ASA STARS National Tour front runners Cole Butcher and Gio Ruggeiro are among the early entries for the Clyde Hart Memorial 200 event at New Smyrna Speedway.
The two Wilson Motorsports Teammates are part of the Toyota Racing Development program for pavement super late models, led by veteran short track team manager Bond Suss. Butcher finished runner-up to Ty Majeski in the final 2023 ASA STARS National Tour point standings, with Ruggiero placing 3rd in final points.
Butcher, who won the 2023 ASA STARS National Event – The Redbud 400 – at Anderson Speedway last July, is entered for the Clyde Hart Memorial 200 in Donnie Wilson’s #28 Camry. Butcher passed his teammate, Ruggiero with 93 laps reaming at Anderson last summer, and then drove away for his first win with Wilson Motorsports. The Nova Scotia, Canada native has had his share of success in recent years, including a win in the Oxford 250 in each of the last two years, but will be attempting to make his first-ever start at the venerable Florida half-mile in February.
Ruggiero, on the other hand, has plenty of experience at New Smyrna. The now 16-year old from Seekonk, Maine won a pro late model race at the track back in 2022, and ran all six World Series of Asphalt series races last spring, finishing in the top five in five of those races. He flashed into the national spotlight in May of 2023, winning the ASA STARS National Tour Tar Heel 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway. Ruggiero passed NASCAR Cup Series star William Byron in the last corner of the last lap, and beat him back to the checkers by just .036 for his first-ever super late model win. Ruggerio would win the Winchester 400 in October, in route to claiming both the ASA CRA Super Series championship and the ASA Southern Super Series title – the first driver to win both championships in the same year.
The Clyde Hart Memorial 200 will feature the debut of the ASA brand to New Smyrna Speedway, as the 2024 season opening event for the ASA STARS National Tour. The original ASA National Tour never raced at New Smyrna Speedway.
The Clyde Hart Memorial 200 is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, February 12 & 13 at New Smyrna Speedway. The event will serve as the season opening race for ASA Stars National Tour season. The Clyde Hart Memorial will be co-sanctioned by the ASA Southern Super Series and the Sunbelt David Rogers Super Late Models as part of the World Series of Asphalt point’s championship.
Tuesday, February 13 sees Pit Gates opening at 10am, with a drivers meeting set for 1pm. ASA STARS Qualifying is scheduled for 4:30 pm, with a Last Chance Qualifying Race (if needed) at 6pm, autograph session at 6:30 and Clyde Hart Memorial green flag at 7:30PM.
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 PR