Joe Wood from Pathfinder Chassis and Bobby Wilberg from Lefhander Chassis have a few things in common. They both love racing and both spend countless hours working in their shops building some of the best chassis in the region and the nation.
Most recently, both Pathfinder and Lefthander have been building new Trucks for the 2011 ASA OREGON Midwest Truck Tour season.
In 2010, John and Jerry Wood were unmatched in the ASA OREGON Midwest Truck Tour, winning all but one of the races in their Pathfinder Chassis Trucks.
Who was the only one to knock them out of victory lane? None other than Lefthander Chassis' very own Bobby Wilberg, in his brand new Lefthander Truck at the final race of the season.
While Pathfinder displayed their most recent build, Wilberg was demonstrating Lefthander's most recent build, by setting a blistering pace and taking home the 2010 Oktoberfest Championship Truck title.
Wood and Wilberg both agreed that the competition level will only get better with both chassis builders now in the mix.
"It makes us work harder and it makes them work harder. It's good for the sport," added Wood. Wilberg was also quick to say, "it unmonopolizes the sport and allows more drivers to get out there and compete."
While both have the same desire to increase the Truck count in the ASA OREGON Midwest Truck Tour, they each had their own thoughts on how to get that done.
"We decided to build some new Trucks because there was a lot more interest in the Truck series as the season went on," said Joe Wood of Pathfinder Chassis. "We felt that by having a new roller on display at Oktoberfest, it might spark even more interest."
On the other side of the coin, Wilberg added, "Our focus is to draw new competitors into the division and allow them to do so at the lowest cost available."
With the success that Pathfinder has already had in the series, they have received phone calls from drivers looking to start out their careers. They try to direct them to the Truck division as a starting point.
Lefthander Chassis decided to get involved in the Truck division because they could see that the interest was growing, and they wanted to get in early rather than waiting until things were already established.
Pathfinder will have three "house" Trucks running the full 2011 season out of their stables. One of those is young driver, Austin Luedtke.
Because Lefthander has a national customer base, they have sold a couple out West and both chassis builders have had several inquiries for next year.
Pathfinder and Lefthander have the same focus for 2011, and each have had their share of calls and orders already taken. Wilberg did suggest that most Midwest drivers like to wait until after the first of the year when schedules and rules are set, so they've got one ready to go when the time comes.
For those not familiar with the Truck chassis, they are basically a modified version of the older late models that are not legal to run in the current late model divisions.
The front geometry is the same, so it gives those with older late models a chance to move most of their current stuff over and get back out on the track. The only major changes to the 2011 Pathfinder Truck is a longer wheel base.
"Overall we just want guys with older late models to have an affordable option to get back on the track and provide a way to remove the dominance in the division," insisted Wilberg.
Cost is always the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to racing, and both are working hard at making it affordable for drivers. As Wilberg said previously, drivers who have older late models sitting around can easily transfer into the Truck division.
"Pathfinder builds exceptional stuff for the local Trucks and they have certainly built great success in the Truck division," admitted Wilberg. Wilberg is certain that having a good chassis is the key to success in the series.
"My dominance at La Crosse was definitely chassis. We were using an old crate engine we had lying around, so we were definitely down on power. We spent a lot of time building the chassis to be the most competitive."
Tim Olson, ASAMT President, agreed that right now "the engine options are what drivers have in their garages at the moment." He also added that three or four guys are going to drive their old late model stuff.
However, Wilberg suggested, "I think there are still a few things that the ASAMT can do to tighten up what they are already doing to make it more affordable...." and the ASAMT is doing just that.
Olson and Steve Einhaus, Vice President of the ASAMT, announced, "We have added a provision to promote cost savings by adding the Chevrolet 602 Crate Engine as an option."
This is approximately a $3500 engine option that will save teams a tremendous amount of money. Teams will be given a 100 pound weight break to run that combination.
In addition, Olson confirmed that there will be conservative tire rules that will also reinforce the cost savings in 2011.
"We have a lot of new, young drivers, and I think it is great that Pathfinder and Lefthander are going to be building new Trucks for 2011. The interest in the Truck division has continued to grow," Olson said.
"With some tweaking here and there, we expect the growth to continue. The more Trucks the ASAMT gets, the better the competition will be."
The ASA OREGON Midwest Truck Tour, along with the ASA Midwest Sportsman Tour, continues to be the perfect companion to the entire American Speed Association® Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment and grandstay.net series, and it will only continue to get better in 2011.
To learn more about the American Speed Association® Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment and GrandStay Residential Suites Hotels and Crossings by GrandStay Inn & Suites, log on to www.asamidwesttour.com or call the ASA Midwest Tour office at (630) 212-6022 or e-mail Tim Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Steve Einhaus at email@example.com.
If you would like to learn more about the ASAMT series sponsors, please visit their websites: Kwik Trip, Inc. (www.kwiktrip.com), ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment (www.echo-usa.com), and GrandStay Residential Suites Hotels and Crossings by GrandStay Inn & Suites (www.grandstay.net).
To learn more about the Midwest Sportsman Tour log on to www.asamidwestsportsman.com.
To learn more about the ASA Midwest Truck Tour log on to www.asamidwesttrucks.com.
To learn more about 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For news and information from racetracks and regional tours involved in the American Speed Association®, visit www.asaracing.com.