The inaugural event for the ASA STARS National Tour may be in the Panhandle of Florida, but when fans arrive in Pensacola, FL on March 10-11, the historic event will have a little West Coast flare as well.
Four drivers from the Golden State are entered into the Sunshine State 200 at Five Flags Speedway. Defending SRL Southwest Tour champion Jacob Gomes, of Manteca, Jeremy Doss from Upperlake, and Blaine Rocha, of Oakdale, will join Bakersfield’s Derek Thorn as the four California drivers in the pavement Super Late Model field.
Tickets for the Sunshine State 200 are available online by visiting https://bit.ly/ASA5FlagsTixs.
Derek Thorn announced his intentions on Tuesday for the inaugural ASA STARS National Tour event.
Jacob Gomes is already a winner in 2023, having captured the trophy at the All-Star Showdown 200 at Irwindale Speedway (CA) in January. He captured his second career SRL Southwest championship in 2022 and is an 11-time winner in the series. Gomes also finished 9th in the Snowball Derby, in his first official start, in December.
“We decided to run the ASA race at Five Flags to get ready for the year. We plan on possibly running in a couple more if we can as well,” said Gomes. “It is cool to come back and run a series that’s been around for so long. Some of the greatest used to run ASA, like Gary St. Amant, so it’s pretty special.”
Gomes will race his family’s familiar number-16 that will be set up by Derek Thorn and Mike Keen at Derek Thorn Racing and sponsored by Dellosso Family Farms, Sunny Valley Smoked Meats, Reeves Automotive, Nutrient Ag Solutions, David’s Racing Products and Racing for Radios.
Jeremy Doss was the runner-up in the championship chase one year ago to Gomes with three wins to his credit in 2022. Doss is a two-time winner of the Montana 200 and has made six starts in the Snowball Derby with a best finish of 11th in 2018.
“It’s always special being part of history with ASA coming back,” said Jeremy Doss. “Bob Lyon (team owner) asked me what races I wanted to run this year and the answer was all the Pensacola races. I want to win the Snowball Derby, and I feel the best way to do that is run there more often and give us a good set of notes come December. We’ve had good speed in the past and just need to put it all together to try to win the ASA race.”
Doss will race the Bob Lyon Motorsports number-44 with backing from Alliance Rental Solutions, Shell Roofing Solutions and the Viking company.
Blaine Rocha is a two-time winner in SRL Southwest Tour competition and made his first start in the Snowball Derby last December.
“One of our big goals this year is to run some of the big crown jewel events across the country, so we are really excited to get to Five Flags. This event is going to be huge,” said Rocha. “It’s always cool when a series starts up and the hype around it. Even though the ASA was around long before my time, it’s cool to go back to the roots with events like these.
“Five Flags is no easy race track to overcome, so we are trying to get some more seat time there to build the notebook for me to be a little more prepared come Snowball Derby time,” added Rocha. “We are going to run a few of the ASA races this year back if all works out. There are some bucket list tracks that I would love to check off my list, like North Wilkesboro (Speedway May 16) and Hickory (Motor Speedway – May 25).”
Rocha will race a number-98 machine for Strmiska Racing with sponsorship from Masellis Drilling, Rocha’s Valley Enterprises, Port City RaceCars, HCI Docks, Pacific State Pipe, Deniz Bros. Ag Services, Frontier Lubricants, Peters Racing Engines and Farmers Blacksmith and Welding.
With experience at Five Flags Speedway, all drivers are eager for good outcomes.
“Our main goal is to win or do the best we can,” stated Gomes. “I feel like we got a really good shot after our showing last year (in December) and our other goal is for me to be the most comfortable I can be because that track is so challenging.”
The full entry list for the Sunshine State 200 for the ASA STARS National Tour on Saturday, March 11 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL is expected to be announced early next week.
On-track activities for the Sunshine State 200 will kick off on Friday, March 10 with practice for the ASA STARS National Tour, plus local pure stock and sportsman division racing.
On Saturday, March 11, grandstand gates and ticket sales will open at 12 noon, Sunshine State 200 pole qualifying is set for 4:00 PM CT. An on-track autograph session will take place with the starting field at 6:00 PM, and the Sunshine State 200 is scheduled for 7:30 PM.
The Sunshine State 200 also serves as the season opening race for the Blizzard Series at Five Flags Speedway and the second points race for the ASA Southern Super Series. NASCAR star William Byron won the first ASA Southern Super Series event, on February 14, at New Smyrna Speedway.
The pavement Super Late Model race will pay $20,000 to the winner of the event and $1,500 to start the 200-lap race.
The stop in the panhandle of Florida will open a 10-race, six-state tour for the ASA STARS National Tour in 2023. At season’s end, the champion will receive a minimum of $25,000 within the slated $100,000 point fund.
Fans wishing to purchase tickets for the Sunshine State 200 can do so online by visiting https://bit.ly/ASA5FlagsTixs.
Competitors Entry Blank: https://onlineentryform.wufoo.com/forms/wymbbi20ydka64/
For the full ASA STARS National Tour schedule, plus Super Late Model rules and other information, please visit the series website at www.asastarsnationaltour.com, and be sure to follow the series on social media (Facebook: STARS National Series | Twitter: @racewithstars | IG: @starsnational).
ASA STARS National Tour
The ASA STARS National Tour will debut in 2023 for Super Late Model racing in America. Announced in October, many of the best drivers in America are expected to compete in the 10-race national tour with a minimum $100,000 point fund. The championship team will be guaranteed $25,000.
The national series is made up of three races from each of the regional pavement Super Late Model Series under the Track Enterprises banner; the ASA CRA Super Series, the ASA Midwest Tour and the ASA Southern Super Series.
A Winner’s Circle program will also be part of the ASA National Tour for licensed drivers/teams with perfect attendance. The program details will be announced at a later date, but it will be in the same vein as ASA utilized in its heyday.
Track Enterprises, a Racing Promotions Company based in Illinois, will operate the ASA STARS National Tour. It announced the acquisition of the CRA sanctioning body in January and followed that up with the purchase of the Midwest Tour in July. In October, Track Enterprises President, Bob Sargent announced a partnership with the Southern Super Series which set the table for the formation of the ASA STARS National Tour.
Track Enterprises PR