ASA Point Fund Tops 1 Million
March 1, 2004 | 12:48 A.M. EST
Additionally, the points fund will be paid deeper into the field than at any time in the 37-year history of the sanctioning body. In the past, only teams placing in the top 20 at the end of the season would be eligible for the points fund. Starting in 2004, the American Speed Association will make this additional money available to teams all the way to 40th position in the point standings.
"This is a big announcement for the ASA National Tour," said Steve Dale, ASA president/CEO. "It really is saying something when we run one less race than our 2003 schedule, yet we can still increase the points fund and offer a record amount paid out to more teams than ever before. I think that this is a direct reflection on the enthusiasm that ASA is generating."
Teams are excited about the additional financial opportunities. "This creates an opportunity where we may invest more dollars into our program to go after the purse," said Ken Smith, owner of SS Racing. "The last two years we’ve run a second car. One year we were 28th and the other down in like 38th so this would help to fund some of that. Spreading it down helps the competitor."
The 2004 ASA National Tour champion will once again receive a $200,000 payout, with a $50,000 incentive to return and compete in the series the following year. This is the first time in ASA history that such a bonus has been offered to the series champion.
As with years past, the 2004 Rookie of the Year will also receive the $50,000 check that comes with the Pat Schauer memorial trophy. This rookie payout is among the highest in all of motorsports.
"I've been part of the American Speed Association for eight years and never before have I seen so much money be awarded to so many teams," stated Mark Gundrum, ASA executive vice president, sales/marketing. "If people hadn't been looking at ASA before, this should help to turn a few heads our direction and get people talking about our series. I believe that this point fund is more than most other comparable series are offering, and is one of the richest at our level of motorsports."
The ASA National Tour will run 16 events during the 2004 campaign, starting with the SK Hand Tool 200 at USA International Speedway on March 27. This event, like most on the schedule will be televised live on SPEED Channel. This season is highlighted by the return of the ASA National Tour to five different speedways, tracks one-mile or larger in size, including the October 29 season-finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Other speedway tracks on the schedule include a pair of visits to Kentucky Speedway, Pikes Peak International Raceway, The Milwaukee Mile and Lowe’s Motor Speedway.