American Speed Association: ASAMT has the longest “offseason” in the country

“SEVEN MONTHS” IN THE FROZEN TUNDRA IS LONG ENOUGH!

“Hey, I here there is going to be an all new racing format for the ASAMT at their season opener!’

“Really? Cool! That’s the Joe Shear Classic at Madison International Speedway on May 1st, right?”

“Yeah…I can’t wait, it has been a really looooooong offseason!”

“No kidding! Seven months of cold weather and what feels like at least half of that shoveling snow! It will be great to get back to racing. It’s so easy to run out of things to do when we have a seven month break.”

When the first signs of Spring arrive, (do not be fooled, the snow may be almost gone, but it is still 30 degrees), Midwest racers look at the calendar and realize it is almost “go time.” The enthusiasm starts to build again and they begin spending more and more time in the shop preparing for the upcoming season.

Give them a call and ask them what they are looking forward to most in the upcoming season… “I’m ready to go back racing. We’ve made some changes over the winter. I think it is going to be a really good season.”

The drivers in the ASAMT are committed to the series and most have been involved since its inception. They do not really have much more to say except, ‘let’s go racing!’ It is still seven weeks away, but for Midwestern racers, that is a lot better than the past seven months of waiting.

This year brings with it so many exciting changes that have been developing during the long break. Much of which is just now coming to fruition in the past week or so, so it is time to get ramped up for the beginning of the season.

The Midwest is full of veteran drivers who live for racing, and if they could, would race for a living. Racers from the “frozen tundra” love racing; they live it, they breathe it and would do it year round if they could. But it is called the “frozen tundra” for a reason.

The ASA Midwest Tour is full of many of those veteran drivers. Yet there is a mix of great young talent, many who would love to make a name for themselves, and many certainly have!

For most, if not all, it is not because they have a PR Representative or some sort of agent (let’s face it, how many can afford it?), or even because someone read an article about them. Midwest drivers’ speak for themselves; on the track!

The ASAMT recognizes that talent with their ASA Midwest Tour Swiss Colony Touring Stars program. Fourteen of the top drivers are recognized throughout the season and those who qualify for the upcoming season are also recognized for their successes.

There is not a whole lot going on during the off-season in Midwest racing. There is no racing to talk about and in all honesty, drivers really do not have much to say. Unless you can plow the race track every week and defrost the seats, you will not find a race until mid-Spring and that is when Midwestern racers begin to surface again.

Some Midwest drivers are lucky enough to join in on the ongoing racing in the South, but that is few and far between. When it does happen, the support from the Midwest is more than you may see in any other racing family.

The ASAMT is lucky to have the offseason to work with sponsors for the upcoming season. This behind the scenes work is dedicated to getting sponsors to commit, working on new promotional programs, etc.

The American Speed Association® Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment and GrandStay Hospitality is proud of the sponsorship commitments and relationships that have developed and remained over the past five years. So if you have ever wondered what is going on “up here,” that is it. Sponsorship is the backbone of the ASAMT and without it, there would be no short track racing series like the ASAMT.

As the temperatures begin to hover around the 50 degree mark, it is time to start gearing up for that first event and the upcoming season. The ASAMT is committed to their sponsors, drivers, and fans, and will continue to provide the coverage they each deserve.

It seems the seven months without racing drags on, but the five months of racing goes by faster than a 100 lap feature. Then it starts all over again.

It’s Monday morning, somewhere around the tenth or so of October. Fans, race teams, drivers, and their families are home after the infamous four-day championship weekend at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway; also known as, Oktoberfest.

The final race of the season is the beginning of a long winter for local Midwest short track racers. It is the longest event of the season and brings with it, brisk temperatures and sometimes even a snowflake or two. Oktoberfest typically lends itself to prepare racers and fans of what is to come.

Once that first snowflake hits the ground, those living in the “frozen tundra” settle in for what is to be about seven months of cold weather. This lends itself to the inevitable blizzards for about three out of those seven months; shoveling through mountains of snow.

The first few weeks are spent winterizing the cars and the haulers. That’s right, “winterizing.” Radiators and engine blocks have to be drained. Haulers need to be protected from the elements.

Of course, we cannot forget the coolers. They have to be emptied and drained so as not to open them in the spring to find exploded cans of whatever one’s beverage of choice may be.

If one has the luxury of a heated shop, furnaces are turned on, yet just enough to make it bearable. We all know the cost of heating our homes these days and on a racers salary, adding the heating cost of a shop to that is not an easy thing to justify.

Midwest racers have found many ways to make the offseason as enjoyable as possible. It is a time to reconnect with the family, plow snow and rejuvenate from the long season. Some are even fortunate enough to find other forms of racing to fill their time; specifically snowmobiles–for obvious reasons.

But let’s face it, what racer is not ready to head back to the track after a month or so? Midwest drivers, teams and even fans, live and breathe short track racing!

Call up any driver half-way into the winter and one will get the standard response… “I am looking forward to the season starting up again. We will make some changes over the winter. I think it is going to be a really good season.” What else is there to say?

So if you ever wonder what on earth is going on in the “frozen tundra” when there is no racing…that pretty much sums it up. Now the waiting game is almost over, only seven weeks to go!!!

To learn more about the American Speed Association® Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment and GrandStay Hospitality, log on tohttp://www.asamidwesttour.com or call the ASA Midwest Tour office at (630) 212-6022 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or e-mail Tim Olson at [email protected] or Steve Einhaus at [email protected].

To learn more about the Daytona Beach, Florida-based Racing Speed Associates or the American Speed Association® Racing Member Track program, call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to [email protected]. For news and information from racetracks and regional tours involved in the American Speed Association®, visit http://www.asaracing.com.