A strong contingent of drivers and teams from out west made a second cross-country trip to Five Flags Speedway in three months, this time for the ASA STARS National Tour Sunshine State 200. Eight drivers from or representing a team from the west were on hand at Five Flags Speedway, with varying degrees of success.
The top-finishing driver from out west was Jeremy Doss, who piloted the Bob Lyon No.44 to a runner-up finish after starting 20th. It was the Upper Lake, CA driver’s best result to date at Five Flags Speedway in 12 appearances at Five Flags Speedway.
Defending SRL Southwest Tour champion Jacob Gomes backed up a top-ten run in his first Snowball Derby start with an eighth-place run Saturday night. Fellow California driver Blaine Rocha finished just behind Gomes in 13th.
Colorado’s Preston Peltier led laps in the second stage, but an incident with 30 to go ended his night with a 20th place finish. His battle with Bubba Pollard at the end of the second stage was one of the biggest highlights of the 200-lap event.
Reigning Snowball Derby champion Derek Thorn was fastest in qualifying and ran up front for the majority of the race, but would finish in 23rd after contact with the wall ended his race prematurely.
Ryan Luza was a last-minute entry in the Jett Motorsports No.9, but mechanical issues would end the Texas driver’s race after just 26 laps. He would end the race in 34th.
While Cole Butcher and Gio Ruggiero are from Nova Scotia and Massachusetts, respectively, both drivers raced for Oklahoma-based Wilson Motorsports. Both drivers led laps during the race, with varying final results. Butcher finished fourth, while Ruggiero limped home 15th after an incident ended his chances at racing for a win.
The ASA STARS National Tour will now look to race number two of its 10-race, six-state schedule. The Joe Shear Classic will be held at Madison International Speedway in Wisconsin on Sunday, May 7, 2023. More details regarding the event will be announced soon.
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.