2003 Final schedule announced

Three new tracks and a return to three tracks highlight 2003 schedule. The 2003 ASA Racing Series National Schedule became finalized in the latter part of November, featuring dates at 20 racetracks ranging from the lightning quick .75-mile oval...

Three new tracks and a return to three tracks highlight 2003 schedule.

The 2003 ASA Racing Series National Schedule became finalized in the latter part of November, featuring dates at 20 racetracks ranging from the lightning quick .75-mile oval of USA International Speedway in Lakeland (FL) to the state-of-the art .375-mile track of Lake Erie Speedway in Erie (PA). The 36th season of ASA Racing visits 13 states with multiple events slated for Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. All 2003 events will be carried on Speed Channel, with 19 of them slated for live viewing.

Three venues new to the ASA agenda, return appearances to three tracks that have been absent from ASA's menu for a number of years and traditional stops highlight the 2003 ASA schedule. The new venues include Houston Motor Speedway, located on the northeast side of the nation's fifth-largest metropolitan market Houston (TX); Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, a newly renovated .50-mile oval in Central Ohio; and Lake Erie Speedway in Erie (PA) a state-of-the-art track located in Northeast Pennsylvania.

ASA Racing's 36th season of sanctioning motorsports events kicks off with back-to-back events in Florida, beginning with the season opener scheduled for Saturday night, March 22 at USA International Speedway. That event will be followed one week later by a return trip to Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola on Saturday night, March 29. This is the second consecutive year that ASA has began its season at USA International Speedway, with three of the last four season openers taken place at the Lakeland track. Last year, ASA returned to Five Flags Speedway for the first occasion since 1997 and a repeat appearance occurs in 2003.

April sees the first of several new venues added to the 2003 version of the schedule, as ASA makes its inaugural visit to the State of Texas, for a Saturday night, April 12 event at Houston Motor Speedway. The second April date marks a return to Concord Motorsport Park after a one-year hiatus from the uniquely shaped oval. After a two-year absence from the state of Georgia, the series returns to the Peach State on Saturday night, April 26 with a visit to Lanier National Speedway in Braselton (GA).

In May, Memphis Motorsports Park in Millington (TN) hosts its fifth consecutive event on Sunday, May 4, with Toledo (OH) Speedway set to hold its 17th ASA race on Sunday, May 18. The end of the month concludes in a flurry, with events scheduled at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids (IA) on Saturday, May 24 and Southern National Speedway in Kenly (NC) appearing on the schedule after a four-year drought.

One of the traditional stops on the tour, I-70 Speedway, east of Kansas City in Odessa (MO) hosts its annual event on Saturday, June 14, with the second half of the schedule beginning at another new insertion to ASA Racing at Mansfield (OH) Motorsports Speedway on Saturday, June 21. Indianapolis Raceway Park has been advanced in order of events to late June, a date more closely linked to the IRP history with ASA on June 28, which marks the first of three trips to ASA's home state.

The lone race in July takes places at Madison International Speedway in Oregon (WI) on Friday, July 18, signaling the third consecutive year ASA has competed at the .5-mile oval in Wisconsin. The hectic month of August begins at famed Berlin Raceway in Marne (MI). The Saturday, August 2, date is the 38th appearance at the track co-owned by 1993 ASA National Champion Johnny Benson and the Michigan Whitecaps professional baseball team. The first of two straight races in the Keystone Stone State occurs on Satu rday, August 16, at Jennerstown (PA) Speedway, the 18th ASA event at the .522-mile facility. The second visit to Pennsylvania occurs on Sunday, August 24, at Lake Erie Speedway in Erie, a remarkable .375-mile oval located in Northeast Pennsylvania. Lake Erie is the third new track on the schedule.

The last quarter of the season begins with the annual Labor Day event in Minnesota, but for the first occasion since 1978, that event will be run at a different track. Elko Speedway will be the first track to host the holiday event after 25 trips to Minnes ota State Fairgrounds Speedway, which is now closed. On Saturday, September 20, ASA returns to Illiana Motor Speedway to compete on the ultra-competitive .5-mile oval in Indiana.

The month of October features dates at some of the traditional facilities, kicking off with a trip to Southern Indiana's Salem Speedway on Saturday, October 4. The October date at Salem also matches up well with ASA's history at the historic, high-banked, half-mile. The season is set to conclude on Sunday, October 12, as the series returns to Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville (TN) for the 22nd event at the .596-mile track.

All 20 events are slated for coverage on Speed Channel -- 19 live and one with a three-hour tape-delay. Of the races, 14 are set for Saturday nights, four are set for Sunday afternoons, one is scheduled for a Friday night and one is slated for a Monda y afternoon (Labor Day).


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Series Stock car
Drivers Johnny Benson