Tri-City preview

ASA Late Model Series Teams Near End of 5-Week Stretch PENDLETON, Ind. (June 25, 2004) - As the ASA Late Model teams ready their cars for Saturday's 100-green flag lap event at Tri-City Motor Speedway in Auburn, Mich., many of them may be doing...

ASA Late Model Series Teams Near End of 5-Week Stretch

PENDLETON, Ind. (June 25, 2004) - As the ASA Late Model teams ready their cars for Saturday's 100-green flag lap event at Tri-City Motor Speedway in Auburn, Mich., many of them may be doing so with one eye on the calendar to the following weekend - the one without a race.

This is the fifth consecutive week that the teams have had to compete, and one might expect that this would be a hardship for them, many of which have limited to no crew to help prepare the car week-to-week. Or has it really been as difficult as one might think?

Apparently, several of the regular teams haven't found it all that difficult to run five weeks straight, and car preparation has not been jeopardized from how it is done when more time is available.

"We have not found it difficult to run the five races in a row," claimed Scott Baker, driver of the No. 94 Thomas Racing Chevrolet. "Our team works really well together and we have a good system of how the car is worked on during the week.

"We are fortunate to have two cars. Adding to that we have had little body damage during this run, so we have been able to concentrate on setups on the cars. I believe that having two cars has been really essential to our program," Baker concluded.

Landon Cassill, driver of the No. 7 Cassill Motors Ford, feels that the two-day shows (when a practice day is available) are more difficult as those create more time away and greater expenses. He too claims that car preparation hasn't suffered during this busy stretch.

Jason Setser, driver of the No. 59 Midwest Tube Chevrolet, says a strict regiment has kept his program on schedule, despite the limited time.

"We start maintenance right away on Monday morning and we're usually ready to load up again for the weekend by Wednesday evening," Setser said.

And while one would expect that the drivers were all looking forward to having a weekend off, and possibly spend the free time stretched out on the couch, their plans are already set. "Off-weekend, no racing; that is what winter is and we don't enjoy that," Baker emphasized. "Our team wants to run so they will travel with me to help when I race the Hooters race in North Carolina."

"I plan on racing the Rick Russell-sponsored dirt Late Model so it really won't seem like any time off," Setser explained.

The 14-year old Cassill may be the busiest of all - on Friday, June 25 he will race in a Modified and Late Model event, then move to the Late Model contest at Madison International Speedway on Saturday evening.

As for the schedule, Setser feels that the American Speed Association could add even more events in the future, a sentiment echoed by the other drivers as well, none of who are put off by racing five weeks consecutively.

"I would like to see ASA have about 30 races a year with maybe a weekend off after every fourth or fifth consecutive race," Setser said.

"I feel the series could handle six or eight consecutive races if they are restricted to one day only shows on Saturdays and increase the pay to help with travel expenses," Cassill explained.

Baker, however, offered what may be the most realistic thoughts on the schedule. "I believe that the format of five races and one off-weekend would work well," he said. "Longer than that, it stops the momentum of the team. I am sure teams without the two car set up that we have will want more time off to get their cars back together, but for us, we want to race."

The American Speed Association is based in Pendleton, Ind., and has offered stock car racing programs since 1968, including the ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series, several regional touring series, and the ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit asaracing.com.

- www.asaracing.com -

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Series Stock car
Drivers Landon Cassill