The Frontstretch: Potts' Shots: Seeking Jon Wood, ASA, Chase Favoritism And More by John Potts -- Thursday September 1, 2011

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Potts' Shots: Seeking Jon Wood, ASA, Chase Favoritism And More

John Potts · Thursday September 1, 2011


Back in July, Sal Baker wrote, saying, “I haven’t heard anything about Jon Wood since he left the truck series. What’s with him and how is he doing?”

At the time, I didn’t have any information and I admitted that, but said I’d keep checking. A friend of mine active in NASCAR caught up with Eddie Wood at Michigan and relayed the question. Eddie said Jon hangs out at the shop and just does a little work here and there. Healthwise, he’s doing well. He refuses to come to the race track without something to drive or race. Eddie says they tell him, “out of sight, out of mind.” But he doesn’t want to come to the track just to hang out.

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Green-white-checker finishes are ruining the racing! Why watch the rest of the event?

Our little dissertation on the green-white-checkers restarts generated a lot of interest. One writer said, “I agree about the double-file restarts within the last ten laps. It seems that the G-W-C is happening so often that I find myself skipping most of the race and just tuning in for the last few laps. If almost every race is going to come down to a G-W-C and everybody gets a chance to catch up and do a double-file restart, why bother with the prior part of the race? Anything I miss, I can catch in videos or one of the wrap-up shows. I’d be interested in knowing the statistic on how often the leader going into a double-file restart G-W-C wins the race since it sets up a situation for everyone behind the leader to run over anyone in their way in ‘one of them racin deals.’ NASCAR did a good thing when they went back to their old start times for Cup on Sundays (at least for us East coasters) and then they implement something that discourages watching most of the race.”

Thanks for that one. I agree completely. I catch myself not paying attention to middle of the race nowadays.

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Another neat comment: “Please pass this along to NASCAR – We (the fans) do not think it is fair to let the Cup guys, and especially the ones in the Chase, test the tires. Another one of the stupid things they do.”

I can’t add much to that one. I think it’s worth NASCAR taking a look at.

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From Sally Baker, “I heard that Rockingham is ready to install SAFER barriers. Could NASCAR actually right a horrible wrong and bring Truck or Nationwide racing back to one of the best tracks ever? With other tracks folding like an accordion, there should be a date available.”

Well, Sally, my first preference would be for an open Truck or Nationwide date to go to Lucas Oil Raceway, but you make an interesting point. Rockingham deserves another shot, and as far as the report about the barriers is concerned, I can’t imagine an old Indiana farm boy like Andy Hillenberg going to that kind of expense without knowing it’s going to pay off.

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John Stephens says, “Can you explain in one of your columns what happened to ASA?”

Well, my first impression when it occurred was that it had been driven into the ground by the second owner. I checked with someone closer to the situation and found that was probably pretty close to the truth. I was told that Rex Robbins was mentally worn out and wanted to divest himself of it. My source said that shortly after the sale, he talked to the new owner and said, in his words, “…he didn’t seem to have much of a business plan, and really not much of a plan at all.”

I’ve read some horror stories from some ASA officials when it folded about Humpy’s people stopping them on their way out and seizing the vehicles. I’ve been asked to work on a history of the “original” ASA, and some of those may make it in there.

I think Dennis Huth has done a real job in trying to keep the name and the series going in a new form. I just wish I was able to get hold of all those old race records from 1972 through 1991 for my work on the history.

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Drive Back to the Past With John Potts’ new book, a collection of historical stories from racing started right here at Contact John to get your hands on a copy today!

And for John Stephens (same guy) and John Parran, who have asked where they can get a copy of “Driven to the Past,” thanks for your interest.

I have copies available, and I sign all that I send out. Just send check or money order for $17.95 (covers shipping and handling also), to me at 73 Danielle St.; London, KY 40744.

And there’s more in the book than appeared in the columns, by the way.

Thanks to everyone for the interest, see ya next week.

Contact John Potts

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09/01/2011 10:00 AM

I was a huge fan of the ASA back when TNN/Spike/Whatever used to cover the races. It was just plain awesome short track racing, and had personalities on par with NASCAR. I would love to see a book put out that entails the history of the series, up to the early 2000s or whatever when it folded.

09/02/2011 12:01 PM

I’m glad I was able to see as many of the early ASA races as I did. I was at one of their races 2 or 3 times a month during the racing season. The stars at that time was TRICKLE, MARTIN,WALACE, KULWICKI,EDDY AND SENNAKER. Damn, I miss those days.

John Potts
09/02/2011 05:26 PM

Shoeman, you don’t miss those days any more than I do. Wasn’t it great?