Pendleton, Ind. (October 16, 2000) - For the second-time in three years, Columbus, Ohio's Gary St. Amant, a 15-year veteran of the American Speed Association ACDelco Series, captured the 2000 ASA National Championship in convincing style, wrapping...
Pendleton, Ind. (October 16, 2000) - For the second-time in three years, Columbus, Ohio's Gary St. Amant, a 15-year veteran of the American Speed Association ACDelco Series, captured the 2000 ASA National Championship in convincing style, wrapping the 2000 season up with his 12th-podium finish of 2000. His 497-point margin over second-place driver Kevin Cywinski was the largest championship margin in the 33-year history of the series. St. Amant joins Mike Eddy, Mark Martin, Dick Trickle and Butch Miller as multiple-time ASA champions.
St. Amant's dream season came to an end following his third-place finish at Gateway international Raceway during the BFGoodrich Tires 200, the final race of the 2000 ASA ACDelco Series season. Capturing the championship, St. Amant will take home $200,000 a s a part of the record $1 million year-end points fund. Cywinski picked up $125,000 for finishing second in the points.
"I watched a John Force tape where he said 'when you win one championship, you still can be a flash in the pan, but when you have won your second championship, now you have done something,'" said St. Amant. "But the first one was pretty special to me. We have lost one before and been close, so finally getting that first one was great. But to come back and back it up, that allows me to stick out my chest even further."
St. Amant's seasonal statistics back up his impressive performances. The driver of the number 7 Wynn's Chevrolet collected three wins in 2000, including the season-opening BFGoodrich Tires 200 at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla. That win put St. Amant's name in the record book as the first driver to win with the Vortec ASA 5700 engine and BFGoodrich Traction T/A Radial tires. The win also gave St. Amant the National Championship points lead heading into the second event, a point lead that he w ould never relinquish.
The most staggering statistic comes as yet another record book run. Through the 20-race ASA season, a total of 5,400 laps were run in ASA competition. Of those 5,400 laps, St. Amant and his Bill-McGowan led Automotive Promotions team completed 5,394 of t hose laps, an astounding 99.89-percent. The only six laps St. Amant missed came during his worst finish of the season at Louisville Motor Speedway, where he came home 18th after getting turned around by another car.
"The caution was out when we got wrecked," said St. Amant. "We were probably only 25 laps away from completing 100-percent of the laps. It is a pretty amazing feat. It just shows the kind of team we have. We come to the track every single weekend with th e car prepared."
St. Amant also collected wins at Madison International Speedway and during the annual Winchester 400, the same event in which he mathematically wrapped up the championship. During a nine-week stretch of events, come to be known as "hell weeks," St. Amant f inished no worse than sixth, including five podium finishes.