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Cole Butcher Enjoys a Sunday Afternoon Drive at Pensacola

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Canadian driver Cole Butcher started his 2024 march towards a potential ASA STARS National Tour title with a strong victory in the Sunshine State 200 at Five Flags Speedway. Butcher rebounded from a distant ninth-place run at New Smyrna last won to lead the most laps out duel his teammate Gio Ruggiero for the win on Sunday.

“It was the best car I think I’ve ever had here,” said Butcher after the win. “I Can’t thank my crew, Wilson Motorsports, Bons Suess, Jerry Stump, Andrew, my wife, my parents, The list is long. All the Five Flags staff, just for putting this on, this is the best car I think I’ve ever had and I can’t thank Gio for racing me clean, it felt good.”

Butcher passed Ruggiero for the final time with 23 laps to go as he sailed away for the win. Butcher and Ruggerio are both out of the Donnie Wilson Motorsports stable and came home in first and third as multi-time Five Flags Speedway winner Stephen Nasse passed Ruggiero for second with 15 laps to go.

It was a tough one,” said Nasse. “ It was a day full of ups and downs and had a lot of mistakes on my part on restarts, which absolutely just killed us out there. The track position was huge. The way these guys are running, they’re running so fast. I just want to thank Anthony Campi and his guys for bringing me a good piece, you know, we were there in contention. We will get there soon.”

It was a strong weekend for Ruggiero who won the ARCA East race the night before. The defending Southern Super Series champion was in line at times to get his first win at Five Flags in the ASA ranks which were in combination with the Southern Super Series and the tracks Blizzard Series.

“We had a good day, said Ruggiero. “We fell back a little bit there in the beginning, but you know, just glad my teammate Cole Butcher won instead of me. You know, if I’m not gonna win, at least he won. So I raced him hard there and then tried not to give up the lead. I was just too tight.”

Jacob Gomes had a solid fourth-place finish as GoFast Pole Award winner Matt Craig rebounded from an ill-handling car to post fifth.

New Smyrna Speedway winner Bubba Pollard was in the top five most of the day but lost an engine with 25 laps to go, That yellow set up the final dash to the checkered flags.

Pollard wasn’t the only contender to have issues as rookie Dawson Sutton who paced practice on Saturday got to the lead before an oil leak took them out before halfway.

Defending race winner Casey Roderick Spun when he and John Bolen made contact entering turn 1 just before the lap 150 Phoenix Water Solutions Stage break and rebounded to 11th.

The rest of the top 10 were Michael Hinde, Jake Finch, Colby Howard, Jett Noland, and Sean Hignorani.

The next ASA STARS National Tour event will be on Thursday, May 23rd at Hickory Motor Speedway (NCV) for the Tar Heel 250. This will be the second trip to Hickory for the series and the third stop for the 2024 season. A season ago Gio Ruggiero and NASCAR Cup Series regular William Byron put on a show down to the last corner when Ruggiero used the bump and run to pick up his first ASA STARS National Tour victory.

Ticket and event information for the Tar Heel 250 will be released in the near future.

ASA STARS National Tour

Founded by Track Enterprises President Bob Sargent, The ASA STARS National Tour for pavement super-late model stock cars debuted in March 2023 for Super Late Model racing in America.

The ASA STARS National Tour is a ten-race championship series, offering a $100,000 point fund. The tour will visit ten different race tracks in 7 states in 2024, with the season beginning in February during Florida Speedweeks, and concluding in early November at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

Track Enterprises (TE) is a racing Promotions Company based in Illinois, which owns and operates the ASA STARS National Tour. In addition to the STARS National Tour, Track Enterprises owns and operates Championship Racing Association (CRA) and the ASA Midwest Tour. TE also has a strategic alliance and controlling interest in the ASA Southern Super Series.

ASA Southern Super Series

The ASA Southern Super Series is a Southeast regional super late model pavement championship racing tour, owned and operated by Tim and Pat Bryant in partnership with Track Enterprises. Founded in 2013, the Series can trace its roots back to the former Southern All Stars Tour and today runs a 10-12 race schedule, competing primarily in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina.

For more information on Southern Super Series and their full schedule, please visit and be sure to follow them on Facebook: Southern Super Series.

Story - ASA STARS National Tour



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