Template:Distinguish

Template:Infobox sports league The American Speed Association (ASA) is a sanctioning body of motorsports in the United States formed in 1968. The Association was based in Pendleton, Indiana and currently is headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida. ASA was most famous for a national touring series which began in 1973 but was discontinued in 2004 due to financial difficulties. The ASA also sanctions regional late model series, a track member program as well as modifieds and sprint cars.

The cars from the ASA National tour are also raced in England in what is now known as the Stock Car Speed Association (formally ASCAR).

ASA National Tour

The national touring series used late model racecars body styles. Races were held primarily in the Midwest. Many series races were televised on several cable channels (especially The Nashville Network) from 1991 until 2004. Most teams from the ASA series moved to the American Stockcar League (ASL) series in 2005.

Before its demise, ASA was notable as the only nationally touring stock car series that used passenger car technology for its racing engines. Unlike NASCAR, which still requires carbureted engines for all its nationally touring series, ASA required fuel injection in all of its engines during its final years. During the mid-1980s, it also became one of the first stock car groups to offer a six-cylinder, lower-price alternative to the popular V8 engines, designed for less power but more race-capable for drivers. Following the 2000 rule changes, it was also known for introducing crate motors to a national audience. (NASCAR adopted crate motors in 2006 for the Grand National Division.)

MTV Lawsuit

In 1991, Gaylord Entertainment (owners of The Nashville Network) and an independent production company, Group Five Sports, signed an agreement where the ASA would add live race broadcasts to their schedule.

The first such live ASA AC-Delco Challenge Series race was held in June 1991 at Nashville Speedway USA. The race featured visiting NASCAR star Darrell Waltrip (who won the ASA's first Challenge of Champions race in 1972) defeating ASA regular Bob Senneker in a furious finish. The exposure led eventually to national television coverage for the entire season by TNN and Group Five doing the production (even though TNN had owned another production company in 1994).

In 1999, CBS (which purchased TNN in 1997) officials announced the purchase of 25% of the American Speed Association from owner Rex Robbins in exchange for live television rights to the entire ASA ACDelco Series schedule for five years. CBS did this move after losing coverage of NASCAR races, and the network chose to market the ASA on its CBS Cable family of networks (TNN and CMT).

When Viacom took over TNN in 2000, CBS Cable operations were shut down as TNN's Charlotte (located at the Lowe's Motor Speedway Industrial Park) and Nashville (located near the present Opry Mills mall) offices were closed and the signals transferred to MTV Networks for the creation of a channel which would eventually be called Spike TV. At the time, MTV Networks honored its remaining motorsports contracts signed by CBS motorsports officials.

In August 2001, MTV ended its association with ASA and the World of Outlaws (which also had a TNN contract signed by CBS management) by announcing they would tape delay the popular sprint car Knoxville Nationals, and also tape delay the two remaining ASA ACDelco Series races — one on Labor Day weekend at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, and the "Night Before F1" ASA 200-lap race at Indianapolis Raceway Park, (now O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis). ORP is famous for hosting major races on the night before the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's major races.

The ASA filed a lawsuit in Madison County, Indiana court in an attempt to stop the tape delays, but dropped the lawsuit after MTV agreed to air just one of the two races in the lawsuit live. MTV terminated the five-year CBS contract after less than 20 months.

Brian Robbins, the son of the ASA founder Rex Robbins, blasted MTV, saying, "It appears new (MTV) management does not have the same vision for the partnership as we had with TNN (CBS Cable) at the time we made the agreement."<ref name="autochan-agreement">Callahan, Terry (August 27, 2001). "ASA, TNN Reaches Agreement on 2001 Telecasts". The Auto Channel. Retrieved on 2009-04-03.</ref><ref name="autochan-prevent-TNN">Callahan, Terry (August 23, 2001). "ASA Seeks to Prevent TNN From Tape Delaying Broadcasts". The Auto Channel. Retrieved on 2009-04-03.</ref>

Sale of the Sanctioning Body

The 2003 season had drastic changes because of the move of television coverage to the lower-rated Speed Channel. Robbins ended his involvement with ASA.

Car owner Steve Dale, along with a group of investors, purchased the ASA at the end of the 2003 season, and began massive changes for 2004 hoping for further expansion of the series.

The ASA then further expanded its Member Track program, hoping to deliver tracks to their side with a lower sanctioning fee than rival NASCAR's sanctioning fees. ASA did not have the high-dollar or high-exposure status NASCAR's Dodge Weekly Series offered.

Expansion of the ASA

Steve Dale and the ASA purchased a fairly new Midwest-based late model series called the US Pro Series. The series used "crate" engines and "template" bodies to help develop a new "Approved Body Configuration" template for race cars. The standardized bodies saved money for teams at every track which wasn't a NASCAR-sanctioned track. The US Pro Series was renamed to the ASA Late Model Series. When the new ASA Late Model series began, it debuted with Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart racing in the inaugural race under the new name and ownership.

The ASA also purchased the Southern Modified Auto Racing Teams (SMART) organization in hopes to help sanction the series. SMART featured race cars similar to the Northeast-based NASCAR Modifieds.

The ASA also purchased the Speed Truck Challenge, a West Coast-based short-track series using fiberglass bodies designed to resemble compact pickup trucks.

Car livery began to take a new look in 2004, with the cars having numbers on the rear fenders and sponsors on the door, which is opposite of what most stock cars traditionally have used.

Financial Troubles of the 2004 Season

Financial problems developed midway in the 2004 season when the ASA began to cancel races, and television contracts were canceled.

By the end of the season, the series' demise came when the series raced at Lowe's Motor Speedway. During the driver's meeting for the 99-lap Aaron's 99 event (held after NASCAR Nextel Cup qualifying for the UAW-GM Quality 500), they informed competitors they did not have funds to pay teams after the race, and they asked for an extension. This despite the fact that Lowe's Motor Speedway had wired the entire purse and sanction fee to ASA as per the sanction agreement. Disappointed by Steve Dale's decision to cancel his trip to the event, the track impounded ASA's vehicles and equipment. A settlement was made where Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (owners of Atlanta Motor Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway) decided to pay the competitors directly after the final ASA race at Atlanta.

The sanctioning body collapsed and was shut down after the 2004 season, and the National Tour folded.

Aftermath

The Member Track program and ASARACING.COM site were sold to Racing Speed Associates, which continues to be run by former NASCAR official Dennis Huth, along with other ASA-sanctioned short track programs, the ASA SpeedTruck Challenge Series, Professional Autosports Challenge, the ASA Intermountain Pro-4 Challenge Series, Southern Modified Race Tour and the ASA NW Sprint Car Series (NSRA).

NASCAR took advantage of the demise of the organization and started a Modified series in the Southeast Whelen Southern Modified Tour. The series features identical rules to NASCAR's northern brethren.

The ASA Late Model Series was sold back to Ron Varney, who started the US Pro Series, and continues under its ASA LM series moniker with its web site, asalatemodels.com.

The American Stockcar League (which used the ASA-formula cars) was run under the sanctioning of Mid-American Racing in an effort to keep the National Tour active. The ASL ran only four races before its founder Gary Vercauteren died from a heart attack on October 6, 2005. Technical director and former racer Doug Strasburg took over Mid-American Racing, but conducted a major house cleaning early in 2006 and parred down Mid-American Racing ending the ASL after only one season.

Dennis Huth's Expansion

In 2006, with NASCAR taking over the SMART modified tour, Racing Speed Associates started the ASA Southern Modified Racing Team concept to once again bring modifieds to the ASA.

Also, NASCAR announced it was ending its AutoZone Elite divisions, which featured regional late model racing, following the 2006 season. Soon after, the ASA began sanctioning replacement series around the United States. The ASA Midwest Tour and ASA Northwest Tour were launched for 2007 and the ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour for 2008.

In 2008, ASA began sanctioning the ISCARS sport compact series, which had been independent since breaking from NASCAR at the end of the 2003 season. Also, the ASA Member Track program added a national short-track points championship similar to NASCAR's Whelen All-American Series concept, with the winner receiving a test with Joe Gibbs Racing, which sponsors the program through its Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil brand. The national champion earns a test in a Gibbs Toyota Camry.

ASA naming dispute

On October 4, 2007, the remnants of the American Speed Association was sold to Huth. Huth is looking at reviving the old National Tour. <ref>ASA completes purchase of National Tour properties</ref>

On Dec. 4th, 2007, Dennis Huth filed a lawsuit against the ASA Late Model Series seeking to invalidate and cancel the ASA Late Model Series trademark registration. The ASA Late Model Series responded that the lawsuit is frivolous and without merit and plan counter sue Mr. Huth for damages caused by suit. <ref>ASA name dispute</ref>

On January 14, 2009, the naming dispute was settled. In the end, both parties were allowed to keep the "ASA" name, but the ASA Late Model Series was forced to come up with a new logo, and both parties agreed to inform the racing public that the ASA Late Model Series is not related to, affiliated with, nor sponsored or endorsed by American Speed Association or ASA Racing. <ref>Dispute Over ASA Trademark Amicably Resolved</ref>

List of National Touring Series Champions

Pat Schauer Memorial Rookies of the Year

Brief history of the award

Schauer, who resided in Watertown, WI, was killed in a stock car racing accident on Oct. 4, 1981 at the Winchester Speedway during an American Speed Association race. Schauer was the rookie point leader at the time. He has since been honored annually at the rookie of the year award presented at the year-ending banquet in his name. The American Stockcar League (ASL) took over the Award in 2005.


Other Notable Alumni Drivers

Tracks that hosted ASA national events (2004 and earlier)

References

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External links

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ASA National Tour

Viewing Series Seasons
View Also: Seasons - Drivers - All-Time W - T5 - T10 - Track Lists - Misc. Info on Right
ASA National Tour.jpg


Series Overview
Formerly Known As: {{{FormerlyKnown}}}
Series Founded: 1973 Series Disbanded: 2004
Car Style: Stock Car Region: Primarily Midwest
Quick Stats
Most Wins: Bob Senneker (85) Most Titles: Mike Eddy (7)
Number of Races: 558 Number of Drivers: 1311
Project Status: AGAIG
Full results are available for all races from 1980-1985, 1987-1988, and 1990 onwards. Some races from the 1973-1979, 1986, and 1989 seasons have incomplete results. If you have missing information, please contact us.
Season Races Champion Margin Most Wins
1973 14 Dave Sorg +130 Three drivers (2)
1974 11 Mike Eddy +20 No repeat winners
1975 13 Moose Myers +25 Bob Senneker (5)
1976 16 Mike Eddy +24 Bob Senneker & Jerry Makara (3)
1977 24 Dave Watson +56 Bob Senneker (8)
1978 20 Mark Martin +195 Bob Senneker (5)
1979 16 Mark Martin +72 Mark Martin & Mike Eddy (3)
1980 15 Mark Martin +107 Mark Martin & Bob Senneker (5)
1981 17 Mike Eddy +145 Bob Senneker (6)
1982 19 Mike Eddy +57 Bob Senneker (7)
1983 20 Rusty Wallace +23 Dick Trickle (5)
1984 19 Dick Trickle +23 Bob Senneker (9)
1985 16 Dick Trickle +8 Mark Martin (4)
1986 16 Mark Martin Mark Martin (5)
1987 15 Butch Miller Butch Miller (8)
1988 16 Butch Miller Butch Miller (6)
1989 15 Mike Eddy Butch Miller (8)
1990 17 Bob Senneker Bob Senneker (6)
1991 19 Mike Eddy +79 Mike Eddy (7)
1992 17 Mike Eddy +2 Mike Eddy (6)
1993 18 Johnny Benson, Jr. +177 Johnny Benson, Jr. (5)
1994 18 Butch Miller Mike Eddy (6)
1995 16 Bryan Reffner Bob Senneker & Mike Eddy (3)
1996 20 Tony Raines +124 Three drivers (3)
1997 20 Kevin Cywinski +226 Kevin Cywinski (4)
1998 20 Gary St. Amant +242 Scott Hansen (7)
1999 20 Tim Sauter +6 Mike Miller (5)
2000 20 Gary St. Amant +497 Mike Garvey (4)
2001 20 Johnny Sauter +165 Johnny Sauter (10)
2002 20 Joey Clanton +1 Joey Clanton (9)
2003 17 Kevin Cywinski +130 Kevin Cywinski & Mike Garvey (4)
2004 14 Kevin Cywinski +10 Mike Garvey (4)