ASCS Southern Tour Sprint Tests at Legendary Bowman Gray TULSA, Okla. (May 19, 2005) -- There's a palpable aura of history in the air at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC, NASCAR's longest-running weekly track. But for all...
ASCS Southern Tour Sprint Tests at Legendary Bowman Gray
TULSA, Okla. (May 19, 2005) -- There's a palpable aura of history in the air at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC, NASCAR's longest-running weekly track. But for all that history, a Sprint Car had never scorched the quarter-mile asphalt surface until Butch Pendergrass recently tested his Heintz Performance American Sprint Car Series Southern Tour sprinter at the historic oval.
"This is a neat place, it's probably the track with the greatest historical significance in this part of the country, so it was just a neat experience to get some laps here," Pendergrass commented. "The car felt really good out there and I think it would be great if we could get an ASCS Southern Tour race or two here next year."
Bowman Gray Stadium has been hosting NASCAR events since the series inception in 1949, with Fonty Flock winning the first event at Bowman Gray. Twenty-nine Grand National (now Nextel Cup) events were contested atop the North Carolina asphalt oval from 1958 to 1971, with 1960 NASCAR champion Rex White the most frequent victory lane visitor with a half dozen triumphs. Other Grand National winners at Bowman Gray reads like a "Who's Who" list of early stock car racing legends, including Richard Petty, Lee Petty, Junior Johnson, Glen Wood, David Pearson and Bobby Allison.
While NASCAR's premier series outgrew the quarter-mile Bowman Gray Stadium in 1972, the track has continued to thrive, attracting crowds of more than 12,000 on a weekly basis to remain one of the nation's strongest short tracks.
"The ASCS Southern Tour is already off to a good running start, and just the possibility of adding a legendary track like Bowman Gray to our schedule is an exciting prospect," Pendergrass commented after the recent test session at Bowman Gray Stadium.
"We'd like to come back here sometime in the next few weeks and bring at least four or five cars to practice and get a feel of how the track races, how much side-by-side racing we can do here," Pendergrass explained. "Just from the laps I did out there, I think there would be plenty of room for some good Sprint Car racing, so who knows, a first Sprint Car race for Bowman Gray stadium may not be too far down the road."
Founded in 1992, the American Sprint Car Series has evolved into the nation's premier 360-ci Sprint Car sanctioning body. Including the National Tour, along with the Southern Tour, Gulf South, Midwest, Rocky Mountain and Sooner Regions, the ASCS will sanction nearly 120 nights of racing in 2005 at approximately 50 different racetracks throughout at least 16 different states. More than 500 drivers will compete in at least one ASCS event over the course of 2005.
Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.