The much-anticipated return of the American Speed Association to short-track racing arrives this weekend when the ASA CRA Super Series and Southern Super Series takes to Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia for its star-studded 2023 opener with SpeedFest.
The ASA brand is licensed to Track Enterprises, operators of the CRA Super Series, Midwest Tour and Southern Super Series, through an agreement with ARCA, a NASCAR property.
The 2023 SpeedFest entry list is stacked; it features NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott alongside his Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron. Elliott is a two-time SpeedFest winner, having taken the checkered in 2014 and 2015. He also won the 2011 version of the event at Lanier National Speedway.
They are joined on the entry list by Corey Heim, an eight-time ARCA Menards Series race winner and two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race winner. Also competing is Carson Hocevar, an ARCA Menards Series General Tire Pole Award winner at Berlin Raceway.
Heim, the 2020 SpeedFest winner, will be competing full-time in the Truck Series in 2023 for TRICON Garage. Hocevar, who finished third at SpeedFest last year, returns for another championship run with Niece Motorsports.
Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter, the 2001 ASA champion and the ASA CRA Super Series and Southern Super Series track record holder at Crisp Motorsports Park, will make his fifth appearance at SpeedFest in a car he owns. Jake Garcia, who will compete for the Truck Series championship for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing, is also entered in his family-owned car.
William Sawalich, who will compete for the ARCA Menards Series Bounty Rookie Challenge title in 2023 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, is entered as a teammate to Byron in the powerful Donnie Wilson Motorsports stable.
Sawalich will be joined by Jake Finch, who will compete in the ARCA Menards Series East and select ARCA Menards Series races in 2023. Finch will be driving in the familiar Phoenix Racing entry, owned by his father, former NASCAR Cup Series winner and multiple-time ARCA Menards Series winner James Finch.
Other notables entered include Casey Roderick, defending winner Bubba Pollard, Hunter Wright, Jett Noland and Michael Hinde. A total of 27 cars have been entered for the Super Late Model portion of the program.
Other SpeedFest winners from the past include Charlie Menard, Mike Fritts, Eddie Hoffman and Jeff Choquette at the defunct USA International Speedway; Kyle Busch and Elliott at Lanier; and Busch, Choquette, Elliott, Pollard, Harrison Burton, Chandler Smith and Connor Okrzesik at Crisp Motorsports Park.