PENDLETON, Ind. (December 10, 2003) -- The idea was casually thrown out by host Dave Despain on SPEED Channel's "Wind Tunnel." It has been a topic of much discussion with racers and fans. But in the end, the modified oval concept was...
PENDLETON, Ind. (December 10, 2003) -- The idea was casually thrown out by host Dave Despain on SPEED Channel's "Wind Tunnel." It has been a topic of much discussion with racers and fans. But in the end, the modified oval concept was rejected and the ASA Racing National Tour will run the normal, full ovals for their superspeedway events during the 2004 racing season.
Initially, the thought was to run a modified oval on the superspeedways with the cars making a left-hand turn partway down the frontstretch and finishing at the exit of pit lane.
"We tested our National Tour cars at three different superspeedways," said Steve Dale, ASA president/CEO. "The tests were so positive in every regard that we decided the best show we could put on for the fans was to run the complete ovals like they expected. The cars turned out to be very racy. We anticipate putting on the same competitive races at the larger facilities that we do on the short tracks. I expect the same kind of action that we have at all the ASA National Tour races -- lots of passing, cars three or four wide -- the type of on-track excitement that brings the fans to their feet."
Three test sessions were held at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway. These tracks, along with Pikes Peak International Speedway and the famous Milwaukee Mile will host ASA National Tour events in 2004. Of the 18 races on the National Tour schedule, six will be held on tracks measuring one-mile or larger, the standard definition of a superspeedway.
"After thorough evaluation of both the modified oval and the traditional track configuration it was decided the traditional approach is the way to go," said Joe Balash, ASA vice-president, race operations. "Even though we stuck with the accepted practice in this case of utilizing the full ovals, we still plan to challenge conventional thinking and where it is appropriate -- and safe -- take a different direction to set ASA apart from other forms of racing."
The ASA National Tour will open the 2004 season on March 27 at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla. The National Tour will make the first superspeedway appearance of the year on May 7 at Kentucky Speedway.