ASA STARS National Tour
WIR’s Unique Layout Offers Challenge to First-Time Visitors
Jul 31, 2023
There are storylines aplenty ahead of Tuesday night’s Gandrud Auto Group 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway; from return visits, to redemption, to checking one off the bucket list.
Let’s take a look at some of the storylines heading into race seven of the ASA STARS National Tour season.
White Race Winner Searching For Biggest Win of Career
Defending Slinger Super Speedway track champion RJ Braun picked up his biggest WIR win yet when the Wales, WI driver picked up the win in the first of two Twin-33s that made up the White race on Thursday, July 13. He makes his third start in the Gandrud 250 Tuesday night, looking for his first win in the marquee event.
Braun is already a winner with the ASA Midwest Tour in 2023, getting his first-career win with the series at the Miracle On The High Banks at Slinger Super Speedway in April. WIR will be his third start of the year with the series.
ARCA Winner Returns to Wisconsin
Former State Park Speedway and Slinger track champion Luke Fenhaus returns to his home state of Wisconsin for his fourth attempt in the Gandrud 250. He has garnered a pair of top-fives the last two years in the race, including a third-place effort in 2021.
The 2021 Slinger Nationals winner has two ARCA wins this season, one in a standalone East race at Nashville and one in the East/National combination event at Iowa. He sits second in ARCA Menards Series East points, just 11 out of the points lead.
Xfinity Series Star Looking to Finish What He Started
Sammy Smith finished second to Paul Shafer Jr. in the 2021 edition of the Gandrud 250. That year, it had seemed as if he and his Wilson Motorsports team had nailed the pit strategy, but a persistent Shafer was able to hold off he and Fenhaus over the final 94 laps on old tires. Two years later, he returns with the same team with the goal of finishing one position better.
The Iowa native won his first-career NASCAR Xfinity Series race for Joe Gibbs Racing in March at Phoenix Raceway and has himself poised for the Playoffs with his victory. He is also the two-time defending ARCA East champion and was the winningest driver on the ARCA National circuit in 2022.
Nason Trying to Click Off Midwest Tour Trifecta
Austin Nason already has wins in the Joe Shear Classic at Madison and the Father’s Day 100 at Milwaukee. Now, the Illinois driver has the Gandrud 250 to check off of his list of marquee ASA Midwest Tour races to win.
If Nason has been one thing in his past Gandrud 250 starts, he’s been consistent. He’s finished fourth in each of his past three attempts in the race (2019-2021), and also finished fourth in his first Gandrud 250 start (2015).
Sommers Leads ASA MT Points Battle Into WIR
Plover, WI’s Gabe Sommers holds a 45 point lead over Levon VanDerGeest and Justin Mondeik going into the Gandrud 250 on Tuesday night. Last year’s third-place finisher has two ASA MT wins to his credit – 2019 State Park and 2022 Dells – and is hoping number three will be with national eyes on the Gandrud 250.
Sommers’ worst finish to date this season was a ninth last time out at State Park, but that was after he was sent to the tail with four laps to go after contact with John Beale while racing for the win. He finished third at Madison with the ASA STARS National Tour in May, and added a runner-up effort at Grundy County earlier in July.
Tickets for the Gandrud Auto Group 250 are now for sale on the Ticket Hoss app. Advanced tickets are $25 on Ticket Hoss, and $30 at the gate. Kids 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at https://tickethoss.com/event/531.
The Gandrud Auto Group 250 will be co-sanctioned with the ASA Midwest Tour, which will be race number seven on the season. Gabe Sommers currently holds the Midwest Tour points lead over Justin Mondeik.
The ASA STARS National Tour opened the ten race, six-state schedule at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL on March 11. Cole Butcher is the most recent winner, claiming the victory in the Redbud 400 at Anderson Speedway.
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 Release
-Photo credit: Bruce Nuttleman/Ultimate Lap Photo