PENDLETON, Ind. (September 27, 2001) - The 2001 American Speed Association will wrap up its 34th year of championship stock car racing on Saturday night, September 29 at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont (IN) for the tirerack.com 200 presented...
PENDLETON, Ind. (September 27, 2001) - The 2001 American Speed Association will wrap up its 34th year of championship stock car racing on Saturday night, September 29 at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont (IN) for the tirerack.com 200 presented by BFGoodrich Tires. The event will have significant meaning, as rookie Johnny Sauter and second-place Gary St. Amant each still have a chance to win the ASA National Championship, with a payout of $200,000 to the winner. The event will be the first time that the series will wrap up its season in its home state since 1988, when the series rounded out the year at Salem (IN) Speedway.
The 200-lap race will be ASA's 22nd at the .686-mile facility located on the far Westside of Indianapolis. The series was a regular fixture at the track throughout the 1980s, but took time off in the early 1990s before making a return to the facility in 1995. Every season since that time, the ASA ACDelco Series has made at least one stop at the multi-use facility.
Sauter, who has turned in one of the most impressive seasons in ASA's long history, will look to capture his 10th win of the year, and will look to become the first rookie to win the ASA National Championship. Sauter wrapped up the $50,000 Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year title by making a start in the season's 18th event at Memphis Motorsports Park. Sauter's 108-point lead over St. Amant means the driver needs to finish 22nd or better in the tirerack.com 200 to lock up the title. Sauter's older brother, Tim, who will be driving for the first time this season at IRP, won the ASA National Championship in 1999.
St. Amant's chances to win the title are slim, but can still happen, with bad luck befalling Sauter. Should Sauter finish the race dead last (36th), St. Amant would still have to finish eighth or better. Should St. Amant score a perfect weekend by winning the race and leading the most laps, Sauter would have to finish 19th or worse.
Activities for the tirerack.com 200 presented by BFGoodrich Tires begin on Friday, September 28, with practice and spectator gates both opening at noon (local). Following three 50-minute practice sessions, ASA qualifications will take place at 5 p.m. Race day events begin with spectator gates opening at 3 p.m., followed by ASA's exclusive on-track autograph session at 5. Pre-race ceremonies and driver introductions will begin at 6:15 p.m., with the tirerack.com 200 taking the green at 7.
Last year, Butch Miller picked up his fourth career win at IRP, his second of three in 2000. He dominated the event, leading 172 of the 200 laps from the pole and beating Tim Sauter to the line. Miller will also be looking to keep the younger Sauter from breaking his record of nine wins in a single season, of which Sauter matched with his win on September 9 at Memphis (TN) Motorsports Park.
Only one driver has won at IRP more times than Miller, ASA's all-time wins leader Bob Senneker. Over his illustrious ASA career, Senneker took the win six times at IRP and collected 12 top-five finishes in 17 starts. Dick Trickle was also a multi-time winner at IRP, winning three times, as was Mike Eddy and Scott Hansen, who have each won twice.
Miller leads the drivers with poles at IRP, collecting five, including one last season. Miller leads the ASA ACDelco Series in poles in 2001, with six earned through the series' first 18 races. Miller is third on the all-time ASA list of poles with 43. Mike Eddy, Dick Trickle, Mark Martin and Bob Senneker have all won multiple poles at the track.
As in most cases, Senneker leads drivers in both top-five and top-10 finishes. Miller, Eddy and Hansen are the current drivers that have experienced the most success at IRP.
Tickets for the Tirerack.com 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park are $25 each for reserved seats and $20 each for general admission. Children 12 years and younger are admitted free with a paying adult. VISA and MasterCard are accepted for ticket orders at the ASA ticket line, (765) 778-2105 or toll-free, 1-888-ASA-1020.