PENDLETON, Ind. (October 10, 2000) - The American Speed Association announced the 2001 season schedule today, which will include the season opener during Speedweeks in Florida, the series' first trip to the state of California, and a return to ...
PENDLETON, Ind. (October 10, 2000) - The American Speed Association announced the 2001 season schedule today, which will include the season opener during Speedweeks in Florida, the series' first trip to the state of California, and a return to Berlin Raceway after a one-year hiatus. The 2001 schedule will once again consist of 20 races, beginning in mid-February and ending in late September. In all, 19 different tracks in 15 states will be visited over the eight-month season.
The season will open on Saturday night, February 17, during Florida Speedweeks, the annual celebration of various types of motorsports which converge on the Sunshine State. The February 17 season opening event will mark ASA's initial trip to the half-mile Florida Speed Park (St. Augustine, Fla.), the night before the Daytona 500. It will be the first of two trips to the Sunshine State, as the series will return to USA International Speedway in Lakeland on March 24 for the third race of 2001.
A major geographic barrier will fall on March 10, as ASA makes its farthest move to the West, visiting the state-of-the-art, half-mile Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, located just outside of Los Angeles. Looking to expand the image of championship short track stock car racing, the Irwindale visit will mark the first time the series will visit the west coast, and the furthest west the series has traveled since its 1998 trip to Colorado.
In a previously announced date, the fourth event of the season will see the series third new track of 2001, the .400-mile South Boston (Va.) Speedway. The South Boston event is set for April 7, and will coincide with a traditional stock car event at nearby Martinsville Speedway.
ASA will invade the Stock Car capitol of the world on Sunday afternoon, May 20, as the series visits Concord Motorsports Park, the fourth and final new venue for 2001, located just outside of Charlotte.
Following a one-year absence, one of ASA's traditional tracks will return to the schedule. Michigan's Berlin Raceway, located outside Grand Rapids, will once again host an ASA event on Saturday night, July 14th, the 12th event on the schedule. The .438-mile track, under new management beginning in 2001, has hosted 35 ASA events dating back to 1981.
ASA will close the 2001 season with two-straight races in its home state of Indiana, including the 32nd Annual Winchester 400, followed by the season finale at Indianapolis Raceway Park, which will again precede the Formula One event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"I believe this collection of facilities further allows ASA to deliver the entertainment package that best reflects our series," said Executive Vice President Brian Robbins. "Along with our traditional tracks, these new venues are among the best in the country for our style of close, competitive racing. The schedule should be a true test of driver skill and competition in pursuit of the 2001 ASA National Championship."
TNN Sports will once again telecast all 20 American Speed Association events LIVE. With the recent announcement of the revamping and rebranding of TNN into The National Network, an increased presence and new attitude will be taken toward the broadcasting of ASA events. The increased commitment and dedication TNN will focus on ASA in 2001 begins to become evident with the announcement that all 20 events on the schedule being broadcast live to the 75 million TNN households. In 2000, 17 of the 20 ASA events we re telecast live with the other three on a tape-delay basis.
The 2001 ASA schedule of events has evolved through direction from several areas, including input from the ASA Sponsor Council, made up of representatives from several of ASA's primary sponsors. As can be seen with the dates and tracks on the schedule, sponsors want to keep the series on some of the country's premier short tracks, while expanding into larger markets for greater exposure for the series.
"The 2001 schedule is a great representation of what ASA Racing is all about", said Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mark Gundrum. "We have worked diligently over the past year with members of the ASA Sponsor Council, and collectively we believe we h ave established an excellent combination of the best short track facilities in the country, combined with markets attractive to our sponsors. This years schedule, combined with the continued and enhanced commitment by TNN, should help elevate ASA to the next level!"