ASA STARS National Tour
News and Notes From the Gandrud Auto Group 250
Aug 3, 2023
There are storylines aplenty left over from Tuesday night’s Gandrud Auto Group 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway. Let’s take a look at them.
Sommers Pads Midwest Tour Points Lead With Fourth-Place Run While VanDerGeest, Mondeik Falter
Gabe Sommers entered the Gandrud 250 with a 45 point lead over Levon VanDerGeest and a 46 point edge over Justin Mondeik. The Plover, WI had top-five finishes in both stages and finished the race in fourth, while his two closest points competitors failed to finish the race.
The right front upper arm on VanDerGeest’s No.23 broke just after the 100-lap mark, ending his race early and finishing 19th. Meanwhle, Mondeik was involved in a late incident with Paul Shafer Jr., ending his night 33 laps shy of the finish. However, he still finished just outside the top-ten, finishing 13th.
Shafer’s Poor Luck Continues
The Shafer Motorsports No.7 has been fast all year whether it’s been Derek Thorn or Paul Shafer Jr behind the wheel, but the team continues to suffer from bad luck in ASA STARS National Tour events. The latest incident came at WIR, when he was involved in the crash with Mondeik with 33 to go.
Shafer had finished ninth and fifth in the first two stages of the race, and was running just outside the top-five when the accident happened. He was the highest-finishing driver to not finish the race, finishing 12th.
FRRC Favorite Has Strong Run End Early
Former Wisconsin International Raceway track champion Andy Monday was a late entry for the Gandrud 250, joining Travis Dassow and Apex Motorsports for the race. He qualified fifth and ran in the top-ten for the bulk of the race before a fueling issue ultimately took him out of the race, finishing 17th.
Ruggiero Makes Up Two Laps, Wilson Motorsports Struggles
Hickory Motor Speedway winner Gio Ruggiero struggled in the Wilson Motorsports No.22 throughout the race, losing two laps on the racetrack in the process. Attrition throughout the final stage allowed the 16 year old to make up both laps and finish sixth in his first appearance.
Redbud 400 winner Cole Butcher also made up a lap during the race and finished eighth. Meanwhile, former Winchester 400 winner Sammy Smith was an early exit on lap 90 with brake issues.
Sauter Takes Wild Ride Through Styrofoam Barriers
2016 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter made an unscheduled pit stop after an early yellow. What came next, however, was one of the wildest rides of the inaugural ASA STARS National Tour season.
The former Gandrud 250 winner spun to avoid a spun out Billy VanMeter and landed in the Styrofoam barriers that line the inside wall on the backstretch, sending Styrofoam blocks into the air like a Wisconsin blizzard. Luckily, Sauter was okay.
The ASA STARS National Tour heads to Toledo Speedway on Saturday, September 16 for the Glass City 200. Tickets are on sale now at toledospeedway.com/tickets/25/buy.
The Glass City 200 will be co-sanctioned with the ASA/CRA Super Series, which will be race number seven on the season. Gio Ruggiero currently holds the CRA points lead.
The ASA STARS National Tour opened the ten race, six-state schedule at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL on March 11. Ty Majeski is the most recent winner, claiming the victory in the Gandrud Auto Group 250 on Tuesday, August 1.
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 National Tour Press Release
-Photo credit: Ryan Nuttleman