While Reed Sorenson's win at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday night was feel-good and well-deserved, the real story came just moments later, far from Victory Lane.
As the rest of the teams returned their cars to the garage area, they saw they were not alone. Track officials, along with local law enforcement, quickly moved in and surrounded all of the ASA equipment, including the series' hauler, pacecar and several other vehicles and carefully watched all ASA employees while they broke down their equipment and loaded up.
It started when track officials started moving in vehicles, including a boom truck, several large John Deere tractors, and even golf carts and other equipment and started parking them in front, around and behind the ASA tech truck, one of ASA's dually trucks, the series pace car and
A boom truck and dump truck block in the ASA hauler following the race at LMS (51 Photos)
“Honestly, it is weird, but I think it is a sign of better times to come,” said current points leader and veteran Kevin Cywinski. “The whole weekend has been doom and gloom. This gives us some hope that there is something going to change in the series and hopefully it is for the better.”
The weekend had been an interesting one. As Speed51.com reported earlier, the drivers and teams stood up to ask some pretty tough questions regarding the series direction and to get answers to several money issues, including the purse payment for Kentucky and the Lowe's event.
ASA officials told the drivers that there was no guaranteed purse for the race.
It all took another turn when the final driver's meeting was conducted on Thursday evening before the race. Several questions were brought up yet again and ASA officials ha no specific answers. Series owner Steve Dale was not present all weekend and could not be asked the questions and give any answers.
One high ranking LMS official was in the final driver's meeting of the night and told a different side of the story. That story was that LMS officials had paid ASA the purse money, sanctioning fees and all other monies it owed last week through a wire transfer. That money, however, was spent on other things and there was no money then left to pay the teams the purse for the Aaron's 99.
The LMS official told the drivers and teams in the meeting that the track would then seek legal action against ASA while the track paid the drivers and teams the event purse.
It is very similar to the situation that occurred a couple of years ago when the World of Outlaws equipment was seized and held on the LMS grounds following a money dispute at the Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway.
“It is kind of funny, because you hear of everytihng that happened with the World of Outlaws,” added Cywinski. “There were rumors flying through the pits right when we got in (on Thursday) about something like this happening. You talked to the (tech) officials about it and they never knew anything. So we as competitors actually knew more amazingly. And that just isn't right.”
Police officers talk with one ASA official as they keep guard following the race.
It was an eriy sight for the teams and drivers to watch the close inspection held over by the law enforcement officers. Amazingly though, it was good feelings that were brought on to many of the drivers and teams as they watched the late-night events unfold.
“It is awesome. We should have done it earlier in the year. It is good someone is finally standing up for the drivers and teams now,” said Tim Sauter. “It is time to get an answer. We need to get it rectified or get a new owner and move on or something.
“I never dreamed of this in a million years it would come to this. It is just five years ago that we were winning a championship and now this. It is funny because Lester Buildings (Sauter's sponsor) asked me in the spring 'do you think the series is strong?' and I told them 'oh yeah, that won't be a problem.' Look at it now.”
Sauter's final remarks summed up what had been a very “gloomy” weekend for the ASA Series at Lowe's.
“I really don't know what people will think in the morning and I really don't care. I'm just glad something is getting done.
LMS officials blocked in the ASA-owned dually and safety truck.
Steve's ego is much bigger than his wallet. We know that now. So (LMS officials) can thrown that f**king hauler in the f**king ocean and I don't give a s**t.”
Speed51.com will have MUCH MORE on then entire situation with a in-depth story later in the week with interviews from many drivers and owners.
even the series new “safety truck.” Several officers and LMS officials closed in on the garage area and surrounded everything from the parts and equipment in the “tech area” and several even climbed behind the wheel of the ASA-owned cars.
The teams were able to load up, but the gates leading into the garage area were closed. They were opened and the teams and their haulers were able to leave, but police guards were watching.
Several police officers were also stationed outside of the tech truck and closely watched as ASA officials continued to do their work. The guards were told to make sure nothing other than papers and minor supplies were taken out of the truck.
Several of ASA's full-time employees were wisked off to a meeting room, where they remained late into the night, while the part-time and tech officials continued to clean up and perform their normal breakdown.
The site of all of the LMS officials and cops was quite a sight for most of the teams, who stood around and watched the proceedings play out.
This John Deere tractor was parked behind the hauler along with two cops.