The Story Of One Man’s Dream And How It Became The Longest Running Online Race!
(CLEVELAND, OH) It all started from humble beginnings the dream of a pioneer in the online racing world and has grown to become the longest running online race.
It all began in 1997 with United ShortTrack Alliance (USA Series) Promoter Jimmy McKinley building a short track online racing league that would become the premier short track league for years to come. This was the infancy of online racing, when most people still had dial-up internet connections in their homes.
In 1998, the All American 100 was born. While the “All American 100” name has been used by various support races over the years, it was this event that gave birth to the All American 400 as we know it today. The 1998 event actually had two separate events as NASCAR Racing 1 and NASCAR Racing 2 both hosted events Carl Culp scored the N2 victory while Kevin Morgan won the N1 event.
The event was lengthened to 200 laps and became the “All American 200” in 1999, it was an experiment for USA Series officials and for online racing that led to Jimmy McKinley picking up the victory. The turn of the century brought longer races to the USA Series, but the All American 400 remained the cornerstone of the schedule. The All American 200 moved to NASCAR Racing 3 for 2001 and 2002 with Jason Newby and Chuck Chamblee picking up respective victories. For 2003, the event was extended another 100 laps to 300 and became the “All American 300”, Matt Vaade picked up the win in the only 300 lap event. The 2003 All American 300 saw ASRS Promoter Jim Foose make his debut in the event.
For 2004, the All American 400 was brought to the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season platform and finally extended to 400 laps. Derrick Claunch picked up the win in what would be the final All American 400 promoted entirely by the United ShortTrack Alliance and McKinley. In 2005, with the USA Series suspending operations mid-season McKinley hooked up with ASRS Promoter Jim Foose to host the event. The ASRS Rules and servers would be used for the event. Josh Smathers picked up the win. Following the 2005 season, McKinley shut down operations at the USA Series and handed the promotion of the Online All American 400 to Foose and ASRS.
2006 saw a record 85 entries filed the All American 400, the event would see Josh Berry take his first All American 400 victory. For 2007, the announcement came that the event would be split into two 200 lap events, a 200 lap event for the ASRS East Series and a 200 lap Super Late Model event. Berry swept both events in 2007. 2008 saw the East Series replaced by the Outlaw Late Models with Mike Husby winning the template body Late Model 200 and Chuck Chamblee winning the Outlaw Late Model 200 lap event. The Template Body Late Model/Outlaw Late Model combination remained in 2009 and 2010. Skip Honaker swept the event in 2009 and won the Outlaw Late Model 200 in 2010. Chuck Chamblee picked up his third victory in the Template body Late Model 200. The 2010 event would be the last on NASCAR Racing 2003 as ASRS would move to the iRacing Motorsports Simulation in 2011.
The iRacing Motorsports Simulation brought many new aspects to the event, but one thing had to change. iRacing laser scans it’s race tracks and meticulously recreates every building, light pole and wall around the track, because of this the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway was not on the service. After much deliberation, the 2011 event was moved to Lanier National Speedway and featured the Street Stocks and the Late Model Stock Cars each racing 200 laps. Bill Brown would sweep the event in 2011.
The 2012 season saw The Online All American 400 moved to USA International Speedway, a defunct ¾ mile track located in Lakeland, Florida that closed and was torn down after the 2008 season, but forever preserved by iRacing. Once again the Street Stocks and Late Model Stock Cars were lined up to race along with the addition of a third event, the ASRS Pro Series, featuring cars similar to the ASRS East Series. Alan Elwood won the Pro Series event, which kicked off a three day event. Johnathon Caddell won the Street Stock event and Dan Murray picked up the win in the Late Model Stock Car 200.
The big break came in 2013 when it was announced the All American 400 was returning to a 400 lap format. USA International Speedway would once again host the event which saw Ryan Borges come back from a lap down to score the victory. Things remained the same in 2014 with the exception that Super Late Models were raced for the first time since 2010, Borges again picked up the victory. 2015 would be the last 400 lap format (for the time being) with Ryan Beagle winning the event.
2016 brought back the dual 200 lap format with Dale Owen winning the Super Late Model 200 and Jason Galvin winning the Late Model Stock Car 200. The 20th Annual Online All American 400 in 2017 saw Joe Burchett (Super Late Model) and Jared Mogard (Late Model Stock Car) score wins as the USA International Speedway era ended.
In 2018, Southern National Motorsports Park became the home for the Online All American 400. Tour Modifieds replaced Late Model Stock Cars on the schedule. Todd Garren picked up the Super Late Model 200 victory as Mitch Brown won the Tour Modified 200.
The Online All American 400 grew from humble beginnings into the longest running online race because of the foundation laid by Jimmy McKinley and the steadfast promotion of Jim Foose, who will host his 15th Online All American 400 in 2019. Over the years the simulations have changed, the cars have changed and the track has changed along with the participants but the original spirit of the event remains.