Travis Fisher Hangs Tough for ASA Late Model Title

travis_fisher1Three of the four weekly division titles at Shangri-La II Motor Speedway were locked up, practically if not mathematically, before the final point race of the season. Not so the ASA Late Models, where the championship battle went down to the last lap of the last race before Travis Fisher of Fern Glen, Pa. edged out defending champion Jim Lamoreaux by the slimmest margin possible, just two points. It was so close that race director Jason Waibel rechecked his arithmetic before making the call.

Fisher, whose father Larry was a late model contender in the inaugural year of the Concrete Castle but raced only once this season, benefited from the presence of Brad Smales as crew chief. Long time fans will recall Smales as the 1984 late model champion at the original Shangri-La Speedway, and real old timers will remember the potent No. 41 modifieds fielded by Brad's father Cal Smales from his South Montrose shop in the 1970's. Brad later made a name for himself as a top competitor at the Jennerstown Speedway in western Pennsylvania, running against nationally-known late model stars like Steve Peles and Glenn Gault every week.

travis_fisher2Fisher raced a chassis originally built by Port City Racing in Michigan. With a stock front clip, his car was not nearly as adjustable as the full racing chassis used by many of the front runners. "We had to have it exactly right to be fast," he explained. Obviously, they got it pretty close most of the time, because he stayed in the point race that was led by Buffalo invader Scott Nurmi for much of the season.

Late in the campaign, Nurmi began to fade and Lamoreaux got his new car dialed in, so it was a three-way race on the final point night of the year. Fisher wasn't optimistic.. "I thought we were doomed from the start," he recalled. But with the title in his grasp, Nurmi crashed late in the race. Fisher needed to finish within one place of Lamoreaux to claim the crown and that is exactly what he did. At the checker it was Lamoreaux first, Fisher second, Fisher the champion by two points.

For 2011, Travis Fisher is looking to upgrade to upgrade his program with a full racing chassis. ASA Late Model teams beware. The champ is gunning for a repeat.