Pendleton, Ind. (September 12, 2003) -- The American Speed Association has reached an agreement with the Michigan-based USPRO Cup Series that allows for ASA to assume controlling interest of the nearly two-year old racing series. USPRO Cup is a Michigan based Super Late Model Series. The agreement will take effect following the conclusion of the 2003 season.
Formed in 2002 by President Ron Varney and Race Director Chris Throgmartin, USPRO Cup took form by racers input and by designing rules centered on their mission statement. The rules were molded from this input with stability, reliability; cost effectiveness and performance all cornerstones of the development behind USPRO. GM Racing, Howe Racing Enterprises and Port City Racing were among the racing industry companies contacted. Their ideas were instrumental in formulating the series.
"We are acquiring the majority interest although Ron (Varney) will continue to be a partner with ASA and manage the race operations," said Steve Dale, ASA President. "We will be involved on a daily basis with the growth of the series in a number of ways. This will serve to support our growing Member Track family as they want to see a top quality program for their facilities and this offers us the opportunity to do that. I see this as a real positive development for the prospective racer and for ASA. It should be an ideal place for drivers to evolve with their skill level and also be noticed by others in higher divisions."
Plans call for the USPRO Cup to possibly be re-named using some form of the ASA Racing brand. The series is expected to conduct 12 to 15 events and will initially be in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin for it's first season under the ASA banner. The events will see the series operate both as a stand-alone program and as a companion to the current nationally touring ASA Racing Series.
"I think its great for USPRO to be connected with ASA," said Ron Varney, an automotive engineer and the third generation of his family to be involved in motorsports. "We will retain many of the same rules we now have, but certainly the exposure for the series and the high likelihood of new talented drivers coming in is tremendously exciting."
Officials are planning for 100-lap green flag races with a preference to not have competitors changing tires, adding fuel or having to use pit stops during the events. The cars will include makes from three major manufacturers -- General Motors, Ford and Dodge. They will utilize template bodies and engines from all three.
In its brief history, drivers including Butch Miller, Fred Campbell and Dave Sensiba have either tested or competed in the USPRO Cup series cars. Current ASA drivers are expected to join with many of the leading Late Model competitors from around the Midwest.
American Speed Association officials envision a season-ending showdown of competitors from racetracks around the country. The event will feature a significant purse and be televised.
Additional announcements will be forthcoming finalizing rules and schedule for the 2004 season.