Drivers prepare for second Illiana event

Pendleton, Ind. (August 28, 2003) -- For a second consecutive season, the ASA Racing Series visits the .50-mile Illiana Motor Speedway in Northwestern Indiana for the CITGO/MDA 250 on Saturday, September 20. The event is at ...

Pendleton, Ind. (August 28, 2003) -- For a second consecutive season, the ASA Racing Series visits the .50-mile Illiana Motor Speedway in Northwestern Indiana for the CITGO/MDA 250 on Saturday, September 20. The event is at the front end of two consecutive races in the Hoosier State with the series that builds champions traveling to Salem Speedway on Saturday, October 4 for the Greased Lightning Orange Blast 300.

Again this year the CITGO/MDA 250 will be centered around two days of racing activities at the track. The theme adopted for this year's event is Racing for a Cure.

Texor Petroleum Company, a champion for this very worthy cause, hopes to spread awareness in the racing community about MDA and the important work they are doing to find a cure.

All licensed ASA members are being provided a number of creative ways to participate in this year's event along with corporate sponsors of the CITGO/MDA 250. The goal is to meet or beat the 2002 fundraising total of $214,000. During last year's event, the entire ASA Racing community found one way or another to come up with a creative way to donate money to support the MDA.

On Saturday, August 20, similar to last year, a silent auction will open for those who wish to bid on the numerous items available. There will also be a hospitality barbeque for invited guests and sponsors..

New for 2003, the entire ASA community is eligible to participate in a friendly team competition while raising funds to benefit the MDA. Each racing team is being registered as a separate team, with additional teams formed by sponsors, ASA, Speed Channel, etc. (limit 15 members per team). The top three fundraising teams or sponsors will receive the prizes.

First place is a framed team/sponsor racing action photograph (21" x 31" overall size) by Robbie Pyle Designs ($4,000 Value/Limit 15). The second place prize is $1,500 in CITGO gas cards and the third place prize is still to be announced.

Alexandra Dzimitowicz will once again serve as the CITGO/MDA 250 Ambassador. Her charm and enthusiasm were among the highlights of the events surrounding last year's CITGO/MDA 300 presented by Texor Petroleum Company.

Also new in 2003 is an individual fundraising program. For each $100 raised to benefit MDA, you will be entered in a drawing to win a brand new 2002 Camaro Z28. Additionally, the top individual fundraiser will win Round Trip Airfare for two to any destination in the contiguous United States.

Last season at Illiana, two-time ASA National Champion Gary St. Amant scored his third consecutive victory of the 2002 campaign, taking the checkers in the CITGO/MDA 300 presented by Texor Petroleum Company.

Driving the ACDelco Chevrolet for Automotive Promotions Inc., St. Amant took the lead from Mike Garvey with an outside pass down the front straightaway on lap 269. St. Amant then fended off a challenge from David Stremme and Kevin Cywinski, to score his 20th career victory.

"I've never won three races in a row," said St. Amant. "They gave us a nice track to race on and we were locked on the bottom. I was surprised that Mike (Garvey) didn't' elect to pit that final time, but he still had a strong car."

Eventual ASA National Champion Joey Clanton led the opening 24 circuits from his outside front-row starting position with Robbie Pyle taking command of the field on lap 25. Clanton reclaimed the top spot on lap 28, leading through the 51st go-around. St. Amant grabbed leadership honors on lap 52, but held that position for just one circuit.

Clanton stayed in front until lap 56 when St. Amant got inside entering turn four and remained on the point until lap 79 when Cywinski made an outside pass on the back straight. St. Amant returned to the first spot following the first round of pits stops on lap 120 and was passed by Cywinski on lap 130 on the front straight.

Garvey took command of the race on lap 154 after the second stop by leaders and remained out front until lap 269 when St. Amant made the final pass for the lead.

Garvey was the only driver on the lead lap who elected not to pit on lap 238 and without the benefit of fresh right-side BFGoodrich Traction T/A Tires, it hurt his chances for a first win in 2002.

Garvey remained in second until lap 279 when he made contact with the lapped car of Florida's Ed Brown and spun in turn 2. Garvey recovered to finish eighth.

Two weeks prior to the CITGO/MDA 300, Garvey elected to pit at Hawkeye Downs for tires and crossed the line in third position.

"We might have made a mistake in Iowa," said Garvey prior to the event at Illiana. "We took a gamble here and came up just short."

For most of the race St. Amant and Cywinski battled or the top spot, with Stremme running in the mix throughout the event before what track officials referred to as a record crowd at Illiana Motor Speedway.

At the checkers, it was St. Amant winning by 0.612 seconds over Stremme with Cywinski, Butch Miller and Mike Eddy rounding out the top-five finishers.

ASA returns to Illiana Motor Speedway for the CITGO/MDA 250 on Friday, September 19 and Saturday, September 20, with the first of two practice sessions beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Pole qualifying is scheduled for 8 p.m. On Saturday, an on-track fan autograph session takes places at 6 p.m. with the CITGO/MDA 250 going green at 8 p.m. (Local) and 9 p.m. (EDT).

Tickets are available through the ASA office at a cost of $25 for general admission seats. Discounts are available when purchasing in advance. For additional information, contact the ASA ticket line at 1-888-ASA-1020.

For more information on the ASA Racing Series, visit www.asaracing.com.

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers David Stremme , Joey Clanton , Butch Miller , Mike Garvey , Ed Brown