DAYTONA BEACH, FL – The opportunity to become the inaugural ASA Member Track National Champion and the opportunity to have a test session behind the wheel of a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is on the mind of many drivers across the 30 ASA Member Tracks in the United States. But for the two leaders in the East and West Region, each takes their season one race at a time.
On the West Region side, it was Cary Stapp of San Marcos, TX making a huge move this week after his feature win this past weekend at Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle, TX.
“I think the National Championship is awesome, I have won local track championships and it gives me an opportunity to win something more,” Stapp stated. “I would to thank ASA and Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil for this opportunity.”
Stapp, who has a performance index of 2.2962 which puts him third in the overall standings, made a huge leap in the West Region as he went from third to first in just one week with his win on Saturday night.
But for Stapp, the wins don’t come easy as he has to battle his way to the front. “Mary Ann Naumann, the track owner, has us line up based on our point average and usually I am coming from the back to the front each week.”
So far this season he has lived up to that task as his worst finish in six starts is a fourth place finish.
“Its fun racing where I have to pass a lot of cars to win, more fun then starting up front every week,” Stapp stated. “It’s just one week at a time and see where we end up.”
KD Kelley of Dover, FL is off to a great start at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa. The young 51-year-old competitor is not only the East Region Leader but is the overall leader with a performance index of 2.8256.
“I just take it one week at a time,” Kelley recently stated. “My goal each week is just make sure I finish in the top five.”
Last weekend, Kelley recorded his sixth top-five finish in 11 starts this season at East Bay. “I was running third and decided to go for the win and got high and let a couple get by me, but it was another top-five finish,” Kelley recalled. So far this season he has two wins and nine top-ten finishes.
Kelley, a former motorcycle racer, started racing stock cars about 15 years ago and won the track championship at East Bay in 2006. That championship meant a lot to him and at his young age, an ASA Member Track National Championship would mean a lot.
“It would mean a lot to me. I had a heart attack about four years ago at East bay and I came back to win the championship,” Kelley recalled. “I made about 19 laps and pulled off with chest pains. I workout about three days a week at the hospital’s rehab center and today I feel like nothing ever happened. I was down for a while, but I am good to go.”
An opportunity for a test session in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota would be a unique opportunity for Kelley, “I am not sure if they would be interested in me, especially at my age,” Kelley jokingly stated.
Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil, sponsor of the ASA National Short Track National Championship, is the same oil developed and used by Joe Gibbs Racing. The team sells the oil so racers across the country can have access to the latest technology in racing lubricants.
Joe Gibbs Racing is one of the premier organizations in NASCAR, currently fielding three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams and a driver development program. Its driver lineup consists of Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch in the Sprint Cup Series; Stewart, Hamlin, and Busch in the Nationwide Series; and Joey Logano and Marc Davis in the NASCAR Camping World Series East. Based in Huntersville, N.C., and owned by Joe Gibbs – a three-time Super Bowl winner as head coach of the Washington Redskins and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – JGR has competed in NASCAR since 1992, winning three Cup Series championships and more than 80 NASCAR races, including three Brickyard 400s and the 1993 Daytona 500.
The ASA Short Track National Championship is another step by the industry leader in creating new and innovative programs. This follows the recent announcement about extending the insurance coverage for ASA members traveling to, from, and during an ASA-sanctioned event. For updated ASA National Points, just click on the “Points” link at www.asa-racing,com.
The ASA Member Track program is comprised of a network of short tracks around the United States, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. For more information, call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to email@example.com. For news and information from all the racetracks and tours involved in the ASA, visit www.ASA-Racing.com.
By KEVIN RAMSELL
Cary Stapp, driver of the #99 ASA A-Line Super Stock, is joined in the winner’s circle by his crew and family – along with Trophy Girl, Tiffany Vogel. Stapp claimed his second victory of the 2008 season at Thunderhill Raceway (Kyle, TX) this past Saturday night and is currently leading the points’ chase in the West Region of the ASA National Short Track Championship.
Photo by Jeff Garvin.