ATLANTA-At the beginning of the 2000 season, the Steve Dale Motorsports team set their goals. They planned to win a race, sit on the pole and finish top 10 in points as they won the rookie of the year title. If they reached this goal, they...
ATLANTA-At the beginning of the 2000 season, the Steve Dale Motorsports team set their goals. They planned to win a race, sit on the pole and finish top 10 in points as they won the rookie of the year title. If they reached this goal, they would join the Baker Motorsports team with Scott Hansen (1989) and Steve Carlson (1997), and the LaFavre team with Kevin Cywinski (1996), to be only the third team in American Speed Association history to accomplish this feat.
A lofty goal for a brand new team. A goal that they felt was obtainable with the best equipment, a quality program and a lot of hard work
"We felt from the beginning that with the team we were assembling, our goals were attainable," said team owner Steve Dale. "We put together a group of very talented and hard-working individuals that have the potential of being one of the best teams on the circuit."
The early races of the 20 race ASA season saw the yellow and blue Pontiac, with sponsorship help from Zaxby's Restaurants, Pro-Shocks, Racing Radios and AirGas and, go through both good and bad times. Equipment failure shortened two races. A fourth place finish at Hickory Motor Speedway was followed by a DNF at Montgomery Motor Speedway. A solid sixth place finish at Louisville Motor Speedway in June was followed by a second place finish at Hawkeye Downs Speedway.
During July, August and early September the series ran nine races on nine consecutive weekends. As the grind of preparation, travel and races week after week went on, the Steve Dale Motorsports Team, now with sponsorship from echosource83.com on board, became stronger and stronger. The final race of this nine-week stretch was at Memphis Motorsports Park, and it was here that the team scored its first ASA victory.
"Our guys really came together and became a team during that nine race stretch," said crew chief Gene Roberts. "Everything started falling into place. We started really clicking as a team and everyone involved was pulling together."
The last race of the season at Gateway International Speedway, a fast 1.25 mile oval track, the team would garner their first pole with a record-breaking lap and go on to finish eighth overall in the national points. This was enough to capture the coveted Pat Schauer Rookie of the Year title.
"You set goals to give you and your team something realistic to shoot for. You realize that no matter how good your team becomes and how hard they work, there are a number of variables over which you have no control," continued Steve Dale. "We were blessed with a good year thanks to an excellent team, a group of good sponsors, a lot of hard work and some plain old racing luck."
A special thanks to all the sponsors who have supported the Steve Dale Motorsports Team in 2000: echosource83.com, smallworld.com, Zaxby's Restaurants, Pro-Shocks, Racing Radios and AirGas.
The Steve Dale Motorsports team: Steve Dale (owner), Joey Clanton (driver), Gene Roberts (crew chief), Jack Long (co-crew chief), Rich Bodmer (marketing director/gas man), Don Jolley (engineer), Jeff Correll (mechanic/tire changer), Burt Acree (tire carrier), Chris Crawford (scorer/transporter driver), Jeff Hatle (catch can/transporter driver), Jody Wilkerson (mechanic/tire carrier), Wade Wilkes (fabricator), Jeff Powell (spotter), Brandi Clanton (spotter), Sandy Boda (executive assistant), Lisa Baron (creative services) and John Voigt (maintenance).