The two drivers battling for the Super Late Model Tour Championship have quite a history, it predates ASRS and has spawned one of the most intense championship battles ASRS has ever seen.
Both Jim Foose and Matt Vaade were at the first ASRS race, “The Million” in 2002, run at South Boston Speedway. Both drivers have won their fair share of races along the way, and both have a friendship that goes back to both drivers’ teen years.
“Matt and I might be fighting for this championship like bitter rivals, but the truth is that if I can’t win it, I’d like to see Matt carry the title of “Champion”. It’s going to be a real battle to the last lap at Richmond” said Jim Foose, driver of the #42.
Vaade spoke of the upbringing and the journey the two have enjoyed from the time Foose was 16 and Vaade just 17 years old,
“We kinda started at the same time…we’re both fast but not consistent enough to win races. When we got to Midvale in 2002 we found ourselves battling for wins weekly and a track championship. What had started out as a promising duo that was talking about teaming up quickly turned into an on-track rivalry. I got the Midvale title and then was the first to score a major win with the All American 300, it wasn’t long after that we found ourselves locked in battle for several more touring titles which Jim would get the better of” Vaade said.
Both drivers were asked about how much ASRS has changed since 2002.
Vaade commented; “It’s grown for sure, we had a different group back then and there was a lot of sour grapes when the founding father retired. To be here today still racing with ASRS and to see what’s in grown into is a testament to Jim’s hard work.”
“It’s a whole different ball game now than it was back then for me, when I first started I used then NASCAR 3 to help me learn about racing through traffic to better my commitments to the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series, but within two years I was selling my equipment and racing online two, three, sometimes four nights a week and ASRS started as a once a week league, then grew to two nights and before too long we had four nights a week before contracting back down to two nights a week a few years ago. When we came to iRacing in 2011 it actually got a little bit of legitimacy and you see that now as NASCAR stars like William Byron, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and others talk about how much sim racing has helped them become better drivers and that has driven the competition at ASRS big time. My dad used to joke around about sim racing, but now he wants to get into it. I told him I will not attach “Jr.” to my name so he will have to be “Jim Foose, Sr.”, and he hates being called senior.” Foose said.
Vaade echoes the thoughts on how sim racing has changed, “It was strictly a game at first. When we got to be online together it was a game changer, guys started making local tracks and it really started morphing into a way to sim practice. As its progressed it’s become more and more realistic and is the ultimate way for teams to test and practice without the massive expense.”
Foose has two prior Super Late Model Tour championships to his credit, winning the title in 2012 in a close fought battle with Doug Forgue that went down to the finale at Richmond, Foose picked up the win that night and 2015 when the championship came down to a tie going into the season finale at Irwindale Speedway with Ty Hester. Foose and Hester collided during the race, crashing Hester’s car and crushing his hopes at the championship.
Vaade has focused his sim racing on the short tracks, making sporadic appearances on bigger tracks, while Foose has run several seasons in the Truck Series and Xfinity Series along with the Cup Series in 2014 and 2015, before refocusing his efforts on the truck, Xfinity car and the short track stuff. Foose has seen many championships fall his way in those series over the years. Vaade has an All American 400, something Foose has tried 13 times to bring back home.
Regardless of the outcome November 2nd, a long time ASRS competitor will be crowned champion at Richmond International Raceway. Foose holds a four point lead over Vaade heading to the 3/4 mile Richmond track.