Smith Has No Luck... Sauter Fast... Fraser's Memory Live On & More

Scott Fraser’s run in ASA may have been brief, but he touched a lot of drivers and teams.  His death a week ago from a snowmobile accident is still touching a lot of the ASA community and many of the teams are running special decals on their cars celebrating Scott’s life.


Mark Gundrum, who has been a staple in the ASA offices for the last five-plus years, has left his duties to pursue other opportunities.  Several of the traveling officials with the series just found out the info this past weekend.
Gundrum, who also owns a percentage of the series, served as the series Vice President.

Several cars are carrying these stickers that read "In Memory of Scott Fraser 1970 - 2004."

Rookie Casey Smith’s dad said it best.  “When’s our luck going to change?”

Smith, who has had a lot of success despite a lot of tough luck and mechanical problems, has had a number of little things bite him to start off the 2004 year.
First, when on their way to the track on Wednesday, the team’s truck blew an engine just outside of Pensacola (FL).  Luckily, one of Smith’s racing buddies, Bubba Naumann, lived close and was able to lend Smith his truck for the rest of the haul.

Then, just as the team was getting ready to fire up the car for Friday’s first practice session, Smith went to turn it over and got nothing.  No electrical power was getting to the car.

“Man… I just don’t know.  We just always seem to have
something happening to us, don’t we?” said Smith.  “We’ve dealt with enough this weekend already and now this.  We had some problems with a couple of prongs in the fuel cell area.  We had to take the fuel cell out and make some changes to it on Thursday and something just shorted out when we were putting everything back in.   It isn’t something you can be ready for.  It is just something that happens.”

Smith eventually got everything fired and, despite missing the entire first practice session, turned the ninth fastest lap of the afternoon.


Now that four body makes are legal on ASA cars, the Chevrolets still rule the pack.

There are four Fords in Lakeland (Tim Sauter, Rick Beebe and rookies Brett Sontag and Matthias Czabok), two Pontiacs (Jason Rudd and Ryan Zeck) and three Dodges (Reed Sorenson, Mike Cope and Casey Smith).

The rest of the field is made up of Chevrolets.

Tim Sauter spent little time getting up to speed in his return to ASA.  Sauter, one of only four Fords in Lakeland, struggled during the first practice session but got things together in the afternoon and clocked in a  top-10 run by the end of the day.

When Sauter wasn’t in the car, he was often conversing with rookie Casey Smith.  That is because Sauter and Smith, who are both in Lefthander chassis, are running virtually the same setup. 

“We are decent.  We’ve still got some things we need to work on to get it faster, but I’m pretty happy with the gains we’ve made today,” said Sauter.

Ryan Zeck has been chasing his dream of ASA Racing for a couple of years now.  The last two years, he and his father Rudy have been trying to do it mostly on their own.

According to the team, Robert Hamke was supposed to come help the team set up their Hamke chassis.  Well, Hamke was a no show and the Zecks were not happy.

Hamke’s absence has forced Rudy, the acting crew chief for his son, to have to set up the car himself.  Zeck struggled on Friday, clocking in the best at 30th quick.
Tim Sauter has one of the best looking cars at USA International Speedway.

Rookie Scott Lagasse Jr. might just be the rookie favorite.  That is, if he runs the entire schedule for Rookie of the Year honors.

“We are fighting the same problem everyone is and that is to find the money that we need to run this deal each and every race,” said Lagasse Jr.  “We’ve run good every time we’ve been out in this car, but that hasn’t helped attract anyone to us.  We keep trying and we’re going to see what we can do.  Maybe we just need to win a race and
Scott Lagasse's doors are blank and he wants to change that.
get our name out there even more.”

Lagasse did real well in practice and will be a threat for the pole on Saturday after turning in the third fastest lap of the afternoon.
If ASA fans jog their memory they may remember a young girl from Pennsylvania that ran three races with the Series in 1999. Well, Jayme Bolkovac is a few years older now and is attempting her second stint with ASA.  Although now a more experienced racer, Bolkovac knows she has a lot to learn just trying to get comfortable at these speeds and in these cars.

“We aren’t having any major problems out there but we are not up to speed like we want to be,” admits Bolkavac.  “We just can’t seem to get the car slowed down enough going into the turns. It’s actually a little scary because you are going in the turn full boar and that wall comes up real quick. I am just trying to get used to these cars and
Jayme admitted that she was a little "scared" when practicing on Friday.
keep it in one piece and more importantly not get in anybody’s way out there.”

Bolkovac has been running Allison Legacy cars and Late Models at Jennerstown (PA) and Motordrome (PA) Speedways an will attempt to compete in six ASA races this season.  The 24-year old is set to tackle Mansfield, Lake Erie, both Kentucky races and the Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s first ASA event in her part-time schedule. 

CLICK HERE for page Lakeland Notes: Friday Part One