PENDLETON, Ind. (December 12, 2003) -- In the first of several safety-related programs, the American Speed Association announced that they have joined the SFI Foundation, a non-profit organization established to develop and administer standards for specialty/performance auto and racing equipment.

By virtue of its membership, ASA will be allowed to implement the performance specifications that the SFI Foundation establishes for 75 categories, including driver suits, helmets, roll cages, and fuel cells. These qualifications cover nearly every aspect of the racing vehicle and participant, and several will be written into the 2004 rulebooks for the ASA National Series and ASA Late Model Series.

"This is a huge step forward for ASA in terms of providing safety specifications for our teams," explained Joe Balash, ASA vice-president, race operations. "For the first time we can offer true specifications that have been developed from an independent organization. The SFI specifications are used as standards by a variety of other sanctioning bodies so it was natural for ASA to become part of the organization as we look to enhance our safety programs."

ASA joins the nearly 50 sanctioning bodies currently part of the SFI Foundation, including NASCAR, IRL, NHRA, IHRA, SCCA and USAC. When SFI Foundation specifications are adopted as part of the rules of a race sanctioning body, the products used by the racer must comply with these specifications. Additionally, they provide officials a convenient and reliable reference when evaluating products and during tech inspections.

"Joining SFI is a further illustration of the commitment of ASA to the safety of our competitors," said Ross Wellman, manager of race operations and communications. "SFI is an extremely well-respected organization whose credentials lend credibility to the safety recommendations we are making for 2004 and beyond."

The SFI Foundation was originally part of SEMA, currently an automotive aftermarket trade organization. For several years the organization has been independent of the parent company, but still provides the basic goals of developing product specifications for use by the suppliers of motorsports equipment. Information about the SFI Foundation, including the specifications list and participating sanctioning bodies, can be found at

The American Speed Association is based in Pendleton, Ind., and has offered stock car racing programs since 1968, including the ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series and ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit