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Detailing ASA’s Winchester 400 penalties

Will Bellamy | Racing America

In other penalty related news, following the CARS Tour decision to suspend Katie Hettinger while fining or placing other team members on probation, there is some follow-up information on the ASA STARS national Super Late Model penalties following the Winchester 400.

There have been some questions about the severity to Stephen Nasse and his team and family, particularly the monetary amount of the fines, with Nasse himself even saying over the weekend that short track racing isn’t NASCAR because the purse money doesn’t make fines reasonable.

First, here is a refresher on those penalties:

Gio Ruggiero, Driver of car No.22 has been issued with the following penalty.

  • Loss of twenty-five (25) finishing position championship owner and driver points.
  • A fine of $3,000 dollars
  • Placed on probation for all ASA events in the remainder of the calendar year.

Stephen Nasse, Driver of car No.51 has been issued with the following penalty.

  • Loss of forty-four (44) finishing position championship owner and driver points.
  • A fine of $4,500 dollars
  • Placed on probation for all ASA events in the remainder of the calendar year.

In addition, four individuals connected with the No.51 team have been suspended for the remainder of the ASA STARS National Tour season and have been placed on probation for the first three races of the 2024 season. Suspension includes the pits, garage, racing surface and spotter stand.

Stephen Nasse, Gio Ruggiero move on from Winchester 400

And here is what Nasse said about his portion of the penalties over the weekend.

“I hate for the punishment to come out the way it did,” Nasse said. “This isn’t NASCAR and that’s what I preached to them. We don’t make enough (purse) money to pay fines like that. I also feel like I get the short end of the stick on these kind of deals. I know people are complaining on the internet, and are against me, and to be honest, I don’t care. I don’t care what people think.

“At the end of the day, it’s short track racing and it’s supposed to be exciting and the fans got their money’s worth that day. I don’t think we should be punished for that as drivers.”

Why was Nasse penalized so severely? ASA says Nasse, Anthony Campi Racing and the Nasse family were all in violation of multiple code of conduct rule infractions. Here is the section they were penalized under with ASA citing (in bold) 1,2,4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 the applicable subsections:

ASA STARS promoter excited for second year to build on lessons learned


  1. Upon admittance to a restricted area, all participants must conduct themselves in a manner not detrimental to stock car racing. Profanity in front of race fans, officials, management, profane signs or writing on cars, etc., will not be tolerated and may subject the offending party to penalties. Conduct in social media deemed detrimental to the series, track, officials, or sponsors may subject the driver or team to sanctions. UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT AND/OR ACTIONS DETRIMENTAL TO THE SPORT OF AUTO RACING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
  2. General appearance of drivers and crews must be neat and clean looking.
  3. A competitor that stops his or her car on the track to argue or discuss an incident with the starter or other officials may be subject to penalties.
  4. Verbal or physical abuse of officials, including improper language or actions will result in sanctions from the track.
  5. Fighting will not be tolerated. Drivers will be held responsible for the conduct of all persons connected with their car, this will include, but limited to, Crew Chief, Crew Members, Spotters, Family Members, Sponsors, and Guests. Any person from a crew, including the driver, going to another pit area or an area on the speedway grounds, where an altercation occurs, will be considered involved in the incident. The Driver and any involved crew members may be subject to Penalties, Fines, Loss of Points, Probation, Suspension, and up to Loss of ASA License..
  6. Any driver who, in the judgment of series officials, engages in rough driving, deliberately running into, blocking or swerving in front of another car – may be subject to penalties. Any car intentionally blocking the track will subject the owner and driver to immediate and indefinite suspension from the series.
  7. Any driver who intentionally causes a caution condition, without safety being an issue, by stopping, spinning, or any other action, is subject to 2-lap penalty.
  8. Crew members are not allowed on the racetrack at any time. Pit crew, drivers, or series/track officials are not allowed to service cars on the racing surface without specific permission from race control.
  9. No one is allowed in the control tower without permission at any time. You will be subject to severe penalties. Race director will be available at the end of the night.
  10. All fines must be Paid in Full for the competitor to return to competition.

As for the Wilson crew members, who were also on a hot track, but not penalized, ASA used video replays, social media content, etc. to ascertain who was on the track to either escalate or de-escalate accordingly.

Should ASA officials find further evidence that adds to these penalties, and add them to additional teams, they could act accordingly.

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    October 25, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    That sounds like bullshit to me I think it will bring more fan asa is going to Sissy fiy the whole thing let them go at it

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