The ASA Midwest Tour will now be sanctioned by ARCA.
It appears that ARCA will take the Midwest tour under its umbrella in much the same way they did the CRA Super series. These touring series are made up of similar asphalt Super Late Model cars and will even race some joint events on the 2013 schedule.
Tim Olson and Steve Einhaus filled a void for racers and fans by started up the ASA Midwest tour in 2007. The ASA National tour had gone away two years earlier and the experiment of the ASL (American Stock Car League) was not able to attract enough cars to satisfy anyone in 2006.
The first race of the ASA Midwest tour saw over 50 Super Late Model cars attempted to qualify for their first race at Elko (MN) Speedway that May. Dean Reller and I were fortunate enough to be the announcers for that race, it was a day many will never forget. The race was tightly contested and had a surprise winner, Jonathan Eilen, who at that time was a little known rising star and now five years later is crowned the champion (photo below).
The ASA Midwest tour really has never resembled the old ASA National tour I remember from the MN State Fair. The ASA Midwest tour has always reminded me much more of the old ARTGO Challenge Series, in which the local racers could compete with the travelling stars. Short and competitive races with high car counts, half the entertainment for me was to see which of our local guys would make the big show.
I remember ASA as being cars that were different than our local Late Models, longer endurance races with pit stops, kind of like the current ARCA National Series.
ARCA has a 60 year history in Auto Racing but, it does not have the history of racing in Minnesota like ASA does, they ran their first ever race in the state last year. It was a very successful event at Elko Speedway, the program was well run and very entertaining. Here is the story of the event won by Brennan Poole http://racefansradio.blogspot.com/2012/06/poole-rises-to-top-at-elko-speedway.html
Lets not confuse things, the ASA Midwest Tour will not make drastic changes to become more like the ARCA National Tour, it will remain essentially the same, partner with the ARCA CRA Super Series and possibly become an easier stepping stone for young drivers with a more obvious path to the top.
The new race schedule has not yet been released but I do know that the new ARCA Midwest Tour will not be on the Iowa Speedway schedule for 2013. I was told that they had some scheduling conflicts with the Milwaukee Mile race this summer but they hope to be back on the Iowa Speedway schedule in 2014 and beyond. Minnesota fans should be able to see the ARCA Midwest Tour at Elko Speedway during the Annual Thunderstruck race weekend in September.
The 2012 Champions banquet will be held in Wisconsin Dells at the Chula Vista Resort, Friday and Saturday February 1st and 2nd 2013, more information will be detailed at that time.
As always, Speedtalk on 1360 radio with Dean and Jason (in photo) will cover the new ARCA Midwest tour better than anyone in Minnesota. Tour president Tim Olson will be on Speedtalk on 1360 radio Saturday November 17th at 10:30am. Listen on KRWC radio or www.krwc1360.com
Get more information at www.arcamidwesttour.com
*Dean Reller contributed to this article