Casey Smith enters Pensacola Five Flags event

Austin's Casey Smith enters ASA Racing Series at Five Flags Speedway. Austin, TX (April 26, 2002) - There's no question that Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida is one of Casey Smith's favorite tracks on the American Speed Association...

Austin's Casey Smith enters ASA Racing Series at Five Flags Speedway.

Austin, TX (April 26, 2002) - There's no question that Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida is one of Casey Smith's favorite tracks on the American Speed Association (ASA) circuit, as he notched his first super late model win in a heat race for a Snow ball Derby qualifier at the track in 2000.

That's one reason the 17-year-old Bowie High School junior is glad he'll be making his 2002 ASA Racing Series debut at Five Flags, May 4-5. The ASARacing.com 300 will be televised live on TNN Sunday, May 5 at 1:00 p.m. (Central). Short track veteran Freddi e Fryar will be Smith's crew chief for the event weekend.

"I'm really excited about Pensacola," said Smith. "Aside from all his other victories, Freddie is one of the few drivers to have won the Snowball Derby twice. He's been working with Craftsman Truck Series teams for the last couple of years, and it'll be gr eat to have him on my pit box at Five Flags. We've been busy testing and we work well together."

Smith was set to compete in the NASCAR All-Pro Series this season, but the Daytona-based sanction announced the 18-year old age limitation for all of its touring series in December of last year. He competed in an All-Pro race at Nashville Speedway last sea son, qualifying fourth in a field of veterans and ran solidly in third for 70 laps before his engine broke.

Glen Smith, Casey's father, promptly announced the switch to the ASA series in 2002. Casey will pilot the # 08 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in six to eight races in 2002 while gaining additional short track experience in his super late model by racing selected ra ces, including the Snowball Derby.

Smith qualified for his first "Snowball" in December and was running second when he was hit by another car in a bizarre incident while the field circulated under a yellow flag. Earlier, in November, he finished just behind eventual 2001 Snowball winner Way ne Anderson in the inaugural $100,000 "Texas Big Shot 250" at Thunder Hill Raceway. He even finished ahead of two-time ASA and Snowball Derby champion Gary St. Amant.

Thunder Hill is Casey's home track, where he led flag-to-flag to win the ROMCO 125 in June of 2001. Smith won his first national championship in quarter midgets at the age of 12 and captured two national titles in Legends Cars, the BFGoodrich National Semi Pro points title in 1999 and the Pro Division Asphalt National Championship at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2000.

"I know ASA competition is going to be tough," said Casey. "I've already learned a lot from some of these pros (Anderson, St. Amant) by running against them in late models, and they've sure got my respect. On the other hand, (Reed) Sorenson and I have been running against each other since quarter midgets and a number of times in Legends Cars. It'll be fun to race with him again."

For information on the ASARacing.com 300 call the ASA Ticket Line at 1-888-ASA-1020.

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