Regional racing heroes seem to be few and far between these days, but let's face it, what would short track racing be without them? There is no question that Wisconsin race fans are proud of the accomplishments of those who have made it to the next level, but there is also no denying that those who have stayed behind have become some of the most successful and competitive drivers in the country.
This Tuesday night, August 3rd, the American Speed Association® Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment and grandstay.net will head to Wisconsin International Raceway for the annual "Dixieland 150." Nowhere else will race fans be able to see NASCAR competitors, Johnny Sauter and Scott Wimmer, along with the stars of the ASA Midwest Tour go up against local hot shoes like 11-time, (that's right, 11-time), WIR track champion, Terry Baldry, youngster Kyle Calmes, current track record holder, Andy Monday, and the 2008 and 2009 WIR Champion, Jeff Van Oudenhoven, for one of the most prestigious events in Midwest auto racing.
The last time he competed in the Dixieland, fan favorite Jeff Van Oudenhoven was able to run with eventual winner Kyle Busch and ASAMT Swiss Colony Touring Star, Dan Fredrickson. "I got to learn a little bit from Kyle by watching someone new come in here and try different lines. I tried it and it worked really well and we had a really good run that day," said the 2009 track champion. "We haven't run the Dixieland in the past couple years, but we've got some pretty good cars from Joe Nechodem at Racetech Chassis. The guys who run the ASAMT series are really tough, so we have our work cut out for us" added Van Oudenhoven.
Even though they may only race there once or twice a year, ASAMT Swiss Colony Touring Stars such as Steve Carlson, Chris Wimmer, Jamie Iverson, and Nathan Haseleu, will all be tough to beat. Kyle Calmes, who has competed in the ASAMT in the past, knows what he and the other locals will be up against. "It's always exciting. The Dixieland is a historical race. I remember seeing all the big names show up and now I am going up against the big names," added the youngster from Freedom, WI.
If you have ever wondered if race car drivers get nervous, well current WIR track record holder, Andy Monday is not afraid to admit his apprehensiveness. While he does have a home-track advantage, he knows that he will be going up against the best of the best in this Tuesday's event. "I'm kind of nervous for qualifying because I know it's going to be tough competition. The ASA Midwest Tour is definitely the premier series in the Midwest. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. That's why we're coming out." Monday also does not expect his record lap to hold up much longer. "I said earlier in the year when we ran a 19.255 and the record is a 19.228, that someone is going to break it this year. Hopefully it's us again, but if it falls on Tuesday, it will be a real honor."
Amidst his 11 track championships, Terry Baldry has won pretty much everything at WIR except the Dixieland race. He hopes that his years of experience at WIR will payoff. "They're (ASAMT) on different tires than we're used to, so it's going to be kind of a crap shoot. We don't know if we are going to be competitive or not," the current WIR point leader said. Chances are the Mike Butz Racing team will quickly adapt and be one of the teams to beat.
Fans will not want to miss one of the biggest racing events in Wisconsin as the big names of WIR go up against the big names of the ASAMT and NASCAR stars, Scott Wimmer and Johnny Sauter. If that's not enough, fans can WIN tickets to the "Dixieland 150" and a chance at winning a 42" Insignia Flat Screen TV from Best Buy, simply by TEXTING the letters WIR to 35350. The TV will be awarded on Tuesday, August 3rd during the night's events. Winner of the TV must be present to claim the prize.
Joining the ASAMT will be the ASA OREGON Midwest Truck Tour. Qualifying starts at 4:30PM, with an on-track autograph session including Sauter and Wimmer at 5:45PM. Racing action gets underway at 7:00PM. General admission for all ages is $15. Advanced general admission tickets can be purchased from DJ's Speedzone for $13. For more information and a complete race day schedule, log on to www.asamidwesttour.com.
The "Dixieland 150" will be broadcast on Fox Sports North and Fox Sports Wisconsin on Saturday, August 21st at 11:30AM CDT. Check your local listings for complete channel line-up.
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 (262) 514-3880 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.
ASA®, ASA Racing®, and American Speed Association® are registered trademarks of Racing Speed Associates, LLC. ASA International, LLC or Racing Speed Associates, LLC are not related to or affiliated with the ASA Late Model Series.