The American Speed Association (ASA) was one of the most influential sanctions that ever existed in short track auto racing. Rex Robbins, along with his wife Becky, founded ASA in 1973 and operated the series until their decision to sell in 2003. Beyond founding ASA, Rex Robbins also owned and operated the well-known Anderson (IN) Speedway for over 20 years.
Robbins was credited as an innovator and a highly respected leader by his peers. NASCAR racer Darrell Waltrip explained Robbins leadership of the sanction by noting, “…Rex was the perfect man for the job. Racers are a tough bunch, and it’s hard to earn their trust. Rex had the right personality to bring everybody together and keep them together. He treated them like family.” Under Robbins command the American Speed Association introduced many safety and cost effective solutions which would be put into practice in the local levels of the sport. Uniform crate motors, standardized chassis, and mandatory HANS safety equipment were products first put into practice by ASA. Robbins’ sanction grew so much popularity and success that the series collaborated with The Nashville Network (TNN) for many years of live television coverage.
The American Speed Association launched the careers of many superstars in auto racing. Dick Trickle, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson, and Alan Kulwicki were all graduates of ASA. Local short track racing heroes Mike Eddy, Bob Senneker, Garry St. Amant, and Butch Miller were also long time competitors with the high-profile series.
Rex Robbins passed away in 2016 at the age of 80. His treatment of the people around him and passion for the sport are the qualities that his racing family will most remember him by. For more info on Rex Robbins and the creation of ASA be sure to visit Coastal181.com and pick up “Let’s Go Racing!” by Dave Argabright.