Anderson, IN is the birthplace of the American Speed Association. And for the first time in nearly 25 years, ASA will sanction the racing action at Anderson Speedway on April 29.
Track Enterprises, a racing promotions company based in Illinois, announced the acquisition of the CRA sanctioning body in January of 2022, and followed that up with the purchase of the then-ARCA Midwest Tour in July. In October, Track Enterprises President Bob Sargent announced a partnership with the Southern Super Series, which set the table for the formation of a national series for pavement super late model racing, which debuted in 2023.
Sargent then energized the short track Super Late Model world when he announced that the American Speed Association (ASA) would sanction his pavement racing interests, through a licensing agreement with ARCA and NASCAR.
“What a great opportunity to bring the ASA back to short track pavement racing,” Sargent stated at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis in December. “ASA was the premier short track racing series in its day and we are excited to keep that iconic brand alive.”
Founded in 1968 by Rex and Becky Robbins, ASA held its first national stock car series race at Salem Speedway and crowned its first national champion in 1973. Some of the biggest NASCAR stars got their start with ASA, including Mark Martin, Rusty and Kenny Wallace, Alan Kulwicki, Jimmie Johnson and many more. In addition, short track stars including Mike Eddy, Bob Senneker, Butch Miller, Dick Trickle and Scott Hansen became household names to short track fans.
At its peak, the series enjoyed national television coverage on TNN (The Nashville Network), but in 2001 Gaylord Entertainment, the parent company of TNN, sold its cable TV holdings. New owner MTV and the Nickelodeon Group decided to disband TNN and drop motorsports from their coverage plans. The move forced Robbins to sell the series in 2003, and just a few short years later, ASA went out of business.
NASCAR acquired the intellectual property rights to the ASA brand following the series’ demise in an effort to protect and preserve the historical relevance of the sanctioning body. The announcement of the STARS National Tour presented an opportunity to further preserve and promote the brand, and the IP rights were granted to Track Enterprises by way of its licensing agreement with ARCA, a wholly-owned NASCAR Property.
“Race fans everywhere know and respect the ASA Brand,” Sargent concluded. “NASCAR’s stewardship of the sport was once again prevalent when they secured the IP rights to the brand, and now it is our job to uphold the high standards set by the American Speed Association some 50 years ago.”
The ASA CRA Super Series will bring the ASA Brand back to Anderson on April 29 for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 125, the season-opening event for the series.
In addition to being the home track for ASA, Anderson Speedway is also the birthplace of the Champion Racing Association (CRA). The first ever CRA Super Series race was contested at Anderson Speedway on April 26, 1997, won by Brian Ross. Last year, the ASA/CRA Super Series spring race at Anderson was won by eventual series champion Eddie Van Meter.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts 125 serves as the only race at the ¼-mile bullring prior to the ASA STARS National Tour Redbud 400 in July. The race on Saturday, April 29th is likely to be used as a tune-up race for the Redbud 400.
Pits open at 1:00 on Saturday, with practice at 3:30, qualifying at 5:30, and racing beginning at 7:00pm. Tickets are available at the gate for $15. The race will be live streamed on Racing America TV and live timing and scoring can be found on the Race Monitor mobile app.
For more information on the ASA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS, the O’Reilly Auto Parts 125, or Championship Racing Association, log onto www.CRA-Racing.com. Find CRA: Champion Racing Association on Facebook and follow @CRARacing on Twitter.
The ASA Brand will return to Anderson Speedway again in July, as the STARS National Tour comes to town for the Redbud 400 – one of the country’s premier short track events. The Redbud 400 was the home-track annual stop for the original ASA Racing Series, and is steeped in history. The “new” ASA will surely add to the legacy.
New in 2023, the ASA STARS National Tour opened its 10-race, six-state schedule at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL on Saturday, March 11. Georgia racer Casey Roderick won the Sunshine State 200.
For the full ASA STARS National Tour schedule, plus Super Late Model rules and other information, please visit the series website at starsnationaltour.com, or be sure to follow the series on social media (Facebook: STARS National Series | Twitter: @racewithstars | IG: @starsnational).
ASA STARS National Tour
The ASA STARS National Tour debuted in March of 2023 for Super Late Model racing in America. Announced last October, many of the best drivers in America will compete in the ten-race national tour with a minimum $100,000 point fund. The championship team will be guaranteed $25,000.
The ASA STARS National Tour is made up of three races from each of the regional pavement Super Late Model Series under the Track Enterprises banner; the ASA CRA Super Series, the ASA Midwest Tour and the ASA Southern Super Series.
The Team Construction Winner’s Circle program has been announced as a part of the ASA STARS National Tour for licensed drivers/teams with perfect attendance. The program provides additional financial incentives to those teams who support the Series, thanks to Team Construction.
Track Enterprises, a Racing Promotions Company based in Illinois, will operate the ASA STARS National Tour. It announced the acquisition of the CRA sanctioning body in January and followed that up with the purchase of the Midwest Tour in July. In October, Track Enterprises President, Bob Sargent announced a partnership with the Southern Super Series which set the table for the formation of the ASA STARS National Tour.
-ASA STARS Press Release
-Photo credit: Bruce Nuttleman/Ultimate Lap Photo