From Rich Vleck and Lonnie Wheatley
TULSA, Okla. (November 14, 2010) – With the ASCS Patriots Awards Banquet this past Saturday completing the 2010 season, it has been determined that the Patriots will operate independently from ASCS moving forward. In 2011, the New York-based sprint series will conduct its ninth season of competition as the Patriot Sprint Tour (PST).
The agreement to operate independently was made amicably between American Sprint Car Series management and Patriot officials. While the official association will be dissolved, the positive correspondence between both entities will carry on.
“We’re pleased with the progress that Mike Emhof and the ASCS Patriot staff has made over the past few years in New York and the surrounding area,” ASCS president and founder Emmett Hahn explained. “However, we feel it is in the best interest of the Patriots to operate as in independent entity going forward as we continue to focus our efforts on the growth of the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N National series and corresponding Regional tours.”
ASCS acquired the Patriot Sprint Group prior to the 2006 season and rebranded it the ASCS Patriot Region in 2007, which was also the year Mike Emhof was installed as the Regional Director.
“Emmett gave the Patriots the ability to prosper and gave me a great job. I will always be grateful for it,” stated Emhof, who will take ownership of the Patriot Sprint Tour. “I’m excited about our new venture in 2011 and beyond.”
Much of what the Patriots has been built on will continue going forward, with some minor adjustments made to procedural rules. Technical rules will mirror the 2010 specifications, with only slight deviations from the ASCS rulebook possible.
Historical statistics will also carry over to the new Patriot Sprint Tour with Chuck Hebing (32 wins) ranking as the winningest driver in Patriot history and Bryan Howland the only four-time champion.
Under the ASCS banner, the Patriots broke new ground for the Tulsa-based organization, including sanctioning the first races in New York, Pennsylvania, Ontario and Quebec for ASCS. In 2007, Jessica Zemken’s win at Brockville Ontario Speedway was the first and only win by a female in an ASCS event.
The Patriot Sprint Tour will operate in the same regional footprint as years past in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Ontario. Preparations for 2011 are already in high gear with more details in the months forthcoming on www.PatriotSprintTour.com.
The American Sprint Car Series will continue to expand their Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series National Tour along with a host of regions across the country to move sprint racing forward. For more information, visit www.ASCSracing.com.