ASA STARS National Tour
How to Watch the Joe Shear Classic on Racing America
May 1, 2023
Saturday was practice day at Madison International Speedway, in advance of the Joe Shear Classic 200 for the ASA STARS National Tour at the half-mile in Oregon, Wisconsin. Here are the notes and storylines following the practice day.
Fredrickson fast, but a long night ahead: The good news for Dan Fredrickson is he set the fastest lap of the day on Saturday, with a time of 17.371 seconds around Madison International Speedway.
The bad news, however, is the engine that turned that fast lap will not be back Sunday.
Shortly after setting the fastest lap of the day, Fredrickson's engine blew up, putting him out for the rest of the afternoon and giving the team work to do to be ready for Sunday's 200-lap race.
“In the third round, we put our tires on, made a lap and a half and the motor blew up," said Fredrickson. "It was fast, but we’ll have to get a new motor, get it put in tonight. Hopefully, everything goes smoothly so we can run tomorrow.”
While it will be a longer evening and earlier morning than Fredrickson hoped, he is encouraged by the car's handling before the engine failure.
“I thought our car was close. It wasn’t perfect, but it was getting better.”
Outsiders Gain Comfort with Madison:Naturally, with an ASA STARS National Tour event, plenty of drivers from outside Wisconsin and the Midwest have made the trip for the Joe Shear Classic 200.
One such driver is ASA STARS points leader Casey Roderick, who enjoyed his first look at Madison Saturday.
“I like the track a lot," said Roderick. "It’s a good bit different from what we’re used to back home. It’s good to be up here in Wisconsin. It’s got good weather, we’re all enjoying it. Just chipping away at the car and making it better for us."
Placing seventh on the combined practice chart for the day, Roderick is confident he will have a shot to back up his win in the Sunshine State 200 at Five Flags Speedway in Sunday's race.
“I think we’ve got a shot at it. We’re going to try a few more things tomorrow in practice. We’re just lacking a little bit of turn. We’ve just got to get it rolling free in the center for me. The tracks’ characteristic is really rough, so we spent the first couple of practices smoothing the car out some. I think we’ve achieved that, we just need a little bit more.”
Another such driver is California's Jacob Gomes, who finished in the top 10 at Five Flags. He took some time at the start of practice to watch some of the drivers with local knowledge tackle the half-mile before turning his first laps of the day.
“It’s just a lot different than tracks at home," said Gomes. "It’s got a lot of bank, long straightaways. Back at home, it’s not as abrasive and rough as this place is. I’m just trying to figure out how to get in the right bumps and hit the right line. I spent the first 10 minutes of practice just watching all the guys that are fast here.
“I just stood out there and watched the guys who are going to be good here. I talked to Paul Shafer’s crew chief a little bit. He’s been good here a long time, so talked to them guys a little bit. We’ve been talking back and forth, parked next to each other.”
Midwest drivers top the charts: While the ASA STARS National Tour field is loaded with talent from across the country, locals frequently topped the charts on practice day.
Paul Shafer, a three-time race winner on the ASA Midwest Tour, set fast time in the first round of practice and was second-fastest overall at 17.425 seconds. Wisconsin veteran Jeff Storm was fastest in the second round of practice, while another Wisconsin driver, Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalist Levon Van Der Geest, set fast time in the final practice.
Watch tomorrow: If you can't make it out to Madison International Speedway Sunday for the Joe Shear Classic 200, be sure to watch live on Racing America by clicking here. Coverage will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. CT.
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America
ASA STARS National Tour Joe Shear Classic 200
Combined Practice Results - May 6, 2023
|5||Levon Van Der Geest||17.516|