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ASA Midwest Tour Heads South to Grundy for Appleton/Echo Blower 100 DAYTONA BEACH, FL (July 5, 2007) - Get ready for one fun weekend filled with prestige, memories, camping, and lots of good, hard racing. The American Speed Association Kwik Trip...

ASA Midwest Tour Heads South to Grundy for Appleton/Echo Blower 100

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (July 5, 2007) - Get ready for one fun weekend filled with prestige, memories, camping, and lots of good, hard racing. The American Speed Association Kwik Trip Midwest Tour rolls into Morris, Illinois to the Grundy County Fairgrounds this Friday the thirteenth for the ninth annual George Appleton Memorial. The George Appleton Memorial is one of the most prestigious Late Model races in the country and is held in memory of the founder of Appleton Rack and Pinion, Inc. based in Minooka, Illinois who passed away in 1998.

Appleton was a long time innovator in the field of late model stock car chassis and components. He built numerous stock cars during his lifetime, but set the Midwestern stock car racing scene on its ear when he debuted his state-of-the-art Junkyard Dog Camaro with Larry Schuler handling the driving chores in 1976. Featuring coil over shocks and rack and pinion steering among other new racing ideas, the Appleton creation carried Schuler to three track championships in three states with the young champion winning a season-high 43 main events during the 1976 season.

"The ASA Midwest Tour George Appleton Memorial Echo Power Blower 100 will be an event to be remembered and fans and drivers won't want to miss it. The history with George and racing around here is so rich and to bring in NASCAR drivers, top-tier Late Model stars, and the American Speed Association for this event is monumental. Steve Einhaus (ASAMT VP) got his feet wet promoting this very event years ago and it means so much to him, I know he is not leaving anything untouched in making this year's event the best one yet," explained Grundy County Speedway Promoter Frank Welch.

Einhaus responded, "I look forward to this event every year because it is so special to go home and put on a fantastic show for the local fans. "I grew up at Grundy County Speedway and being able to promote this show every year means the world to me. The Chicagoland fans are about to see the greatest short track Super Late Model racers in the country visit them locally along with a treat of NASCAR Stars. This is also huge for the racers tom compete NASCAR weekend because the requests for credentials have been overwhelming from NASCAR teams that are interested in seeing the talent in the Nation's toughest Super Late Model Tour."

The ASA Midwest Tour is expecting a stellar field of cars, bringing the Touring Stars to a track where 22-30 of the same style cars run weekly. NASCAR is at nearby Chicagoland Speedway the same weekend and NASCAR drivers Johnny Sauter, Jeff Green, and Rich Bickle will be strapping into Super Late Models for the Appleton Memorial Echo Power Blower 100.

The ASA Midwest Tour and Trackside Charities have been awarded the main stage with the house band Jackson Hill Band from Wild Horse Saloon playing for charity. Trackside Charities is a fundraising organization that teams up with racing events to raise money for local and regional charities. There will be a racecar on site and drivers signing autographs.

Camping at the fairgrounds is highly suggested. Hotel availability is slim due to the NASCAR weekend at Chicagoland Speedway 30 miles East.

Fans arriving to the area early can visit Joliet's Fan Fest with over 30,000 fans flooding the streets to meet NASCAR drivers, listen to bands, and take in all the NASCAR weekend has to offer. More information is available by calling (815) 942-2510.

NASCAR Stars Try Their Game Against Best Racers in Midwest

Johnny Sauter is a Necedah, Wisconsin native. He was the 2001 American Speed Association National Tour Champion and is presently competing in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in the #70 Chevrolet for Haas CNC Racing with sponsor Yellow Transportation.

Jeff Green is Sauter's team mate in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, piloting the #66 Best Buy Chevrolet for Haas CNC Racing. Green won the NASCAR Busch Series championship in 2000 and has 16 Busch wins to his credit.

"I'm looking forward to this race. It's fun to go somewhere different - I've never been to Grundy before and we all grew up racing Late Models and different kinds of cars and it should be a real good time to do this with the American Speed Association Midwest Tour. My team mate Johnny (Sauter) is very excited and it will be a good battle in those cars," Green said.

Rich Bickle is an Edgerton, Wisconsin native who also has prior ASA experience, finishing runner up to Johnny Benson in the 1990 Rookie of the Year standings. Bickle made the progression to NASCAR and has three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins, 34 top-ten finishes, and six poles in just 79 starts. He has one pole and nine top tens in the NASCAR Busch Series and three top-ten finishes in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. The Appleton Memorial will be Bickle's third race in the ASA Midwest Tour.

Along with the NASCAR stars, Midwest hotshots Pat Kelly, Eddie Hoffman, and Kwik Trip Touring Stars Kenny Richards (Montello, WI), Dan Fredrickson (Lakeville, MN), Nathan Haseleu (Marshall, WI), Rod Wheeler (Hortonville, WI), Josh Vadnais (White Bear Lake, MN), Brad "JJ" Mueller (Random Lake, WI), Dave Feiler (Sun Prairie, WI), Donny Reuvers (Dundas, MN), Adam Royle (Farmington, MN), Steve Carlson (West Salem, WI), Travis Sauter (Necedah, WI), Jamie Iverson (Escanaba, MI), and Benny VanCleve (Prior Lake, MN) had entered the event at press time.

Rich History of Grundy County Speedway

The Grundy County Speedway Fairgrounds was originally located at Mazon, Illinois and was built at the turn of the century. The original track was a half-mile, racing the old A.A.A. sanctioning body. For years, the greatest race car drivers in the country participated at the Grundy County Fair including such drivers as Wilber Shaw, Mauri Rose, and the late Tony Bettenhausen.

In 1941, the Midget Race Car became the popular division. The half-mile track was torn up and a quarter-mile asphalt high-banked track was built. This track was known all over the country as the Mazon Speed-Bowl. In 1970, the Grundy County Fair Board was faced with a situation where the fairgrounds were obsolete and there was no adjacent land available for expansion. The fair moved to Morris, Illinois. The new fairgrounds opened in May of 1971 with stock car racing and has continued until the present time. The track is a third-mile asphalt speed plant.

The racing surface is 60 feet wide with 8 degrees banking in the turns and 4 degrees on the straight-aways with speeds possible in excess of 90-100 MPH. Midget car driver, David Gough holds the track record with a lap of 14.427 seconds. The track is surrounded by 144, 1500-watt Quartz lights for a total of over 216,000 watts of lighting. The grandstands are made of all steel construction with aluminum seats and wooden steps with a capacity of over 4,000 which the ASA Midwest Tour is hoping to pack on Friday the thirteenth.

Grundy County Fairgrounds and Speedway is located on Route 47 just North of I-80 in Morris, Illinois.

The ninth annual George Appleton Memorial is the third event in the NASCAR Star Summer Shootout Series. Visit www.asamidwesttour.com to view the full schedule and order tickets online. VIP tickets are also for sale online and for $75 fans get a meet and greet session with the NASCAR drivers, preferred seating, and unlimited food and drink in the evening. A VIP ticket is required for the exclusive NASCAR autograph session.

-credit: asamidwesttour.com.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Rich Bickle , Jeff Green , Johnny Benson , Johnny Sauter , David Gough , Tony Bettenhausen