASA Midwest Tour races in 2008.  (ASA MW Photo)