Shafer Motorsports at FIve Flags Speedway /

Shafer Motorsports Plans ASA STARS Owner’s Title Run

The Sunshine State 200 saw the debut of a new team/driver partnership between reigning Snowball Derby champion Derek Thorn and Northwest Indiana-based Shafer Motorsports.  It started off with a bang, with Thorn setting fast time for the inaugural event.  However, their race ended prematurely with a 23rd place result.

Shafer Motorsports now plans on chasing after an owner’s title with Thorn and team owner Paul Shafer Jr. behind the wheel.  With the new partnership comes a reunion of Thorn and Shafer Motorsports’ Crew Chief Chris Purdy, who worked together in the 2000’s when Thorn was racing in Wisconsin.

“I’m excited to run for it and to run for it with Derek as well.  He’s a real good racer and he’s well-established in the racing community,” said Shafer.  “It’s really cool to work with him and it’s really cool for Derek to come back with Chris Purdy.  He worked with him about 15 years ago and they won quite a few races together and ran very well.  It’s like getting the band back together; that’s what we’ve been calling it.”

Along with Five Flags Speedway, Thorn will pilot the No.7 at North Wilkesboro, Hickory, Slinger, and Nashville.  Meanwhile, Shafer will make his ASA STARS National Tour debut at Madison, along with Anderson, Wisconsin International Raceway, and Winchester.  The driver for Toledo is still up in the air due to another race at Shafer’s home track that same day.

For Shafer, his schedule sees him competing at a pair of tracks where he’s had success, and another pair of tracks that he hasn’t seen in quite some time.  He’s a former winner at Madison and Kaukauna, where he won the Gandrud Auto Group 250 in 2021.  Meanwhile, he hasn’t been to either Anderson or Winchester since 2015.

“Nothing’s 100% set in stone, it’s one of those deals where we’re going to run as many as we can and see how things are going.  By the time you get to midseason, sometimes you get wear and tear on your equipment and things aren’t going as good as you hoped.  As far as right now, his plan is to run Nashville, Slinger, and the two Carolina races.  We’re going to split up the seat.  I’ll run Madison, Kaukauna, Anderson, Winchester, and I think he’s going to run Toledo.  That might be a deal where he’ll have to run that because I’ll run the Bettenhausen over at Grundy (County Speedway).

“I think the last time I’ve been to Winchester was in 2015, and Anderson was maybe 2014.  It’s been a really long time.  Those places are places I’ve run well at, but they’re both kind of survival racetracks.  As long as you’re running at the end, you’ll have a chance at it.  It’s just getting to that point because everyone’s beating and banging, stuff’s breaking at Winchester.  It becomes a survival race at that point.”

After putting an all-star cast of drivers that include Matt Kenseth, Johnny Sauter, and Casey Johnson behind the wheel of the Shafer Motorsports No.7, Shafer himself will get back behind the wheel of his own Super Late Model for the first time since the 2021 Snowball Derby.

With how 2022 transpired, Shafer admits he and his team feel like they have something to prove.

“It was a tough year last year with Chris and all the guys.  They had fast cars and good runs, but nothing to show for it.  I’m excited to get back behind the wheel, it feels like I have something to prove.  It’s been over a year, hopefully I can get behind the wheel and still have it.”

For the full ASA STARS National Tour schedule, plus Super Late Model rules and other information, please visit the series website at, 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.