DAYTONA BEACH, FL – The sport of auto racing is just like any other sport when it comes to participation. From young to old, the age of the competitors give fans more of a reason to cheer for their local heroes. Today’s competitors at the American Speed Association Member Tracks are not just “Future Stars” or “Stars of Tomorrow”, they are veterans who stay home, become local heroes and help pass the torch of this sport to future generations.
“There is this myth that local tracks are just testing facilities for teenagers to get some seat time and be ready to move up to the highest level in this sport by the age of 18, if anything that is a very small percentage of drivers,” Dennis Huth, American Speed Association President stated. “Every short track, asphalt or dirt, has something special. They each have a great group of veteran drivers with a lot of experience to help teach the young drivers how to race. And these veterans, who stay close to home, have become local heroes.”
Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil ASA Member Track National Champion Cary Stapp is a veteran driver in his 30′s. He works a full-time job as an electrician and competes every weekend at Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle, TX. As the 2008 National Champion, he got the opportunity to tryout with Joe Gibbs Racing. Stapp stated during his tryout that if he didn’t get an offer to drive for Gibbs, he had an experience of a lifetime. It was an experience that he can take back to Texas and share with the young competitors at his speedway.
KD Kelley who competes at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, FL is a talented veteran driver who still starts from the back and works his way to the front every week. He still has that winning edge a few years after having a heart attack while racing one night.
Bobby Wilberg is not afraid to pull a young driver to the side and give them his insights to what they should be doing behind the wheel and they should listen. With over 13 track championships, the defending Madison International Speedway champion also works at Lefthander Chassis in Roscoe, IL. Not only can he provide the knowledge behind the wheel but also teach chassis set-up to anyone who wants to learn.
Speaking of teaching, Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin Dells, WI has a veteran with experience. Don “Thunder” Turner will be entering his 43rd season of driving late models this season. When you ask about his career highlights, his answer is that he has been driving so long that he can’t remember. While he may be well known as a veteran driver, he is also known as a teacher and a coach. He taught anatomy/physiology at La Crosse Central High School in La Crosse, WI and coached baseball at Central for 32 years. During that time he won two W.I.A.A. state championships, been a runner-up nine times and was elected to the Wisconsin High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1990.
“These are just a few of the unique personalities that compete our 35 ASA Member Tracks. They each have their group of fans and are the stars at their tracks,” Huth commented. “Every track has someone like Cary Stapp, KD Kelley, Bobby Wilberg, and Don “Thunder” Thunder. The stars are there today, not in the future. I would encourage all race fans to go and see them this year.”
Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil, sponsor of the American Speed Association National Short Track National Championship, is the same oil developed and used by Joe Gibbs Racing. The team sells the oil so racers across the country can have access to the latest technology in racing lubricants.
Joe Gibbs Racing is one of the premier organizations in NASCAR, currently fielding three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams and a driver development program. Based in Huntersville, N.C., and owned by Joe Gibbs – a three-time Super Bowl winner as head coach of the Washington Redskins and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – JGR has competed in NASCAR since 1992, winning three Cup Series championships and more than 80 NASCAR races, including three Brickyard 400s and the 1993 Daytona 500.
The American Speed Association Short Track National Championship is another step by the industry leader in creating new and innovative programs. This follows the recent announcement about extending the insurance coverage for ASA members traveling to, from, and during an ASA-sanctioned event. For updated ASA National Points, just click on the “Points” link at
ASA members in good standing are eligible for a $500,000 Excess Medical Benefit as well as a $20,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefit. Coverage for the member begins while traveling to a location promoting an ASA-sanctioned event and continues until arrival home again. The American Speed Association, in conjunction with WSIB Motorports Insurance, is the only sanctioning body to offer insurance coverage which extends beyond the boundary of the racetrack itself (complete details are available online at http://www.asa-racing.com/
The ASA Member Track program is comprised of more than 35 short tracks around the United States, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. For more information, call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For news and information from all the racetracks and tours involved in the ASA, visit
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