Don't ask to see his phone bill or how many miles he has put on his car because he doesn't care. What he does care about was that those phone calls, driving to meet with promoters and tech personnel is paying off for Super Late Model racing in the Midwest.
Mike "Lumpy" Lemke, the Tech Director for the American Speed Association Midwest Tour and the American Speed Association Transcontinental Series, has had a busy off-season as he worked on the rules packages for both series. Along with doing that, he lobbied very hard with race tracks to adopt the ASA Midwest Tour rules along with using the same specific Hoosier Tires. Thus bringing back something that Midwest Super Late Model racing hasn't seen in quite a long time.
What he brought back was a uniform rules package that allows a Super Late Model team to compete at different tracks along with competing with the ASA Midwest Tour. An idea that many competitors and fans were familiar with back in the 1980's and early 1990's when the former ARTGO series would bring their "Stars and Cars" to compete at a track where fans got to see the best in the Midwest compete against their local weekly heroes.
"I thought it was a good idea several years ago when ARTGO had done it. It's probably about 20 years out of date already," Lemke recalled. "But, the ASA Midwest Tour has a very good rules package and we have been trying to incorporate it and pretty much have done it within six states. Quite a few are ASA Member Tracks. We started it in the Kaukauna, WI area and it moved up to Norway Speedway, an ASA Member Track."
It wasn't long that this idea quickly expanded, "The main tracks that have the rules now are located in the upper part of Illinois and Indiana, the eastern part of Minnesota with both asphalt tracks there, and basically all of the asphalt tracks in Wisconsin," Lemke explained. "We are now working with Lebanon I-44 Speedway, ASA's newest Member Track in Lebanon, MO, who also wants to get involved in the program. As well as State Park Speedway in Wausau, WI who just signed on as an ASA Member Track."
For Lemke, the hardest part was convincing the track promoters, "There were some promoters who were concerned or afraid they may lose some car counts, afraid everyone would go ASA racing, they were afraid of a bunch of things," Lemke recalled. "But in the long run, as we talked to more and more of them, they figured it is the way to go. That is, to at least have a rules package to where if someone wanted to go to an ASA Midwest Tour race, they can come and race with us without making significant changes. And the same can be said if a competitor has a week off and wants to go and compete somewhere, they can load up and go. Which will be a great treat for the fans."
Lemke did also state that with having the same rules package, if there is one thing a competitor will have to adjust would be the weight and he stated that it would be within 25-50 lbs in that area.
Another goal that Lemke had was encouraging these tracks to compete on the same tire as well. "Tires was another big thing," Lemke exclaimed. "Without the help of Irish Saunders at Hoosier Tires, he kept pushing as much as I kept pushing. Basically we are all on F-40 and F-50 Hoosier tires."
"Lumpy has been working very hard to accomplish this goal and he should be commended for what is doing," Dennis Huth, ASA President said. "He is a strong advocate for short track racing and continuously looks at what can be done to improve this sport. He has many things on his plate to do this and the major goal is keeping the cost of racing down for the competitors. He is working very hard to lock this rules package in for three years so that a competitor who invests in this sports doesn't have to sweat on paying in more money to constant rule changes year after year. This is needed in today's economy."
The six states that has tracks following the rules include Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri.
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