Pendleton, IN (February 21, 2003) -- One of the most significant off-season moves surrounding the ASA Racing Series has been the union of two-time former ASA National Champion Gary St. Amant with the Grand American Race Cars Team, of Birmingham ...
Pendleton, IN (February 21, 2003) -- One of the most significant off-season moves surrounding the ASA Racing Series has been the union of two-time former ASA National Champion Gary St. Amant with the Grand American Race Cars Team, of Birmingham (AL).
Despite finishing just a single marker behind Joey Clanton in the 2002 championship points battle, St. Amant and the Automotive Promotions Team elected to go their separate ways after six ultra-successful seasons. The two championships included 16 victories, 45 additional podium finishes and 21 poles earned. It propelled St. Amant into the status of being considered one of ASA racing's all-time greats.
Grand American owner Frankie Grill completed his first full ASA campaign in 2002 with drivers Wayne Anderson and Jason Boyd. The team had won championships in the All- Pro Series with Anderson, but the first year in ASA proved a difficult and truly different challenge.
"We didn't get a whole lot of learning done last year," said crew chief Augie Grill, son of Frankie. "Unfortunately, we were rebuilding a car after about every race. With Gary, we hope to keep our fenders clean and do a little learning this year."
Grill is confident St. Amant will bring some important attributes to the team. "It's little things that we don't know you might need to do to change set ups on these cars during a race. Gary is definitely going to be able to help us with that," Grill said. "Toward the end of last year, we got the car to where it would run a lot better, so hopefully we can build on that. Plus, with Gary's experience, we can have some really good runs in 2003."
Along with Grill serving as crew chief, the team will have veteran Jim Duffy as tire specialist, Bud St. Amant as spotter and Mark Ashcraft from the Steve Dale Enterprises championship team of 2002 coming in as a tire changer. The early makeup of the roster is comforting to St. Amant.
"It makes me feel good that we have some guys with experience and knowledge of what they are doing in ASA," St. Amant said. "There is a chance that another veteran ASA crew member, yet to be named, will still come with us."
St. Amant, for his part, is equally thrilled to be working with the Grills and their team. "Augie is a very talented guy and certainly a hard worker," St. Amant said. "He could be in Winston Cup if he desired, but has chosen to make a commitment to his dad and I can appreciate that."
The team will sport St. Amant's traditional number 7 with the familiar Jani-King colors. Jani-King is the world's largest commercial cleaning franchiser and has long sponsored the Grand American Race cars, including in the ASA Racing Series.