ASA STARS National Tour
Gandrud Auto Group 250 Another Historical Event for the ASA STARS National Tour
Jul 26, 2023
After some time away from the sport, Freddie Query is back in a big way as the ASA STARS National Tour's Competition Director.
Freddie Query might be a little crazy.
He’ll be the first to admit it, as he did while on Racing America’s “The Bullring” Wednesday to discuss his recent appointment as the ASA STARS National Tour’s competition director.
“My wife may have been more aware of what I was getting into than I was,” said Query. “She’s forewarned me quite often about what might possibly be involved in doing this. I am a little crazy, so that helped in this situation. I think you’ve got to be [crazy] to be a race car driver, and I enjoyed doing that for a long time.”
Query was crazy enough to be a race car driver, and a pretty good one at that. His list of accomplishments includes the 1998 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series championship, two wins in both the All American 400 and the World Crown 300, and a Myrtle Beach 400 victory.
He also spent time as the General Manager for Hank Parker Racing, and worked with drivers such as Harrison Burton, Kyle Benjamin and Johanna Long during their Late Model careers.
However, after all those years being crazy for racing – and crazy busy in the sport – Query took some much-needed time away.
“A couple of years ago, I had gotten burned out on racing,” explained Query. “I guess, after 40-some years, it was about time. I had been working with people and building them cars and working with them on how to do the setups, getting them going driving and so forth.
“I decided to do something else. I came back to my shop and started doing hot rod street cars, just to stay busy, and started playing a little bit.”
Thus, it may have come as a bit of a surprise when the ASA STARS National Tour announced his return to the sport as the series’ Competition Director. However, it was his past as a racer in those marquee short-track events and series that captured his interest.
“I was attracted to this because the whole time I raced, for the longest time, there was a place you could go run, travel a little bit and race for bigger money,” said Query. “The biggest attraction for me back in the day, speaking of the Hooters Pro Cup Series, I’m speaking of the NASCAR All Pro Series, the Big 10 Series at Concord, some others around. The money was bigger and I was making a living racing.
“Part of the satisfaction in racing is beating your competitors on the race track. The better your competitors are, the more self-satisfaction you get out of it. This National Tour concept is to bring together the best of the best 10 times a year at 10 different locations. As a racer, you’ve got a chance to race the best of the best, beat them and put that feather in your cap. That’s what attracted me.”
Query is also fully aware of the role reversal he is facing with the new opportunity. After spending years being the racer or car builder looking for every possible advantage, and sometimes butting heads with promoters or technical directors along the way, he finds himself wearing those shoes.
“I raced with some great promoters back in the day that really did a good job at doing what they did. They weren’t my favorite people a lot of times back then, but now looking back at what they provided us an opportunity to do, they did a great job. They did it with a strong hold and tough love. The best tech people I’ve been around were the same way. They were hard and fast about their rules. You knew exactly what to expect when you came to the race track.
“I learned that the stricter the rules were for everybody, the easier it was for me as a car builder and a race car driver. I knew exactly what I had to do. I didn’t have to spend a big part of my time trying to figure out how I was going to fudge everything trying to make it better than the rules allowed – even though you always play in the gray area as a racer, that’s what you do.”
It is that mindset that Query brings to the role. He made the trip to Anderson Speedway in Indiana for the 57th Annual Greg Hubler Automotive Group Redbud 400 earlier this month, mostly in an observational capacity.
“The way it is right now – I’ve only been to one race, I went to Anderson, Indiana last week to experience that. From what I see right now, there’s a lot of confusion among the racers because they’re not really sure what to expect when they come to the racetrack. It’s keeping some people away, I feel like, because of that.”
One of Query’s first tasks will be alleviating that confusion, including working to bring rules packages across the different regions of the ASA banner closer together.
“We’re already working on next year’s rules package, which won’t be much different than what it is right now in the South. The Midwest, if they’re going to compete in this, they’re going to have to make some changes, but they need to.
“They’re where we were, in the south, 10 years ago or 15 years ago. You’d spend all your time cheating your bodies or whatever because there was no tech. Now there is, and there has been for a while.
“It’s hard as a tech person to know how strict you need to be. You don’t want to chase racers off, and you’re scared if you enforce things too much, you’ll chase them off. But all my years, I saw the biggest crowds at the races where racers knew what to expect. That’s what I hope to bring to the table.”
The next race for the ASA STARS National Tour is next Tuesday, August 1, at Wisconsin International Raceway for the Gandrud Auto Group 250. Fans can watch the race live on Racing America. To find out more, click here.
The Bullring is a weekly talk show hosted by Alan Dietz and Jess Ballard, bringing the biggest names in racing together to break down what happened the previous weekend, or look ahead to the biggest events next weekend. The Bullring is free to watch for all viewers every Wednesday at 7 PM on RacingAmerica.TV and Racing America's social media platforms, and the replay is available at any time afterward.
-Racing America Photo