APOLLO, PA (October 10, 2000) - The American Speed Association has been running races on midwestern short tracks since its inception. This weekend, Ryan Hemphill, along with many other ASA competitors, will try to tackle a midwestern superspeedway.
APOLLO, PA (October 10, 2000) - The American Speed Association has been running races on midwestern short tracks since its inception. This weekend, Ryan Hemphill, along with many other ASA competitors, will try to tackle a midwestern superspeedway. Gateway International Raceway will play host to the season ending BFGoodrich Tires 200 on Saturday, October 14.
Hemphill, a freshman at Penn State University, will attempt to make his second ASA AC-Delco Series event in as many tries. He piloted the Argo Packing/Motordrome Speedway Chevrolet to a 12th place finish at Indianapolis Raceway Park after starting 26th. According to Hemphill, the team approaches Gateway with the same goals in mind and a better prepared race team.
"We're going to Gateway with the same goals and same objectives as IRP. It's gonna be a learning experience for myself and my crew. We're still new and I'm not fully on top of the car yet and I'm gonna be learning the car," stated Hemphill. "We want to qualify well and stay out of trouble and finish the race on the lead lap. That's our main goal. We know that if we can do that, we'll be in contention for a good finish."
Gateway's track provides a unique challenge for any driver that dares to drive it. The 1.25 mile oval in Madison, IL, is an egg-shaped layout with different degrees of banking in the opposite ends of the speedway. Crew chiefs and drivers alike rack their brains trying to find a perfect setup for both ends of the facility. A pushing, or "tight", condition seems to always plague any type of car that runs on the track. Hemphill feels that he as prepared as he can be.
"We're just going to another racetrack, and that's all. I'm very excited about it. I think that we have a good car to go with which builds my confidence 100%. We've been talking to a lot of people. At IRP, we didn't have enough experience with fine tuning the car for the track. We were behind on setup at IRP, and we came back with a lot of ideas on what we would have done to better the car," replied Hemphill. "After talking to a lot of people about the track, I think we're gonna go with a pretty good baseline setup. This track is better for me with my style of driving. You just run on the bottom."
The BFGoodrich Tires 200 will be televised live on The National Network (TNN) at 9pm ET on October 14, 2000. The race will be 160 laps, or 200 miles, around the 1.25 mile facility. Friday festivities include practice, qualifying, and a last chance qualifying race. Saturday's events include a one hour pre-race autograph session on the front straightaway with all of the ASA drivers. Tickets can be obtained by calling 1-888-ASA-1020.