Looking ahead to the 2011 racing season, many are wondering if this will be the year that short track racing will return to its glory. ASA recently polled some of their ASA Member Track and Series Promoters on their thoughts going into their season. Many feel optimistic.
Brad Allen, Promoter of Ace Speedway an ASA Member Track in Altamahaw, NC, will be entering his second season in his role. "Things here are going well. Our 2011 schedule is out and full of a great variety of racing events. The lessons learned throughout our first year of managing the race track have proved very useful for approaching what will be our 55th anniversary at Ace Speedway," Allen said. "Our season ticket sales have been solid and the preseason rule meetings were very well attended. By all accounts, the fans are ready for the season opener on March 25th and the number of race teams that have registered car numbers point to full fields in all classes. The momentum created last year with a great 2010 season has produced an unmistakable air of anticipation here that has filtered through the surrounding community and we can't wait to see what this year holds. Our goal of returning Ace Speedway to prominence continues and we thank ASA for providing support and direction to do so."
The ASA Midwest Tour is entering their fifth season of competition. Tim Olson, ASA Midwest Tour President, is seeing some positive signs. "When you watch the news, many are seeing that a lot of blue collar jobs are picking up again," Olson said. "Many of our racers work those blue collar jobs and for them to get a steady income, it will also allow them to come and race at the short tracks and series. Things are turning for the better."
At Lonesome Pines Raceway, an ASA Member Track in Coeburn, VA, Promoter Harold Crook is excited about the upcoming season. "We have our first race sponsorship sold among several other race events that have sponsors already," Crook said. "We have 19 events on the schedule this season and every one of them is special."
Not only is he the 2010 ASA NSRA Winged Sprint Car Champion, but Andy Alberding is returning as the club President in 2011. "We are very optimistic about the outlook of our 2011 season from this point," Alberding said. "We have assembled a diverse schedule of races across a wide area of the Pacific Northwest and all word so far is our car count will be even better than last year. We hope the fans will be able to make it out to see what a great show we can put on."
Ron and Scott Wimmer, the father/son promoter duo at State Park Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Wausau, WI, had a successful first season as the new promoters and are very optimistic about their second. "We are really excited for the 2011 season, we have a great schedule lined up and can't wait to get started. Last year was a big undertaking for us. We were very successful in some areas, but went through some growing pains in other areas," Ron Wimmer said. "Our car counts were awesome and we had over 13,500 people come through the gates in just our nine events. Thanks to help from great sponsors and fan support were able to pay a larger purse for a weekly show. We know if we continue to improve more fans will come out and more sponsors will want to be involved."
"Our focus for this year is to improve the little things week in and week out. Last year we made major renovations to the track and the facility. This year we want to make sure each night flows smoothly, the best thing for drivers and fans is when we can have everything running on time," Scott Wimmer said. "We have great racing, great fans, and noticed some tracks are even trying some things we did last year, so we look to continue to bring new and innovative ideas to each Thursday event. If we can do that and lead they way in short track racing in Wisconsin we will continue to see success at State Park Speedway."
Down in the Southwest, Randy Claypoole, President of ISCARS DASH Touring Sanctioned by ASA is looking at 2011 with a new approach. "We cannot ignore the obvious strain with the economy," Claypoole said. "The focus for us is dealing with expectations. ISCARS has decided to create our own reasonable expectations which are attainable and in turn will produce positive energy. Growth in 2011 will not be based on car count, but rather raising the bar of professional appearance, an affordable schedule of events, and a better entertainment package for the fans."
Mike Eames is the new General Manager at Rocky Mountain Raceways, an ASA Member Track in West Valley City, UT. They are celebrating a milestone in 2011. "This is a special year for us at Rocky Mountain Raceways. We get to celebrate our 15th year racing at this facility along with the honor of having the 2010 ASA National Champion compete here," Eames said. "Bryan Wordelman did a fantastic job and we look to defend our title either with Bryan or another of our talented racers."
"Everything looks to be heading in the right direction," Adam Nelson, Promoter of Meridian Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Meridian, ID said. "Even with the economic situation, things are looking good at the Speedway. Drivers are doing what they can to come and race. They are either changing to a division they can compete in or not making many changes to their current cars. They want to come and race and they are doing what they can to do so. The fans are always looking for a good time at a low cost. We think we have cornered that market by providing some of the best entertainment in our part of Idaho."
"There is a lot of optimism overall in short track racing. The major reason is that this sport is affordable and anyone, no matter what their income level is, can participate," Dennis Huth, ASA President said. "Many of our ASA Member Tracks and Series have a division that could work in someone's budget if they want to compete. If you are looking for great family entertainment, the cost of going to a short track event is almost the same as taking the family to see a movie at the local theatre. The action is live and exciting."
Huth also has a message for potential sponsors as well. "You hear about the high dollars that circulate around the upper levels of our sport. Short tracks and series have more affordable opportunities to reach out to the same audience that they would spend millions to attract. They are missing out on a great opportunity."
To learn more about the ASA Member Tracks and Sanctioned Series in your area, please visit www.asa-racing.com.
The American Speed Association started as a single racing series in 1968 and is a fast growing racing sanctioning body today. The ASA Member Track program is comprised of asphalt and dirt short tracks along with road courses around the United States, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. To learn more of the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based American Speed Association call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For news and information from all the racetracks and regional tours involved in the ASA, visit www.ASA-Racing.com.
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