CLEMENTS BLISTERS COMPETITION FOR WIN AT NASHVILLE SIZZLER SPARTANBURG, SC (August 14, 2007) -- Jeremy Clements was a hot commodity this past weekend. That statement is not only a reference to his blazing performance at the Nashville ...
CLEMENTS BLISTERS COMPETITION FOR WIN AT NASHVILLE SIZZLER
SPARTANBURG, SC (August 14, 2007) -- Jeremy Clements was a hot commodity this past weekend. That statement is not only a reference to his blazing performance at the Nashville Superspeedway but also the brutal race conditions as track temperatures soared well in excess of 100-degrees.
Even prior to practice for the ARCA RE/MAX Series' "Toyota ARCA 150", Clements was the talk of the garage. The 22 year-old Spartanburg (SC) native appeared to have his first victory within reach the week before at Pocono (PA) Raceway when his family-owned One-Stop Convenience Stores/Appling Boring/Saxon Group #3 Chevy sputtered out of fuel just shy of the waving checkered flag. Ready for redemption, Clements and company looked ahead to the Music City and with a second-place qualifying effort, competitors took notice that they were one of the teams to beat.
"We've had a win in us for a long time but they say that first one is the toughest to get," commented Clements. "Pocono was the track that I felt we had the best shot at since we've always ran well there and that disappointment is something I can't even put into words. But, we had a first place car so we can only hope to be as prepared for Nashville and that's what we came here to do."
Clements entered the Nashville Superspeedway event with four previous starts. In fact, the #3 team has been a strong performer at the 1.33-mi concrete oval since 2003 but has fallen victim to mechanical woes or bad luck in their previous appearances. Clements' toughest challenge was not the sweltering Tennessee heat but a strong legion of development teams. As the green flag dropped, pole-sitter Michael McDowell jumped to the lead as Jeremy utilized the second groove. Remaining in the top-5, the "House of Power"-propelled, bow-tied #3 steadily marched back to the front and taunted race leader Bryan Clauson until making a calculated move on lap 63.
As the caution flew on lap 71, Clements entered pit road for his single stop of the race. Now with plenty of fuel in the tank, Clauson and Clements would again square off as they exited pit road first and second respectively. Clauson had the advantage for the first three laps and then Clements assumed the lead on lap 75 and remained unchallenged for the final thirty-eight circuits en route to his long-overdue first ARCA RE/MAX Series' career win.
"I'm speechless," said Clements as he held the coveted one-of-a-kind Sam Bass daubed Gibson guitar. "This is awesome. It has been a long time coming and I knew we could do it -- everyone did a great job and today everything just finally fell into place. To come out here and race against these guys who do the tour full-time or have some alliances with NASCAR teams and beat them is a big honor. I can't imagine a better trophy than this guitar."
The first historic notch in his speedway "W" column is not the only honor Clements earned that day; the "Toyota ARCA 150" also marked his 30th ARS career start since 2002. Additionally, the quiet Carolinian unsuspectingly led the most laps around the Nashville speedplant, had a jaw-dropping 8.2-second margin of victory and scorched the previous average race speed record held by Robert Yates Racing's Stephen Leicht by 4 mph.
"We had a great race car, hardworking crew and a lot of people who believed in us," stated a humble Clements. "Hopefully this will finally catch the eye of a sponsor or a team. If not, we will still be out here whenever possible, working hard and trying to repeat this performance."
The family-supported team is assessing resources to potentially aim for their first ever short-track event with the ARCA RE/MAX Series at the Milwaukee Mile in two weeks. However, the #3 will definitely be back in action on August 31st, 2007, for the "Gateway ARCA 150" in the shadows of the St. Louis Arch at Gateway International Raceway.