The American Speed Association® Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment and GrandStay Hospitality is listening to its fans. Throughout the winter, several questions were posted on the ASA Midwest Tour Facebook Page because the ASAMT wanted to hear from their fans. Well, when some of the best sports fans in the country speak, the ASAMT listens!
Have you ever sat through a race where the leader maintains a five second lead over the entire field no matter how many caution flags fall? Kind of boring, right? Maybe not for the leader and his race fans, but you catch my drift. Well, that is about to change in 2011 when all three divisions of the ASAMT will shift to double-file restarts.
ASAMT President, Tim Olson had this to say, "In a perfect world, race tracks would all have two valid grooves of racing, but years of weathering have changed that resulting in single file lanes on some occasions. We threw the idea out to our fans and were extremely overwhelmed with the response and excitement about going to double-file restarts. Without the fans, we wouldn't have racing and it was important to us to listen to their concerns."
Short track racing already provides the most exciting racing in the country. With the caliber of drivers in the ASAMT, this change in the rules is expected to only add to the excitement. Double-file restarts will give not only the second place driver a chance to make a run, but third and fourth on down will also be able to capitalize on their restarting positions.
Steve Carlson, the 2009 and 2010 ASAMT Champion is looking forward to what this new rule will bring to the events. "I'm all for it!" said Carlson. "All the cars in the ASAMT are pretty even, so this will give a guy a better shot at winning. Single file restarts can really put you a long ways back there. I think it's a really good deal!"
Just how good of a deal does Carlson think it is? Well, his home track, La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, implemented this rule last year for their weekly events. Carlson won six feature races last year...five of them from capitalizing on double-file restarts!
It is not just veterans that are looking forward to it. The 2010 Rookie of the Year, Ross Kenseth is also a "fan" of this new race procedure. "I ran multiple races in 2010 where they featured double-file restarts. I believe the racing is much better and I'm a big fan of the idea."
Kenseth also made the point that it will make it easier for guys who do not qualify very well an opportunity to work their way back up to the front. "Most importantly, it gives the fans a better show and that's the most important thing today!" added Kenseth.
Okay, so we know people are excited, but just how does this whole double-file thing work? There are a couple ways of doing it, but the ASAMT will be using the "choose rule," which will be in effect for the restart after every caution flag in an event.
A traffic cone will be placed in the center of the track on the back stretch. The leader will then have the option to choose the inside or outside lane and all cars behind the leader must choose a lane for their restarting position and line up behind the leader.
Nathan Haseleu, 2007 ASAMT Champion, agreed that the "choose rule" will add excitement to the race and be better for the fans. "The "choose rule" is the right way to do it. Since you can chose, you won't get stuck in a lane that you don't want. It will definitely change the outcome of the race."
There are a few instances when drivers are not eligible for the "choose rule". Drivers who are involved in the current caution or returning from the pit area, as well as lapped cars and the lucky dog are not eligible for the cone and will restart at the tail end of the longest line. In addition, due to double-file restarts, the competition yellow will not be used in 2011.
"We are confident that we are making the right decision. It's obvious by their (fans) response, that something needed to change. We have the best drivers in the country and along with excitement of the "choose rule" it will put fans on the edge of their seat and thats what it is all about," added Steve Einhaus, ASAMT VP.
Now that you know how it works, you can be sure that fans will definitely have a reason to get off their seats as the cars power out of turn four to take the green flag for the restart!
So make your plans now to see the "choose rule" firsthand along with an all new race format for the Joe
Shear Classic on May 1st at Madison International Speedway...more details coming soon! Be sure to stay connected to the ASAMT by becoming a fan of the ASAMT Facebook Page.
To learn more about the American Speed Association® Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment and GrandStay Residential Suites Hotels and Crossings by GrandStay Inn & Suites, log on to www.asamidwesttour.com or call the ASA Midwest Tour office at (630) 212-6022 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or e-mail Tim Olson at email@example.com or Steve Einhaus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Daytona Beach, Florida-based Racing Speed Associates or the American Speed Association® Racing Member Track program, call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to email@example.com. For news and information from racetracks and regional tours involved in the American Speed Association®, visit www.asaracing.com.