There is always the age-old question of whether or not having a home track advantage at a certain track when a national tour comes to visit.
At the opening event for the ASA STARS National Tour at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL, some could say that the ASA Southern Super Series competitors had the advantage with Casey Roderick winning the event, while Bubba Pollard led a majority of the 200-lap event.
The Joe Shear Classic 200 will be the second event for ASA STARS National Tour along with being its Midwest debut at Madison International Speedway in Oregon, WI on Sunday, May 7th.
Drivers from 13 different states and one Canadian province are registered to compete in the 16th running, honoring the famous Midwest Super Late Model star.
The question that many are asking coming into this event will be, who will have an advantage getting around “Wisconsin’s Fastest Half-Mile Oval?”
Roderick will be making his first visit to MIS and is always a factor wherever he competes in the United States. But will he be able to figure out the unique oval in his first visit? Pollard competed in 2017 & 2018 until he captured his victory in 2019.
Stephen Nasse will also be making his first appearance at MIS, but made his debut in the ASA Midwest Tour last year in the Gandrud 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway near Kaukauna, WI, where he finished sixth. He also has three top-ten finishes in the Slinger Nationals at Slinger Super Speedway in Slinger, WI, showing he also has adapted quickly to the Midwest tracks.
While Roderick, Pollard, and Nasse are just a few of the drivers competing, there are 35 other drivers also looking to grab the checkered flag. Some of these could have an advantage with their past experience at Madison.
Andrew Morrissey, fresh off his second Oktoberfest 200 victory last fall, could be one to watch with the most successful experience in the field. He is a two-time winner of the Joe Shear Classic (2012 & 2017), has over 12 feature wins at MIS, and even competed in the ASA National Tour race at Madison in 2003.
Dan Fredrickson has an ASA Midwest Tour victory and a Triple Crown win at MIS, along with competing in the ASA National Series in 2002. He is always a threat, scoring numerous podium finishes in the Joe Shear Classic.
Ty Majeski has won at every Wisconsin asphalt oval except for one, Tomah Sparta Speedway. The 2016 Joe Shear Classic winner also has won other Super Late Model events, including being a past winner of the Howie Lettow Memorial race competed in August at Madison.
Paul Shafer Jr is making his return behind the wheel this upcoming weekend in his familiar No.7 Super Late Model. He has a Triple Crown victory and is a past Gandrud 250 winner at WIR. He is eager to come back and get another big victory.
Austin Nason is no stranger to winning big events in the Midwest. He won the Joe Shear Classic in 2018 and backed that win up a year later with a victory at the famed Milwaukee Mile. Last season, he added his name to the historic list of winners in the Wayne Carter Classic at Grundy County Speedway in Morris, IL.
Jacob Goede also has some victories at Madison, including a few that helped him win the NASCAR Weekly Series National Championship in 2019.
Michael Bilderback has also visited victory lane at MIS, with weekly feature victories and a win in the Big 8 Series.
Former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter is always competitive at Madison and is also a former winner of the Joe Shear Classic (2015).
This is just a small group of competitors looking to make the 28-car starting field on Sunday afternoon, May 7th. But don’t discount the other drivers on the entry list, as any of them either have the experience behind the wheel or have a great team in the pits to prepare a winning car for them.
The 2023 edition of the Joe Shear Classic will be one of the most competitive events in short track racing. This is one not to miss!
Past Winners of Joe Shear Classic
2008 Dan Fredrickson
2009 Nathan Haseleu
2010 Steve Carlson
2011 Ross Kenseth
2012 Andrew Morrissey
2013 Travis Sauter
2014 Nathan Haseleu
2015 Johnny Sauter
2016 Ty Majeski
2017 Andrew Morrissey
2018 Austin Nason
2019 Bubba Pollard
2020 Johnny Sauter (Dells Raceway Park)
2021 Rich Bickle, Jr.
2022 Casey Johnson
The Joe Shear Classic 200 will mark race two of the inaugural ASA STARS National Tour schedule, set for 2:00PM CT on Sunday, May 7. Advance tickets are available by visiting the track website at misracing.com/tickets, or at the track office during regular business hours. Madison International Speedway is located ten minutes south of Madison, on Sunrise Road off of Highway 138 between Oregon and Stoughton.
The ASA STARS National Tour opened the ten race, six-state schedule at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL on March 11. Georgia racer Casey Roderick won the Sunshine State 200.
For the full ASA STARS National Tour schedule, plus Super Late Model rules and other information, please visit the series website at starsnationaltour.com, or 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 debuted in March of 2023 for Super Late Model racing in America. Announced last October, many of the best drivers in America will compete in the ten-race national tour with a minimum $100,000 point fund. The championship team will be guaranteed $25,000.
The ASA STARS National Tour 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.
The Team Construction Winner’s Circle program has been announced as a part of the ASA STARS National Tour for licensed drivers/teams with perfect attendance. The program provides additional financial incentives to those teams who support the Series, thanks to Team Construction.
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.