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2007 ASA Late Model Series Challenge Division Season Preview

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2007 ASA Late Model Series Challenge Division Season Preview

By: ASA Late Model Series


Lexington, Michigan (02/26/2007): The 2007 ASA Late Model Series Presented by GM Performance Parts Challenge Division opener is upcoming this weekend as the cars and stars of the crown jewel of the ASALMS are in the midst of final preparations before making the long journey to San Antonio, Texas.


Highly regarded as one of the most anticipated season openers for any traveling series in recent memory, the 2007 ASALMS Challenge Division Season gets underway this Friday and Saturday March 2-3, 2007 at the fast 0.500 Mile High-Banked Paved Oval of the San Antonio (TX) Speedway for the running of the 2nd annual Alamo 200 Presented by Express Lube and FLF Racecars.


Based on registrations and pre-entries received for the ASALMS Challenge Division for the upcoming Fifth Anniversary 2007 Season, the premiere drivers and teams in the country will call the Challenge Division home in 2007 as a plethora of drivers have been touted as ones to watch for the upcoming season.


Here is a capsule look at some the top contenders as decided on by an expert panel of media, newspaper and trade paper outlets as well as astute observers of the ASALMS located throughout the United States;


Eddie Hoffman: Perhaps the hottest driver in the country heading to San Antonio Speedway. Beginning with the ASALMS portion of the All-American 400 weekend last November, The Wheaton, Illinois veteran has raced four times and won three of those shows; Nashville, DeVos Place Day Two, and Speedfest. Hoffman comes into the 2007 ASALMS Challenge Division season as the favorite amongst the majority of the media outlets for the 2007 Challenge Division title.


Charlie Menard: With new Crew Chief, Chad Wood calling the shots, the Eau Claire, Wisconsin veteran looks to have a solid 2007 season running for both the ASALMS Challenge and Northern Division Championships. Like Hoffman, Menard is widely considered one of the top contenders for the 2007 ASALMS Challenge Division Championship and is expected to be one of the heavy hitters in 2007.


Brian Campbell: A new team and a renewed enthusiasm for the upcoming 2007 season. The 2005 Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year will head to San Antonio as the top driver of the Boyne Machine team and heads to Texas with both barrels loaded and looks to contend for the ASALMS Challenge Division title and many observers feel that the Grand Rapids, Michigan driver is one of the favorites for the championship.


Travis Dassow: With new Crew Chief, Howie Lettow and the majority of the former WalTom Racing Team behind him, the soon to be 20-year-old has his best shot of his career to not only win that coveted first career ASALMS Feature, but also to contend for the 2007 ASALMS Challenge Division Championship. Expect big things out of Dassow in 2007.


Jesse Smith: The reigning 2006 ASALMS Northern Division Champion will once again compete the full schedule of events in both the ASALMS Challenge and Northern Divisions for the upcoming season. Smith looks to step up his game even more so in 2007 and many observers feel that Smith could be the sleeper pick in the Challenge Division this season and once he gets that taste of his first feature win, he could potentially rattle off a few in a row!


Kris Stump: A new team for the Tipp City, Ohio driver for the 2007 season as Stump is now the senior member of the up and coming 5K Motorsports Team. In two seasons of ASALMS competition, he’s finished in the Top Five in the final points standings both years and is still in search of his first career win. He won’t have a better shot than in San Antonio, Texas where he finished second a year ago.


Peter Cozzolino The crafty Indianapolis, Indiana veteran will once again run the full schedules in both the ASALMS Challenge and Northern Divisions and is so close to his First ASALMS Feature win, he can taste it. Don’t be surprised if that Feature win comes in the 2nd annual Alamo 200!


Keeton Hanks: A new team is in the cards for the Auburn, Kentucky driver as the 17-year-old has joined Allen Hock Motorsports for the 2007 season and has the potential to surprise everyone with a solid 2007 season. It’s time for Hanks to step up to the challenge and with Glenn Allen Jr., in his corner, big things are expected from Hanks!


Michael Annett: Another sleeper pick in the 2007 ASALMS Challenge Division title chase. The Des Moines, Iowa sophomore is still riding on his impressive third place finish in the 2006 ASALMS Challenge Division Season Championships at the Iowa Speedway back on October 14, 2007. In only his second season of driving any type of a race car, Annett could surprise everyone in 2007.


Ryan Lawler: A graduate of the PASS South Series and part-time competitor in 2006, the Colleyville, Texas driver is expected to make a lot of noise running the full schedule in the ASALMS Challenge Division in 2007. He won two Features in the ASALMS Southern Division in 2006 and a good start in his home state in 2007 could go a long way for Lawler as the season progresses.


John Wes Townley: The 17-year-old Wood Brothers JTG Racing development driver will run the full schedule in both the ASALMS Challenge and Southern Divisions in 2007. An excellent qualifier, the Watkinsville, Georgia sophomore expects to only get better and if he can match his feature finishes with his qualifying efforts, Townley could surprise everyone in 2007.


There is an overflow of contenders and wildcards who will play a significant role in the outcome of the 2007 ASALMS Challenge Division Championship title chase all season long. They include a wide variety of drivers with a wide variety of backgrounds and they are headlined by Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame driver, Butch Miller, who has indicated he will once again be running a limited schedule in both the ASALMS Challenge and Northern Divisions.


Other noteworthy contenders and wildcards include; James Buescher, Greg Davidson, Tommy Grimes, Matt Hawkins, Colt James, Derek Neville, Nick Neville, Danny Ouderkirk, Alison Quick, Tony Rosebrugh, Jim Ross, Trevor Stewart, Greg Taylor, Bill Tomlinson, and Travis Wilson.


The overabundance of contenders and wildcard drivers in the ASALMS Challenge Division are some of the most intriguing group of drivers that are registered! Various talented teams have registered for the Challenge Division, but some may not run the entire 2007 Fifth Anniversary schedule!


As for the 2007 Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year title contenders, a talented group of Freshman will be plentiful as well. A slew of rookie pilots will be vying for the coveted Rookie title given to the series top finishing rookie at the conclusion of the 2007 Championship title chase.


There are plenty of Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year title contenders that will be threats for not only the freshman crown, but the overall championship as well and are definitely drivers to watch all season long. They include;


Derek Thorn: Widely considered the pre season favorite to win the 2007 Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year title. The Lakeport, California freshman, who now calls Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin home impressed everyone with his two strong runs in West Salem, Wisconsin and Nashville, Tennessee late in 2006. Driving for Ken Wills and his budding 5K Motorsports team, Thorn has the potential to pull off a Kelly Bires like season in 2007.


Michael Simko: A graduate of Outlaw Bodied Super Late Models competition in Michigan and Ohio as well as a part-time competitor in the ARCA Re/Max Series, the Clarkston, Michigan driver will run for the rookie titles in both the ASALMS Challenge and Northern Divisions and brings a wealth of talent to the ASALMS as his Crew Chief and Father is former ARCA Champion, Dave Simko. Both will add another strong contender for the 2007 Rookie title.


Chris Fontaine: Driving the FLF Racecars (Formally Finish Line Fabricating) house car, the Lakeland, Florida driver will run for both rookie championships in the ASALMS Challenge and Southern Divisions and will challenge both Thorn and Simko is what is considered a very potent rookie crop in 2007.


Andy Hanson: The 2006 I-94 (MN) Raceway Super Late Model Champion made three appearances at the end of the 2006 season in both the ASALMS Challenge and Northern Divisions and will compete for both Rookie titles in both divisions in 2007. The Ramsay, Minnesota driver has the potential to make a lot of noise in 2007 in the chase for the 2007 Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year title.


Austin Siebert: The I-70 (MO) Speedway Rookie of the Year in 2006 will move up to the ASALMS Challenge Division full-time in 2007 and is amongst a strong rookie class in 2007. The Lake Lotawana, Missouri freshman, like Hanson, has the potential to surprise everyone this season and needs a fast start to the year in Texas. If that happens, Siebert will challenge for the freshman title in 2007.


Two rookies have gone on to win both the overall series championship! Kelly Bires took both the ASALMS Challenge Division Championship and Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year title in 2006 while Bobby Stremme took both titles in 2004! In 2003 and 2005, both Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookies of the Year finished in the runner-up spot overall!


The first occasion occurred in the series inaugural season as the USPRO Cup Series when top rookie, Mike Carter finished second to 2003 USPRO Cup Series Champion, Mark Kortz. The second time was in 2005 when Brian Campbell finished behind 2005 ASALMS Challenge Division Champion, Stephen Leicht


The rest of the talented crop of rookie pilots vying for the 2007 Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year Championship includes; Chris Archer, Bryan Clauson, Ryan Durst, Jacob Goede, Bryant Goldsmith, Sean Murphy, Brent Seeley, Kyle Sirizzotti, Zach Taylor, Terry VanHaitsma, and David Wilson.


There’s still time to place your Fuel and Tire Orders in time for the 2nd annual Alamo 200. R.V. Performance is taking Hoosier Racing Tire and Torco Racing Fuel orders for the upcoming 2007 season for all three divisions and especially for the ASALMS Challenge Division Season Opener in San Antonio, Texas. To place an order, please call R.V. Performance, during normal business hours at: 1 (586) 615-8763 or you can also fax in your order at: 1 (586) 727-5237.


For more information about the approaching 2007 seasons within all three divisions of the ASALMS, You can call the ASALMS home offices during normal business hours Monday through Friday (9am-5pm) (EST) at: 1 (800) 385-2503. Also of note, the ASALMS home offices are closed until Monday February 19, 2007. If needed, please call Ron and Sandy Varney at: 1 (810) 650-6617


You can also log onto any of the three websites for more information concerning the 2007 season. For the Challenge Division, go to: ASALMS Challenge Division For the Northern Division, log in at: ASALMS Northern Division and finally for the Southern Division click on: ASALMS Southern Division




Event 1 of 12

Saturday, March 3




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