Seventh in Points Still in Contention for ASA National Tour Championship PENDLETON, Ind. (September 23, 2004) - Fans of close, exciting points racing need to look no further than the ASA National Tour as the separation from first to seventh in...
Seventh in Points Still in Contention for ASA National Tour Championship
PENDLETON, Ind. (September 23, 2004) - Fans of close, exciting points racing need to look no further than the ASA National Tour as the separation from first to seventh in the standings is a mere 147 markers.
Kevin Cywinski and Mike Garvey, first and second, are separated by just 52 points with two races remaining in the championship battle - the October 14 Aaron's 99 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and the October 29 ASA 150 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Should Cywinski be able to keep the No. 1 Country Joe Homes Chevrolet out front, it would be his third ASA National Tour championship.
"If we are able to get the third one it would be huge," said the 1997 and 2003 championship winner. "More so than three, it would be back-to-back and it has been a while since anyone has done that and that is what we are setting as our goal for now." The last ASA driver to repeat as champion is Mike Eddy who won in 1991 and 1992, the latter being his record seventh ASA National Tour title.
Garvey is having a near dream season, winning four of the 12 races contested to date, including the last two in a row. He is doing what he feels it will take to win a championship, and that is simply winning races.
"That's all we can do from here on out," Garvey said shortly after winning the BFGoodrich Tires 225 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night, referring to the Oakland Raiders strategy of "Just Win, Baby."
"All we can handle is the things under our control. We can't control everything else that goes on here, but stuff we can control we are doing the best we can," added Garvey.
And if the race between the top two drivers wasn't tight enough, take a look back in the field as the margin from third to seventh is a mere 17 points. Tim Sauter is third, 130 points behind Cywinski while Robbie Pyle, who slipped three positions in the standings to seventh, is only 147 points behind the leader. Between them sits Butch Miller (133 back) in fourth, Reed Sorenson (fifth, 135 back) and Bryan Reffner (sixth, 141 back).
Miller vaulted three positions following his second place finish at Kentucky Speedway and remains optimistic about his championship chances, though he would prefer that they were short tracks instead of speedway events.
The veteran driver said that it would be easier to make up his deficit on a short track because, "There is a much better chance of total catastrophe on the bigger tracks than short ones."
When asked what it would take for him to win the title, Miller replied, "I'm not worried about it. We just need to run well and see what happens."
The chase for the prestigious ASA National Tour Rookie of the Year title is just as competitive. The standings are led by Brett Sontag with 1624 points, but hot on his rear spoiler is Stephen Leicht (35 back), Wade Day (57 back) and Casey Smith (64 back).
"In the past two races, one of the crew guys has said during the race, 'man, this is a good points night for us' and something always happened," Smith said. "So I told the guys (at Kentucky Speedway) that no one was supposed to mention this points deal at all until after the race was over." The strategy worked as Smith finished sixth in the event, higher than any other rookie driver ahead of him in points.
The Aaron's 99 will take the green flag at 9 p.m. EDT and will be Webcast live on www.ASAracing.com powered by Yahoo! Sports. Tickets are still available and can be obtained by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at (800) 455-FANS or online through a link at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com/tickets/.
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.