A pair of familiar faces to short track fans will anchor the inaugural ASA STARS National Tour season.
Ralph Sheheen and Jim Tretow will reunite as a broadcasting team across the ten-race season. Their partnership in the booth goes back to the 1990’s when they were calling ASA National Tour races together on TNN.
Sheheen was on the first ASA broadcasts on TNN in 1990, with Tretow joining him soon after for several seasons.
The duo has garnered over 70 years of combined broadcasting experience since their ASA days, ranging from local short tracks all the way to the NASCAR Cup Series and across multiple motorsports disciplines. The two have remained friends, united by their passion for short track racing and all forms of motorsports.
“I am thrilled to be back calling ASA races, and the fact that my booth partner will be Jim Tretow makes it just that much better. Some of the best times I’ve had in broadcasting was calling ASA races on TNN back in the 90’s with Jim as my colleague in the booth,” said Ralph Sheheen. “Jim and I had great chemistry on the air and had a lot of fun, which translated through to the fans.”
Sheheen’s return to the booth brings back memories of his time with the old-school cars and stars of the American Speed Association in the 1990’s, dating back to ASA’s first live broadcast on TNN. With a new generation of stars set to do battle starting at Five Flags Speedway on March 10-11, he is ready to help write new memories.
“When I think back on those days with ASA back in the 90’s, I quickly think of the legends that were a part of the series. Racers like Mike Eddy and Bob Senneker were as tough as any racer I’ve seen. In fact, the greatest stock car race I’ve ever seen was the first-ever ASA live broadcast on TNN at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Darrell Waltrip, Mike Eddy and Bob Senneker absolutely went at it and Darrell ended up winning by a hair. In victory lane, Darrell told me in an interview that it was the toughest race he had ever been in. I fully expect the new era ASA STARS National Tour to be just as exciting and the races just as thrilling.”
“The other big thing that happened with ASA was how many drivers made the leap from ASA to NASCAR successfully. Obviously stars like Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin and Alan Kulwicki had already made the jump, but during the 90’s Johnny Benson led the next generation. Eventually, drivers like Johnny Sauter, Tony Raines, Jeff Neal and others used success in ASA as a springboard to a career in NASCAR. I’m excited to see which drivers in the new ASA STARS National Tour will become the next stars to rise to the highest level of the sport.”
Tretow has been a mainstay in Super Late Model racing for the last decade, having been on the call for races such as the Snowball Derby, Slinger Nationals, Winchester 400 and All American 400. Now, he returns to the booth for the ten-race season with an old friend.
“For the last decade or so, I’ve had the opportunity to call several high-level super late model events on Racing America and Speed Sport’s streaming platforms, and on MAVTV. I am amazed at the speed and skill of today’s ASA STARS National Tour competitors,” said Tretow. “I look forward to sharing the compelling stories of today’s best of the best super late model racers on the live stream and to a national audience on MAVTV.”
“ASA is back, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to reunite with Ralph on these races. Growing up in Wisconsin as a kid in the stands, I watched the best of the best racing in ASA. In 1993 I got the call to join ASA’s national radio broadcasts, then joined Ralph in the ASA on TNN TV booth in 1996.”
Full ASA 1997 broadcast from Five Flags Speedway with Ralph Sheheen and Jim Tretow calling the action can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZMOpjx601I&t=107s.
TrackTV.com is being launched as an enhanced version of MidwestTour.TV offering additional programming and a more diverse lineup of motorsports including pavement, dirt, off-road and more. TrackTV.com is being billed as the newest platform in the streaming space. Current MidwestTour.TV subscribers will have full access to TrackTV.com programming.
Subscribers to TrackTV.com, MidwestTour.tv and Racing America have the option to purchase the single event Pay-Per-View at the discounted price of $22.99. Non-subscribers can purchase the broadcast for $29.99. There will also be a discounted PPV bundle option that includes nine of the 10 ASA Stars National Tour races (does not include North Wilkesboro on May 16, which was previously contracted by and will be available on FloRacing).
Fans interested in following the entire season throughout the year can purchase this discounted bundle for $99.99 if they are Racing America or MidwestTour.tv subscribers, or $139.99 for non-subscribers.
The inaugural event for the ASA STARS National Tour is Friday and Saturday, March 10-12 with the Sunshine State 200 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL.
Fans wishing to purchase tickets for the Sunshine State 200 can do so online by visiting Track Enterprises.
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 pavement Super Late Model race will pay $20,000 to the winner of the event and $1,500 to start the 200-lap race.
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, 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 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.