ASA STARS National Tour
Inaugural ASA STARS National Tour Championship Down to the Wire
Oct 24, 2023
A pair of Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway regulars enter Curb Records/Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers All American 400 Presented by US Tank & Cryogenic Equipment with a busy agenda over the course of the three-day event.
Along with the ASA STARS National Tour race to cap off the weekend on Sunday, November 5, Jackson Boone and Hunter Wright are also in the midst of a championship battle. Boone enters the weekend with a four-point lead in the standings, while Wright remains in the thick of the championship hunt just 29 points back from the lead.
After making his Super Late Model debut at the 2021 All American 400, Wright has made select starts with the car in between Pro Late Model duties at Nashville and around the Southeast. With a marquee race at his home track looming, he’s looking forward to seeing what he and his team can do against Super Late Model racing’s best.
“We’ve been trying to go out and run more Super races this year. We ran the Rattler earlier this year but outside of that, this will be our first big Super Late Model race,” said Wright. “We’re excited about it.
“It’s been a whole new challenge but it’s been a lot of fun. I think this will be our first real test with how good we can be considering it’s a track that we’ve been to a lot and have been fairly successful at, especially compared to how we’ve run at other racetracks. We’re excited to give it a shot next weekend and see what we can do.”
Meanwhile, Boone has split time in both the Super and Pro Late Model since the start of the 2020 season. Back in July, he was just laps away from winning his first Super Late Model race at the North/South Super Late Model Challenge at Nashville before he blew a radiator hose, ending his race with eight laps to go. He returned later that night for the Pro Late Model race and proceeded to win it, passing Wright in the final laps.
“I think it’s been no secret that we’ve been able to improve our program a lot this year and make a lot of stride and a lot of gains. We’re in a championship chase with the Pro car and we’ve had a lot of good speed in the Super,” Boone stated. “I think the biggest thing is going to be approaching it with a steady mind and not get too excited, but at the same time not overlook the situation because you want to be able to seize the moment. I’m excited; I’m really pumped.”
The 2019 Nashville Pro Late Model champion joined Jamie Yelton’s Fat Head Racing in 2021 and the pair initially struggled before a runner-up finish in that year’s All American 400. Boone has now finished third in three of his past four Super Late Model starts, which included a pair of third-place efforts at the Southern Super Series/Blizzard Series doubleheader at Five Flags Speedway last month.
“We really started out poorly when I started racing for FHR. There were a lot of really long and tough nights and a lot of come to Jesus meetings in those haulers behind closed doors that I’m glad are in my past. Looking back, everything that we’ve struggled with and been through it’s been worth it in the end. It’s been really hard but we’ve come out on the good side of it and we’re making gains every time we go to the racetrack. I’m optimistic for this race but the biggest thing is going to be focusing on hitting our marks and doing the little things right.”
Boone and Fat Head Racing are no strangers when it comes to pulling double-duty, especially in the All American 400. But this is the first time they are doing so with a championship on the line. He has a four-point lead over two-time and defending track champion Dylan Fetcho, and the top four drivers in the standings still have a mathematical shot at the title.
“It’s going to be difficult. Having two separate cars at any race is hard to do but there’ll be a bit of extra added pressure as well knowing that we’ve got two very significant jobs we’ve got to execute. Once again, it goes back to execution. I think if everyone does their job the right way and everyone does all they can, whether it be me or any one of my crew members, I think that’s all we can really ask for.”
Wright will also be pulling double-duty during the weekend with a shot at the track championship. He won on opening night back in April after finishing runner-up in the 2022 standings. However, his championship hopes will require some assistance from the three drivers in front of him. He will most likely need to win the race and Boone to finish outside the top-20 to even have a chance at taking the title.
He and his team are focused on what they can control.
“We’re just going to do the best we can with both of them, that’s all we can do. You can’t worry too much about what everybody else is doing, we just have to keep our heads down and dig in,” stated Wright. “We’ll try to make both cars as good as we can.”
As far as the Super Late Model goes, it has been a learning process to get up to speed with the different car. Wright explains the biggest differences between the two.
“It’s definitely a little bit different as far as setup and the things we have to do. It’s a lot smaller of a window in the Super than in a Pro. There’s a lot harder competition and being a tenth off in the Super is a lot more than being a tenth off in the Pro. Driving-wise I enjoy doing it, it’s really fun to drive. As far as being competitive, it’s definitely harder than in the Pros.”
The two drivers mentioned what makes the historic Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway such a special place for them.
“I think it’s just being home,” Wright explained. “They only get to run between eight and ten races a year, so being home at a place that we run really well at puts on a more level playing field than we are traveling to places we haven’t been to much.”
“I can obviously sit back and tell you about the history of it but it’s something about the racetrack itself. It’s different; it’s not really comparable to any other track in my opinion,” Boone said. “We go to a lot of different tracks throughout the years and there’s something about Nashville. There’s a different vibe there, a different feeling in the air whenever you roll up there. It’s fun to win there and it’s hard to compete there.”
The ASA STARS National Tour heads to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on Sunday, November 5 for the season finale, the All American 400. Special discounted three-day tickets are available here.
The ASA STARS National Tour opened the ten race, six-state schedule at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL on March 11. Gio Ruggiero is the most recent winner, claiming the victory in the Winchester 400 on October 15.
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 2023 for Super Late Model racing in America. Announced in October 2022, 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.
Track Enterprises, a racing promotions company based in Illinois, will operate the ASA STARS National Tour. It announced the acquisition of Champion Racing Association (CRA) in January 2022 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 Release
-Photo credit: Bruce Nuttleman/Ultimate Lap Photo