Lucas Oil ASCS Opener Just Two Weeks Away!

TULSA, Okla. (January 26, 2011) -- The American Sprint Car Series kicks off its 20th year of competition in just two short weeks. And, it will be in unique fashion, as the series will bring its National forces to California for the first time before moving on to Arizona for the Fifth Annual Copper on Dirt.

The Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National series kicks off the 2011 season on Wednesday night, February 9, at the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, CA, before moving on to Hanford's Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway on Saturday night, February 12.

The following weekend, the fan-favorite ASCS National touring series moves on to Tucson's USA Raceway on February 18-19 for the Fifth Annual Copper on Dirt that will also include Midgets, Late Models and Modifieds.

All four opening events will be taped for later broadcast on the VERSUS network, the initial four of approximately ten one-hour episodes featuring the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National series.

Coming off a 2010 season in which the Lucas Oil ASCS National series averaged more than 57 competitors per event and 19 different feature winners, the upcoming season-opening events in California and Arizona mark the first of 39 currently scheduled nights of competition throughout the action.

And, the cast of characters vying for the $60,000 championship share among the $250,000 points fund will once again be tougher than nails.

Louisiana's Jason Johnson, coming off a second ASCS National title in 2010, and the JJR No. 41 team will try to defend the top spot while Oklahoma native Shane Stewart and Cali car owner Paul Silva try to put the Rockstar No. 57 back in first after a ranking of third in 2010.

While the Johnson-Stewart rivalry builds after swapping Lucas Oil titles over the past two season, the young duo (both 21 within the next couple of weeks) of Brady Bacon and Jack Dover both look to unseat the established champion. Oklahoma's Bacon netted a runner-up ranking in his first full winged campaign on the road in 2010, while Nebraska's Dover overcame a pair of mid-season setbacks to rally for a fourth-place ranking.

Three more past National champs are ready for another run including Tim Crawley, Gary Wright and Zach Chappell. Crawley and the Mike Ward Racing No. 88 pick up Lucas Oil sponsorship since fellow Little Rock native Ricky Logan has cut back on travelling plans, Wright hooks up with Missouri's Donnie Cooper again and Chappell teams with the Kansas-based Washburn No. 0 for a 2011 title assault.

Also back on the Lucas Oil ASCS trail for 2011 are two-time Short Track Nationals champ Tony Bruce, Jr., of Liberal, KS, and the Oklahoma-based pair of series sophomores Matt Covington and Dustin Morgan. Veteran contender Danny Wood also will be back in action, though his California presence is in question (much like Dover) pending the readiness of truck and trailer for the early road trip.

Another pair of established Sprint Car stars are set for the full Lucas Oil ASCS National slate in 2011 as well, including Memphis' Jeff Swindell and New Mexico's Johnny Herrera. Swindell returns to the road for the first time in several years after winning the Riverside International Speedway (West Memphis) title in 2010, with Herrera looking to add Lucas Oil ASCS title honors to a 2009 Knoxville Raceway track championship.

Washington's Seth Bergman, a Lucas Oil ASCS full-timer in 2009, takes to the road again after winning the Grays Harbor track championship last year, with fellow Washington native Logan Forler taking aim on Brodix Rookie of the Year honors.

Colorado's Chad Corken will also reportedly be back on the trail after following the full circuit in 2009 with several others weighing National possibilities pending early returns from California and Arizona.

The Series:

Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters

When & Where:
Wednesday night, February 9 -- Thunderbowl Raceway
Saturday night, February 12 -- Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway
Friday night, February 18 at 6:00 p.m. -- Fifth Annual Copper on Dirt at USA Raceway
Saturday night, February 19 at 6:00 p.m. -- Fifth Annual Copper on Dirt at USA Raceway

-source: lw/ascs