GATEWAY GREETS CLEMENTS WITH ANOTHER TOP-5 FINISH SPARTANBURG, SC (July 29, 2006) -- Cautious optimism surrounded Jeremy Clements and his ...
GATEWAY GREETS CLEMENTS WITH ANOTHER TOP-5 FINISH
SPARTANBURG, SC (July 29, 2006) -- Cautious optimism surrounded Jeremy Clements and his #3 Harrison's Workwear/Georgia Boot/Saxon Company Chevy team in the days leading up to his first trek to Gateway International Raceway. The family-owned and operated team was coming off of a pair of impressive finishes (a third at Kentucky and second at Pocono respectively) but the 1.25-mile St. Louis area speedway is like none other on the ARCA RE/MAX tour.
"Gateway is pretty flat and has two different sets of corners," commented Clements. "You can't set your car up to be good in 1&2 or 3&4 because they aren't even similar so you have to just find a happy medium and try to ride it out. Since I've never been there in person let alone test or practice, you can't ever feel too confident going in because we are at a disadvantage."
The Clements team took advantage of the single practice session to try various runs in race trim and posted speeds that were at least strong enough to qualify for the "Shop 'n Save 150". With the threatening skies bursting and soaking only ½ of the speedway just as qualifying wrapped up, the team was fortunate to make the show even if they were relegated to a disappointing 24th berth.
"No one likes to start that far back because you have to work through a lot of traffic and risk getting caught up in bad situations," the twenty-one year-old wheelman noted."There are a lot of tough cars here and I would have liked to qualify in the top-10. I think we could have but this was an impound race so the goal is to be around in the end and have a chance for that win."
Steadily storming to the front, Clements did maneuver through ten cautions and avoided all major mishaps. He pedaled his way into the top-10 and in the closing laps was as high as 4th. During the fourth and final green-white-checkered, Roush Racing development driver Peter Shepard shot around Clements' #3 for fourth but Jeremy would hang on for his third consecutive top-5 finish. The team was (rightfully) very proud of the performance during their Gateway debut.
When asked to summarize the experience, Clements declared, "It's not a win so a racer is never fully happy but the car was good, the guys did an awesome job and we will gladly take this 5th place on our first visit here. We started 24th and advanced 19 spots so picked up that Hoosier Hard Charger award but I am proud that we were the highest finishing Chevy team (a pair of Dodges and Fords finished 1-4) and I was the first guy up there who wasn't part of a NASCAR development program. Our idea of development is just getting out there and seeing what we can make work. This was just another lesson learned."
Jeremy Clements will rejoin the ARCA RE/MAX Series as they return to action on Saturday, August 12, 2006, for the "ARCA 200" at Nashville Superspeedway. The green flag will drop at 3 p.m. EDT and the event will be broadcasted live on SPEED.