SPARTA, Ky. (May 2004) Entering its fifth season, the Kentucky Speedway has added a fifth race event weekend that will feature the "V-TAPS Triple Header Fall Classic" on Saturday, Sept. 18. Sponsored by Vocational Training & Placement Services of Jeffersonville, Ind., the three-in-one event will include races by the Dash Series, NASCAR Kodak Southeast Elite Series and the American Speed Association.
Photo by Ruth Wright
ASA's Kevin Cywinski
poses with his car during
test day in May at the
Both the compact stock car Dash Series and the late-model stock car NKSES have visited Kentucky Speedway before. Last year, they were paired respectively with NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series races. The two series will join for a triple-play this year the ASA stock car series in its second visit of the season to the Sparta, Ky., track. The series' first appearance there will be on Friday, May 7, in the "BF Goodrich Tires 125."
Formerly appearing on short-tracks only, ASA in 2004 will for the first time since 2001 race on several mile-plus tracks, beginning with Kentucky Speedway. Of the series' 18-race schedule, six races will be held on superspeedways. In addition to Kentucky Speedway, ASA also will visit Pikes Peak International Raceway, The Milwaukee Mile, Lowe's Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway.
ASA officials decided to include in its lineup a handful of mile-plus tracks after preliminary tests conducted last year in Charlotte, Atlanta and Sparta proved successful for both drivers and the series as a whole.
"From a marketing standpoint, I wanted to add facilities where we could bridge the gap for our young guys who want big track experience," said ASA President and CEO Steve Dale. "This also gives our fan base the opportunity to enjoy some new facilities like Kentucky Speedway. It's a beautiful place and we need to be here."
Although new to Kentucky Speedway, ASA has been around since 1968. Beginning with sprint car and stock car races at Sun Valley Speedway in Anderson, Ind., it has grown into the alternative national stock car series that it is today. A springboard into NASCAR, ASA has produced a number of top competitors. Alumni include Darrell Waltrip, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, Jimmie Johnson and Johnny Sauter.
In preparation for the event, 37 drivers, including 2003 defending champion Kevin Cywinski, visited the 1.5-mile tri-oval on April 16 to test. "I think it's great for our series to get out to nicer venues, bigger venues," said Cywinski, 39, who has visited superspeedways as a driver in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series (1998-99). Cywinski's team tested a car that was built especially for the long tracks. "The set-up is quite a bit different (from the short-track cars)," he said.
Photo by Ruth Wright
ASA's Butch Miller poses with his
car during test day in May at
the Kentucky Speedway.
ASA National Tour Champion and last year's runner-up Butch Miller also tested at Sparta in April. Miller, 51, who shared track time with young teammates John Dalziel and Kyle Kriskoff, said ASA made the right choice by adding large tracks like Kentucky to its schedule.
"I think it's a great decision," he said. He added that time on the big tracks will help younger drivers like Dalziel and Kriskoff get the experience they need to eventually move up to NASCAR series. "ASA used to be a minor group that NASCAR didn't pay a lot of attention to. It's almost like now ASA is going to become a feeder group," he said.
The second ASA event at Kentucky Speedway, the "V-TAPS Triple Header Fall Classic," will begin on Sept. 18 with the 100-mile Dash Series race, followed by the 150-mile NKSES and the 225-mile ASA race. Both ASA races at Kentucky Speedway and "The Channel 5-205" ARCA RE/MAX race will be featured on the SPEED Channel. The ARCA race also will be featured on NBC's Cincinnati affiliate, WLWT-TV Channel 5.
Kentucky Speedway season and single-event tickets can be reserved online at www.kentuckyspeedway.com or by phone at (859) 578-2300 or 1-888-652-RACE. Tickets also are available through Tickets.com outlets including Meijer stores and the speedway ticket offices located at 2216 Dixie Hwy., Ste. 200, Ft. Mitchell, Ky., and in Sparta, Ky., in the Turn 3 Fan Center.