One of the most iconic brands in short track racing will officially return on March 11th, as the ASA STARS National Tour hits the track for the Sunshine State 200 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL.
Track Enterprises President Bob Sargent caught the racing world by surprise when he announced that the newly formed STARS National Tour for pavement super late models would be sanctioned by ASA under a licensing agreement with ARCA - The Automobile Racing Club of America.
“What a great opportunity to bring the ASA back to short track pavement racing,” Sargent stated during the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis on December 10. “ASA was the premier short track racing series in its day and we are excited to keep that iconic brand alive.”
Track Enterprises, a Racing Promotions Company based in Illinois, made a lot of noise in the pavement super late model world throughout the 2022 calendar year by announcing the acquisition of the CRA sanctioning body in January and following that up with the purchase of the ARCA Midwest Tour in July. In October, Sargent announced a partnership with the Southern Super Series which set the table for the formation of the STARS National Tour.
The ASA brand made its “unofficial” return on January 25 at SpeedFest, a non-points race co-sanctioned by the ASA CRA Super Series and the ASA Southern Super Series. It was followed up on February 14 with the “Clyde Hart Memorial 100” at New Smyrna Speedway for the ASA Southern Super Series, the first of its 12 championship points races.
The ASA STARS National Tour will debut in 2023, billed as a 10-race series visiting the premier paved short tracks in the United States. A national champion will be crowned in November of 2023 at the All American 400 at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (TN). A $100,000 championship point fund (minimum) has been confirmed, which will pay the top ten in final standings, including a $25,000 to the series champion.
Founded in 1968 by Rex and Becky Robbins, ASA held its first national stockcar 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.”
Tickets are on sale now for the inaugural ASA National Tour event, the Sunshine State 200 on Saturday, March 11 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. Please visit https://bit.ly/ASA5FlagsTixs to get your tickets for a date with history today.
For the full ASA STARS National Tour schedule, plus Super Late Model rules and other information, please visit the series website at www.asastarsnationaltour.com, and 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 will debut in 2023 for Super Late Model racing in America. Announced in October, many of the best drivers in America are expected to compete in the 10-race national tour with a minimum $100,000 point fund. The championship team will be guaranteed$25,000.
The national series 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.
A Winner’s Circle program will also be part of the ASA National Tour for licensed drivers/teams with perfect attendance. The program details will be announced at a later date, but it will be in the same vein as ASA utilized in its heyday.
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 National Tour Press Release
-Racing America Photo