(NEW SMYRNA BEACH, FL) Matt Vaade has made the most of his return to ASRS after taking a few years off, winning the first Super Late Model Tour race at USA International and backing that up with another win at New Smyrna Speedway.
Vaade didn’t have an easy road to victory as his #8 Ford started 14th on the grid, while teammate Justin Blackdeer led the field to green in what would be Blackdeer’s first race back with ASRS after a 10 year hiatus.
Passing was difficult at the half-mile New Smyrna Speedway and the emphasis was on track position, but late in the going the top two drivers pitted. Those two, Jim Foose leading with 35 laps to go and TJ Graves, who dominated the race and was the favorite to win in his #22 had combined to lead 80 of the 125 laps had to race through traffic.
Blackdeer surrendered the lead to Vaade, shortly after the restart, Vaade was assisted in his charge through the field with a long green flag run in the second half of the race. As the lasp wound down Vaade pulled away slightly as Douglas Nelson took over second. Vaade would take the win after 125 laps, with Nelson second followed by graves in third, Blackdeer fourth and Ernest Smith, Jr. fifth.
Vaade leads the champiopnship standings after two races by 15 points over Douglas Nelson.
(MARTINSVILLE, VA) Martinsville Speedway is the shortest track on the schedule, but it’s not short on action. When ASRS roars into Martinsville, the action seems to ramp up at the track known as “The Paperclip”.
Jamie Vaughn started on the pole and was joined by his brother Justin as the brothers swept the front row. Jamie’s reign up front was short lived as Robby Baskins took the lead on lap 12. Contact betwene the two would take Jamie Vaughn out of contention, as he was mired laps down and fought his way back onto the lead lap before his race ended early. Baskins also suffered damage and raced off the lead lap early on before receiving a lucky dog.
Jim Foose emerged as a favorite when he took the lead on a restart just 20 laps into the race. Foose ended up leading a race high 53 laps but late in the going was mired in traffic as Justin Vaughn led the way. Foose would move into second position with less than 20 laps to go and by lap 115 was hot on the tail of Justin Vaughn’s #7.
With three laps to go Foose made the move to the inside of Vaughn and took the lead as Vaughn scraped the outside wall. Foose would cruise to victory, his first Camping World Truck Series since winning at Texas Motor Speedway in 2011. Robby Baskins was second followed by Travis Wright third, Cody Rose and Sam Collum rounded out the top five.
Baskins on the heels of three wins in the Camping World Truck Series holds the championship lead with Justin Vaughn second just 20 points behind. Foose jumped eight positions to third, 22 markers out of the lead as the Camping World Truck Series heads to The Milwaukee Mile on April 12th.
(FONTANA, CA) The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California has produced some of the best finishes in recent years as ASRS has headed west. This years Xfinity 100 was no different as the race provided side by side action lap after lap.
An early caution set the stage for a 15 lap run that would see drivers face tire wear and begin to set up for fuel strategy just before the caution came out. On the restart wtih the field bunched up a few favorites emerged as Robert Moyer charged through the field joining Daytona winner Stephen Pearce at the front along with Jim Foose’s #42 and Shawn Musick’s #12.
Caution flew on lap 37 when Robert Moyer and Stephen Pearce made contact in the tri-oval, the damage suffered by Moyer ended his run, but Pearce continued on. On the restart Shawn Musick would receive damage and end his race setting up the field for a three lap dash to the finish with Foose leading.
Foose led the field through a three wide battle for the lead all the way until turn 4 on the final lap when Collin Penn and Joe Johnson made contact before collecting Foose. The #42 flipped over as Pearce drove by to the victory. Adam Chapman was second followed by Justin Vaughn, Foose came across the line backwards in fourth while Johnson rounded out the top five.
Foose continues to lead the point standings now by six points over Sam Collum as the Xfinity Series returns to action April 5th at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
(FONTANA, CA) The #46 in Victory Lane is becoming a familiar sight, through the first three Camping World Truck Series races, as Robby Baskins has taken the win in each of the first three races. He’ll be the first to admit that he has won “more so by luck than domination”, even though he has led the most laps in each of those races.
Baskins had stiff competition at Auto Club Speedway, he battled with Steve Buhala early in the race, all the way up to the green flag pit stops at the half-way point, when Buhala made a mistake on pit road. Jim Foose took the lead off pit road, and held Baskins off for four laps before he dropped to second. Baskins led to the way until the race’s first caution flew on lap 36. All the lead lap driver pitted for four tires, setting up a dramatic finish.
The green wouldn’t stay out for long as just three laps after the restart a multi-car pile up on the frontstretch triggered the second caution. The incident saw the Adam Chapman’s #24 get airborne after contact.
That incident set the race up for a green-white-checkered restart with Baskins leading Zack Calloway. Caution would fly for the final time after Jason Linder made contact with Steve Buhala, sending Buhala’s #43 spinning out of the fifth position. The caution would end the race with Baskins taking the win, Calloway second, Foose came home third, while Justin Vaughn and Robert Moyer rounded out the top five.
Baskins leads the championship standings over Justin Vaughn by 15 points. The Camping World Truck Series is back in action in two weeks at Martinsville Speedway.
The annual Spring Break has arrived for ASRS drivers and we look back at what we have learned so far in 2016.
We have learned that a smaller group of drivers puts on better races and we learned that races can go caution free. While some leagues are suffering from yellow fever (and sadly paying a hefty sum to broadcast those wreckfests) ASRS has seen the return of long green flag runs, green flag pits stops and of course pit strategy. While watching a fuel mileage race play out on TV is like watching paint dry, actually driving the car and conserving fuel along the way is just another element our drivers face.
Speaking of returns, the much anticipated Super Late Model Tour takes the green flag next week. The schedule will cover 17 dates, running bi-weekly for the most part with a few changes made to accommodate the summer and fall breaks.
And then there’s those Wednesday nights with nothing running, a glaring reminder of the changes made in January and the league’s ability to take things slow and expand only when the time is right, or the right car comes along. Everything from Legends cars to Mazda MX-5’s have been discussed to fill that slot, but it’s Spring Break and nothing has been announced as for that time slot. ASRS has left that decision up to it’s members to come up with ideas, discuss them with other members and build a series that way, it’s a new concept for ASRS, but it seems to be working so far.
(LAS VEGAS, NV) The ASRS Xfinity Series headed out west to the fast Las Vegas Motor Speedway for round #2 of the 2016 campaign.
Cody Rose led the field to the green flag with Jamie Vaughn alongside. Vaughn slipped on the start and dropped back to fourth as Robby Baskins and Steve Buhala went by. The field raced hard early and the lead changed hands multiple times in the first 30 laps before a round of green flag pit stops broke up the field.
Some drivers tried short pitting to gain track position but would be required to complete an extra pit stop as the fuel range was just about half of the race distance. Four drivers pitted just inside the window to complete the race on one stop; Baskins, Jim Foose, Sam Collum and Scott Haller.
The 100 mile race went flag to flag without a caution and was run in 36 minutes. Baskins would run out of fuel just before the start-finish line, but had enough of a lead to coast to victory over Foose, who’s crew reported they had enough fuel to go a lap longer. Collum, Haller and Jamie Vaughn rounded out the five.
Foose now leads the championship standings by one point over Cody Rose as the series takes a short break before returning to action March 22nd at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.