Pendleton (IN) February 17, 2003 -- When the 2003 ASA Racing Series rolls into Elko Speedway it will mark the only time during the 17-event season that the series drivers will compete for 400 laps. The high-banked .375-mile oval virtually...
Pendleton (IN) February 17, 2003 -- When the 2003 ASA Racing Series rolls into Elko Speedway it will mark the only time during the 17-event season that the series drivers will compete for 400 laps. The high-banked .375-mile oval virtually guarantees the same high-energy short track stock car action that the traditional Labor Day event has become synonymous with.
"We are honored to carry on the great tradition of the Minnesota Labor Day race and making it a 400 lap event will surely add to the great show it already is," said Greg McKarns, Elko Speedway General Manager. "The 300 lap race here with ASA last June was excellent and I can only imagine how good this is going to be like."
ASA made its debut in Minnesota in 1978 at the Minnesota State Fair Speedway on Labor Day. In that first race, the late Larry Detjens, of Wausau (WI), notched his third series victory. The 2002 event saw Gary St. Amant of Columbus (OH) take the victory in what later would prove to be the final race held at the historic facility. State Fair officials decided to discontinue racing due to the deteriorating condition of the facility and also as part of a larger project involving the preservation and restoration of the Grandstand structure.
"Hopefully we can carry the tradition that the State Fair race had established for Labor Day and stock car racing in Minnesota," said Kevin Cywinski, the 2001 Miller Lite 300 winner at the Fair. "I think last year the ASA drivers and teams were able to see how great the racing can be at Elko."
Elko Speedway becomes the 16th different racetrack to host an ASA event of 400 laps or more. The list includes Toledo, Salem, Berlin, I-70 and Nashville among facilities on the 2003 ASA Racing Series schedule.
Regardless of the racetrack, 400 lap races can be an endurance test for the competing drivers. "It's going to be tough on the drivers although the weather will definitely be a factor," said Cywinski, the Anderson 400 winner in 1996. "There aren't any long straight- aways to relax as you're constantly with other cars so there is two wide racing almost at all times. That close racing naturally makes drivers a little tenser. A few years ago I might have said 400 laps would make guys ride a little more, but now with the BFGoodrich Tires package that we have its hard to use up these tires and I think you are going to see 400 laps of non-stop action. The cars don't really slow down and the guys really just keep running harder and harder."
The event weekend calls for three of the Elko Speedway divisions to compete on Saturday, a Super Late Model feature on Sunday and the ASA 400-lap Labor Day Classic at 1:30 p.m. (Central) to wrap up the extravaganza.
Ticket and additional event information is available by calling 1-888-ASA-1020.