Quick history of the ASA

By JEREMY TROIANO With the new look to the InnerView column (thanks to Project Manager Vickie Hale), I have realized that I have a lot more room to write a column. With that said, this column will be dedicated to giving some of the mounds of...

By JEREMY TROIANO

With the new look to the InnerView column (thanks to Project Manager Vickie Hale), I have realized that I have a lot more room to write a column. With that said, this column will be dedicated to giving some of the mounds of knowledge that I have obtained in ASA. With the recent completion of a project that will better help me serve some of the media representatives in each of our respective markets, I have compiled a new section for my "Book of ASA Knowledge."

As I was fairly new to ASA when I joined the series in the spring of 1999, I had some idea of its history and some of its legends, as well as some of the current-day stars. I was not, however, aware of all of the drivers who have spent at least one race behind the wheel of an ASA car at some point in their driving career and in the history of ASA. To count the number of people who have made at least one start would be a daunting task, as I am sure the number is in the thousands.

So as a history lesson, let me take this opportunity to share some of the drivers who have graced the tracks of ASA at some point. Some of you might know these names, some might not, but it will always be useful if that ASA question comes up during your next game of Trivial Pursuit.

There have been four of the famed Allison family who have spent time racing with ASA. The family from Hueytown (AL) is lead by Bobby, who started 50 races over a 14-year span, followed by the late Davey, who started five events. Both Clifford and Donnie made two starts each.

Rich Bickle Jr. spent one full-time season with ASA, in 1990, where he finished ninth in the final point standings. Over his seven-year ASA career though, Bickle amassed 25 career starts and 14 top-10 finishes.

One of the unique names to ever start an ASA event came during the 1979 season, when an young man from Illinois named James Bond made his first and only career ASA start.

Several famous fathers have made their share of stops in ASA, as their sons would do later in their respective careers. Glenn Allen, John Benson, Neil Bonnett, Bob Dotter and Kyle Petty all made at least one start in their time before their sons gained ASA seat time.

One of the many remarkable stories in the motorsports world has to be that of Rick Carelli, who came back from a terrible wreck to be successful. In his early days, Carelli accumulated 14 starts in ASA, picking up a best finish of fifth.

A host of open wheel drivers have spent time behind the wheel of an ASA car, many of whom are surprises to most ASA fans. Led by Indy Car veteran Pancho Carter, who made five ASA starts in 1981 and captured one pole, the open wheel veterans have struggled. World of Outlaws Champion Sammy Swindell made two starts in 1990, while current IRL star Al Unser Jr. and the late sprint and midget standout Rich Vogler each made one start, with Unser recording a DNF and Vogler a top-10 finish.

Two of stock car's greats had impressive runs in their first test of the ASA waters. Both Dale Earnhardt and Terry Labonte recorded second-place finishes in their first starts. Labonte has not run another ASA race since that one in 1995, while Earnhardt's 1987 debut led to four more starts, resulting in four DNFs.

Another couple of stock car legends, Harry Gant and Dave Marcis, spent several years between their ASA starts. Gant's first came in 1975, while his second didn't come until 1982. He made two more (1991 and 1992), picking up one top-10 finish in three DNFs over his brief ASA career. Marcis' only start came in 1978, resulting in a DNF.

Siblings Jeff and Mark Green each tried to make ASA shows, with Jeff Green missing the shows, he tried to make in 1986. Mark Green made three starts, resulting in two top-10s. Another sibling, Michael Waltrip, has also made two ASA starts, flowing in the footsteps of his older brother, Darrell.

Finally, one of the greatest winning records in ASA history belongs to Jimmy Spencer. Spencer's only career start, which came in 1993 at Brainerd international Raceway, resulted in a win and a $23,000 payday. Batting 1000 . not too bad.

-ASA

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Rich Bickle , Terry Labonte , Michael Waltrip , Kyle Petty , Jeff Green , Al Unser Jr. , Mark Green , Dave Marcis , Rick Carelli , Sammy Swindell , Pancho Carter , Harry Gant