ASA Late Model Series Presented by GM Performance Parts Test and Tune give teams a chance to prepare for season opener. Some of the cars and stars of the ASA Late Model Series Presented by GM Performance Parts got a chance to hit the track for...
ASA Late Model Series Presented by GM Performance Parts Test and Tune give teams a chance to prepare for season opener.
Some of the cars and stars of the ASA Late Model Series Presented by GM Performance Parts got a chance to hit the track for the first time this season in anticipation of the upcoming 2005 campaign last Saturday afternoon, April 9th down at the Baer Field (IN) Speedway in Fort Wayne Indiana. The only series sanctioned test session saw 27 teams make the trip over to the ½ mile semi banked paved oval to get seat time and shake down their rides while also getting the chance to have the ASA Late Model Series Tech officials, look over their machines and, if needed, make the necessary changes required and get a jumpstart on the 2005 season.
Amongst the teams on hand included defending series champion and reigning Rookie of the Year, Bobby Stremme who looked strong early on in the practice session. Akron, Ohio veteran and runner-up in the 2004 ASA Late Model Series point chase, Scott Baker was on hand as well in his as the fourth place finisher in the final points standings, Doug True and both looked strong all afternoon. The Citgo/Wal-Tom Racing/Chevrolet Monte Carlo's of teammates, Stephen Leicht and Robbie Pyle were on hand and Leicht was amongst the fastest in practice all afternoon and will be a driver that will contend for the 2005 Series championship. Pyle, along-with Peter Cozzolino, both who were stars in the now defunct, ASA National Tour, got a chance to get their machines dialed in as well. Two of the faster cars throughout the afternoon were USPRO Cup Series holdovers, Mark Kortz, the 2003 Series champion, and veteran Bob Varney. Both looked strong all day while another USPRO Cup Series holdover, Bill Tomlinson began to dial in his ride as the afternoon turned into early evening.
Two of the series feature winners during the 2004 season were also on hand and looked strong as well. Three-time feature winner, Ryan Tedesco, sporting a new paint job on his Marathon Manufacturing/Chevrolet Monte Carlo looks to advance his points position from his sixth place finish of a year ago. Green Bay, Wisconsin veteran, Doug Mahlik, the 2004 winner at Hawkeye Downs (IA) Speedway looks to challenge for the series championship in 2005 and looked good all afternoon during the test session.
Most of the top contenders for the coveted Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year title chase were present, including pre-season favorite, Brian Campbell. The Allendale, Michigan pilot unloaded his beautiful Port City Race Cars/Chevrolet Monte Carlo and was amongst the fastest overall during the afternoon long test session. Other notable rookie contenders on hand included the Owens Corning Insulation/Chevrolet Monte Carlo of Joey Dennewitz. The Akron, Ohio driver, with veteran Crew Chief, John Dillen at the helm will definitely be one to watch throughout the upcoming season. Brent Downey, in the Lucas Oil/Chevrolet Monte Carlo team car to Peter Cozzolino, was fast during the session while Ryan Carlson, Travis Dassow, Nick Mahlik, and Jesse Smith were seeing the Fort Wayne, Indiana speedplant for the first time and all quickly adapted.
Baer Field Late Model regular, Jason Shively looks to be at an advantage when the traveling stars come to Baer Field for the season opener. Shively is a multi-time feature winner at the speedway and the current track record holder in the tracks regular Late Models division. The Juice Tyme/Chevrolet Monte Carlo team was on hand, but regular pilot, Brett Piontek, another Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year contender was absent. So the team called on the services of Baer Field veteran, Tommy Cook to shake down the bright orange machine through most of the afternoon. The rest of the teams on hand included, James "Cricket" Butler, a teammate of Doug True, who will be sporting new colors of Blue and White this season while 2004 series regulars, Mike Satkowiak and Scott Whetzel, all got some seat time around the ½ mile. Part-timers in 2004, Wally Carlson, Mark Hartline, and Jason Tyler, also all got valuable practice time during the day long test session.
Special Thanks goes out to the Promoter of the Baer Field Speedway, Tom Isch for opening up his facility to the ASA Late Model Series for the test session as well as providing the free hotdogs and refreshments offered to the officials and teams all afternoon.
The 2005 ASA Late Model Series Presented by GM Performance Parts championship chase begins on May 6-7, at the Baer Field (IN) Speedway in Fort Wayne, Indiana for the running of the UB Machine 100. For more information on the upcoming 2005 season with the ASA Late Model Series Presented by GM Performance Parts, log onto: www.asalatemodels.com