Circle Track magazine featured the inaugural race in the August 2010 issue with a cover story titled Racing in the Heartland. That race took place on January 31, 2010 at the Phakisa Freeway Circuit in Central South Africa and boasted a record setting oval motorsports attendance for the country as well as a worldwide television audience in 72 countries reaching 110 million households. Recently, in his State of the Province address in Bloemfontein, the Honorable Mr. E.S. Magashule, Premier of the Free State Province said, "I am happy to announce that in recognition of the potential, for the tourism sector, to contribute significantly to economic growth, the Free State provincial government will continue to support tourism initiatives such as the Free State 500 ASA American stock car style race event (at the Phakisa Freeway Circuit annually).
"ASA International is excited to bring American-style stock car racing back to Phakisa," Dennis Huth, ASA International President said. "We have been working very hard with the Free State Tourism Authority to make this announcement today. We are honored with the opportunity and thank Mr. Premier Magashule, MEC Mamiki Oabathe, and the citizens of the Free State in the Republic of South Africa for welcoming us back for the second event."
Ms. Mamiki Oabathe, Free State Member of the Executive Council for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, also announced the event in her budget speech on March 19, 2012. "The Free State owns one of only four 'super ovals' outside of the USA," Oabathe said in her speech. "Phakisa Speedway will host the Free State 500 ASA event on November 25, 2012. Twenty thousand South African race fans are expected to descend on Welkom to view a very exciting auto racing spectacle and see South Africa's best stock car drivers go up against their counterparts from America, Canada, Australia, and England." This will be an invitation only event. ASA International will announce the participants leading up to the event with future announcements. Stay tuned for www.circletrack.com for more information as it becomes available.