ASCS regional racer Sean McClelland works traffic at Oklahoma’s Creek County Speedway. (TWC photo)

ASCS Hires Series & Competition Directors

CONCORD, N.C. — The American Sprint Car Series has taken another step forward in solidifying and enhancing its future with Oklahoma natives Lonnie Wheatley and Cody Cordell hired for key leadership roles.

Wheatley will serve as Series Director, while Cordell will be the Series’ Competition Director — along with helming the ASCS Sooner Region.

“Finding the right series director and competition director to help lead the ASCS was a primary focus after acquiring the series, and we couldn’t be happier to have Lonnie Wheatley and Cody Cordell fill those important roles,” said Brian Dunlap, who has led the integration of the ASCS into World Racing Group.

“Cordell and Wheatley have already established themselves in the region and within the sprint car community, garnering respect from officials and drivers alike. We’re confident the ASCS is in good hands and will only grow with them leading the way.”

For both Sooners, it’s a dream opportunity to have a hand in building up the series they’ve followed since its inception.

“I’m really excited about it,” said Wheatley, who previously spent a decade as the ASCS media director. “I don’t know when I’ve been this excited about something. It’s a series that means a lot to me. It’s pretty near and dear to me, really going back to its inception. I was racing a [super modified] around that time when it started. That was kind of a goal to get there. I never quite got there.

“Ten years later, I started working with ASCS. I worked with them for 10 years and I think the 10 years I was there we built it into a really prominent series. And now I’m excited about the opportunity to get back in there under the umbrella of [World Racing Group] and their resources and their infrastructure. I think we can do a lot of positive things, not only for ASCS but for sprint car racing in general.”

Cordell spent the last four years working with sprint car driver Noah Gass, serving as crew chief and team leader. That tenure also included two full years on the road with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.

While it was difficult for him to leave the team, which had become like a second family, Cordell’s passion for ASCS and his vision of where it can go made for an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“I’m just excited about the opportunity,” he said. “It is kind of a career change for me as far as coming off the road as a crew chief. Kind of going on the official side of it, something I’ve always wanted to do. I have done it before in the past. I figured I’d get back to it eventually, I just didn’t figure it would be right now… I’m looking forward to getting going.

“I think it is an exciting time. I think it is an exciting thing to move to the future. It’s a big career move for me. I think I’ll get the respect of everyone pretty quick. I want to be known as a fair guy. I want to be known as the guy that treated everyone equal.”

Wheatley and Cordell will enter the season already having an established rapport.

Both grew up around the Oklahoma racing scene, and crossed paths on various occasions, such as during Cordell’s time as race director with POWRi and while both worked the Chili Bowl Nationals.

Wheatley has worked the Tulsa Shootout and Chili Bowl Nationals for more than 20 years, helping with media needs, and more recently developing the formats, covering the passing points and managing the efficiency of the shows. He’s also worked at Dodge City Raceway Park for nine years, severing multiple duties, including media lead, and worked the Short Track Nationals for more than 20 years.

Now, at the helm of the American Sprint Car Series, Wheatley is eager to bring his experience and knowledge to his new role with a mission to again establish the ASCS as a prominent sprint car series.

“The best thing that could have happened to ASCS at this point is the acquisition by WRG, because they have the resources available for us to go in there and take a real strong look at the things we need to do and can do to sustain the Series and build it up,” Wheatley said. “Not only on the national levels, but on the regional levels as well.

“I see it as a great opportunity for the series and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Up next for ASCS is the doubleheader weekend for the ASCS Sooner Region with racing at Thunderbird Speedway, March 22, and at Creek County Speedway, March 23.