Pendleton, IN (Nov. 2, 2002) -- After months of speculation, American Speed Association officials have confirmed that for the first time in the 35-year history of the motorsports sanctioning body, ASA will operate under new ownership in...
Pendleton, IN (Nov. 2, 2002) -- After months of speculation, American Speed Association officials have confirmed that for the first time in the 35-year history of the motorsports sanctioning body, ASA will operate under new ownership in 2003.
ASA Racing Series Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mark Gundrum introduced Georgia businessman Steve Dale as the primary investor in the purchase of ASA during the series' National Awards Banquet Saturday night at Caesars Casino Hotel in Louisville, Ky.
"I am very pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with Rex and Rebecca Robbins to purchase ASA," said Dale, as he addressed those gathered at the banquet. "The ownership group will consist of myself, a corporate investor and Mark Gundrum, who has been with the series since 1995. We intend to continue forward in offering the absolute best source of short track racing in the country." The sale is expected to be final within the next two weeks. Since 1968 ASA has been under sole control and ownership of Rex Robbins and his family. Robbins, who turned 68 in October, indicated that it was time for a change and that he had a good feeling about the purchasing group.
"The motorsports business has changed drastically in the last three to five years," said Robbins. "At this stage in my life, I believe that it was time for me to step aside and allow a new ownership group to take control of ASA and take it to the next level. I feel very good about the new ownership group, that while they retain many of the same goals and principles that ASA has always had, they have a true vision for the future. Steve Dale has been a very successful businessman, and has the acumen to elevate e ASA. Also Mark Gundrum, who has been with me since 1995, knows this business. He's accomplished many things here these past 7 years and has the talent to accomplish more.
"My family and I have been doing this every day of the year for 35 years, and although its been very difficult at times, we've enjoyed every minute of it," Robbins stated. "We've met some absolutely wonderful people over the years...drivers, car owners, track operators...we've made a lot of good friends."
The ASA Racing Series has long been considered the premier short track stock car racing series in the county, having served as a stepping-stone for some of today's most high-profile stock car drivers. Current NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Johnny Benson (1993 ASA champion), Kenny Wallace (1986 Rookie of the Year), Dick Trickle (two-time ASA Champion), Jimmie Johnson (1998 ASA Rookie of the Year), Rusty Wallace (1983 ASA Champion) and four-time ASA Champion Mark Martin launched driving careers in NASCAR through success in ASA competition.
Dale, a native of Michigan, divided his college years between books and automobiles. Starting in drag racing, he moved onto ARCA late models where he won several races and rookie of the year honors in the 1970s. Dale turned his racing hobby into a full-time career, as the owner of the number 83 Steve Dale Motorsports entry in ASA. Joey Clanton of Tyrone, Ga., has been his driver for the past three seasons and earned the Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year title in 2000.
In the 2001 season, Steve Dale Motorsports finished third in the final driver points standings. This season, the team won nine of 20 events and captured the ASA Racing Series National Championship, edging veteran Gary St. Amant by one point in the final standings.
Currently residing in the Atlanta area, Dale will relocate to Central Indiana in 2003 With his new position at ASA, Dale will no longer compete as a car owner in the ASA Racing Series.