Hickory, NC (May 23, 2023) – Two “stars” from the original ASA Racing Series have been named “Guests of Honor” for the new ASA STARS National Tour “Tar Heel 250” event at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) on Thursday, May 25.
1996 ASA ACDelco Challenge Series National Champion Tony Raines and 1988 ASA Rookie of the Year Jeff Neal have accepted an invitation to serve as “Guests of Honor” for the Thursday Night in the Foothills event at Hickory. The event marks the first time ASA is returning to Hickory in more than 20 years.
Raines, who remains active in the sport as a NASCAR spotter for NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Brett Moffit and Cup driver Chris Buescher, competed in five ASA races in 1988, and then returned for his rookie year in 1989. In 1990, Raines moved to NASCAR’s All Pro Series, where he won Rookie of the Year and finished fourth in the final standings.
He returned to ASA in 1991 for a four-year stint as driver of a new team formed by Ernie Roselli. In 1995, he joined forces with veteran crew chief Howie Lettow and Baker Motorsports. That switch led to the 1996 championship and Raines’ first major NASCAR ride. He moved to a full-time ride in the NASCAR Truck Series in 1997.
Raines would go on to make 54 starts in the Truck Series, posting four wins and 22 top top-10 finishes. He also made 282 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and 180 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Neal, the 1988 ASA Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year, will also be on hand. The Illinois native literally grew up in the sport, in and around ASA. His father Ron was a renowned engine builder (Prototype Racing Engines) and his wife, Toni, is the daughter of longtime ASA competitor Harold Fair.
Neal made more than 100 starts in ASA, with a best points finish of 5th in 1993. He also raced actively in the ARTGO Challenge Series; the All-Pro Series, the NASCAR Busch Series and Busch North Series.
Neal and Cywinski were named Guests of Honor for the ASA STARS event at North Wilkesboro Speedway last Tuesday, but the ECDM 150 at North Wilkesboro Speedway was postponed by weather, and neither could return for the event the next day. Cywinski is unable to come to Hickory, as he is actively involved in the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Truck and Xfinity Series during the weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Advance sale tickets for the Tar Heel 250 are now available at the track, or can be purchased online by clicking here.
Spectator gates and ASA STARS National Tour practice will open at noon. Limited Late Models will compete in support of the ASA STARS Super Late Models.
Raceday tickets will go on sale at 3:30, with Limited Late Model qualifying set for 4:15pm. Go Fas Pole Qualifying for the ASA STARS National Tour set for 5:00pm. A last chance race will follow Go Fas Qualifying, to set the remainder of the starting field, if needed.
An on-track autograph session will precede the Tar Heel 250, set for 7:30 PM. A 50 lap Limited Late Model Feature will follow the ASA STARS National Tour event.
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.