(Pensacola, FL) The inaugural event for the ASA STARS National Tour is just over a week away, Friday and Saturday, March 10-11 with the Sunshine State 200 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. With a new era of Super Late Model racing and ASA set to be ushered in, let’s take a look at ASA’s history at Five Flags Speedway.
The former national touring series made just two trips to the Florida half-mile oval, both coming during the later years of its existence. The first appearance came on May 4, 1997 in the Florida 300. Former ASA champions Bob Senneker and Kevin Cywinski led the field to green that afternoon, but it would be Mike Garvey putting on a show for fans in attendance.
Starting shotgun in the 33-car field, he worked his way from the back to the front twice after a problem during a pit stop and beat out Cywinski and Joe Nott for his first-career ASA win.
ASA returned to Five Flags Speedway five years later on May 6, 2002 for the ASAracing.com 300, a race which included 17-year-old and future two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch.
Once again, Kevin Cywinski started on the front row alongside Russ Tuttle. Cywinksi, David Stremme and Wayne Anderson were among race leaders during the first 200 laps of the event. That year’s series champion, Joey Clanton, would dominate the final third of the race to take his fourth of five straight wins to start the 2002 season over Stremme and Dan Fredrickson.
After 21 years, the ASA name returns to Five Flags Speedway on March 10-11 to open the ASA STARS National Tour season. The Sunshine State 200 will see Super Late Model racing’s best compete with a $20,000 payday on the line.
Fans wishing to purchase tickets for the Sunshine State 200 can do so online by visiting https://bit.ly/ASA5FlagsTixs.
On-track activities for the Sunshine State 200 will kick off on Friday, March 10 with practice for the ASA STARS National Tour plus local Pure Stock and Sportsman division racing.
On Saturday, March 11, grandstand gates and ticket sales will open at 12 noon CT. Sunshine State 200 pole qualifying is set for 4:00 PM CT. An on-track autograph session will take place with the starting field at 6:00 PM, and the Sunshine State 200 is scheduled for 7:30 PM.
The Sunshine State 200 also serves as the season opening race for the Blizzard Series at Five Flags Speedway and the second points race for the ASA Southern Super Series. NASCAR star William Byron won the first ASA Southern Super Series event, on February 14, at New Smyrna Speedway.
The stop in the panhandle of Florida will open a 10-race, six-state tour for the ASA STARS National Tour in 2023. At season’s end, the champion will receive a minimum of $25,000 within the slated $100,000 point fund.
For the full ASA STARS National Tour schedule, plus Super Late Model rules and other information, please visit the series website at starsnationaltour.com and 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.