INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 29, 2002) - Team ASE, the longest independent continuous sponsor in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, will celebrate its 175th start in the division when the green flag drops on the Power Stroke Diesel 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Saturday, August 2.
"When ASE got into the Truck Series back in 1995, we were looking for a series to identify with that would relate directly back to the working technicians," said ASE president, Ron Weiner. "We found a great niche because the racing was new and very appealing. Trucks were outselling cars in many brandlines in 1995 and many of our technicians were driving trucks. That was a great fit for us then and it keeps working better and better as the years go on. The time has gone by very quickly and ASE has enjoyed every minute of it. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series continues to grow in popularity and has blossomed into something way beyond our expectations."
As the primary sponsor on the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram, ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence), has been able to highlight its efforts to provide the highest quality professional technician certification and assessment services at all levels of vehicle maintenance and repair. In addition to ASE's racing involvement, the non-profit organization is active in numerous civic, charitable, educational and humanitarian activities.
The eight-year NCTS association between ASE and Ultra Motorsports has produced 15 wins and 26 pole positions. Mike Bliss, Mike Wallace and Scott Riggs have all notched victories flying the orange, white and blue Team ASE colors. While current driver Jason Leffler is still searching for his first win, he has contributed a division-high seven pole positions and is a threat for the win every week.
"It's pretty exciting for me to be able to participate in such a landmark race for ASE," commented Leffler. "Ron Weiner and everyone at ASE have supported me since my early days in USAC. Their commitment to the Truck Series has been second to none. Sponsors have come and gone in this series, but the No. 2 has been here since 1995 and will be for a long time to come. I'm having more fun this year than I have in a long time. ASE and Ultra Motorsports have given me all the resources I need to be successful and we're pounding on the door for our first win. This has been one of the best programs I have been associated with since I began my career."
Leffler has been equally exciting on the track this season. The Long Beach, CA driver has scored nine Top-10s, seven Top-5s and dominated qualifying en-route to his series-high seven Bud Pole awards.
This week, Leffler will have an opportunity to compete on familiar ground - the .686 Indianapolis Raceway Park oval - the sight of his Truck Series debut in 2000 behind the wheel of the Team ASE/NATEF Ford. Leffler also has a host of open-wheel experience at the tricky Indianapolis short track, including an open-wheel win there earlier in the season.
"It's a very technical racetrack," explained Leffler. "Because of the weather and all the races at IRP, the track changes from year to year. The last time I raced a truck at IRP was two years ago, so I'm sure I'll run a different line this year than I did in 2000. The place is really tough to get around and once you figure it out, it helps you a lot at other tracks. From the outside looking in, it looks like a fairly easy place to get around, but it's tough. You've got long, flat corners with some transitions, so that makes it really hard to pass, especially in a truck."
The Power Stroke 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park will take the green flag Friday, August 2 at 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 14th of 22 NCTS tour events this season will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN radio nationwide.
ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) also has a long involvement in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. As the primary sponsor on the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST entry, the non-profit organization has been able to highlight its efforts to provide the highest quality professional technician certification and assessment services at all levels of vehicle maintenance and repair. In addition to ASE's racing involvement, the organization is active in numerous civic, charitable, educational and humanitarian activities.