Clanton cops Governor's Cup. Elko, MN (June 16, 2002) -- Joey Clanton of Georgia continued his torrid pace in 2002 as he ran a strategically perfect race en route to a sixth victory of the season in the inaugural Minnesota Governor's Cup ...
Clanton cops Governor's Cup.
Elko, MN (June 16, 2002) -- Joey Clanton of Georgia continued his torrid pace in 2002 as he ran a strategically perfect race en route to a sixth victory of the season in the inaugural Minnesota Governor's Cup 300 presented by Coca Cola at Elko Speedway. For Clanton it marks a tenth career win in only 48 starts and ties him with Kevin Cywinski and Johnny Sauter for 10th on the all-time ASA win list.
Pole-sitter Robbie Pyle elected to take the outside front row starting position at the beginning, but all that did was allow Clanton to grab the point and not give it up for the first 161 laps. It was a round of pit stops that saw the Camp Fire USA car con cede the lead to Mike Garvey. The former Minnesota resident, Garvey, took full advantage and dominated for the next 135 circuits on the .375-mile oval.
The event was red-flagged on lap 105 as Russ Tuttle and Pat Kelley tangled near the turn one wall. With Tuttle's Conseco number 16 limping to the bottom of the track, the number 14 car of Doug Mahlik hit Tuttle's machine in the rear and the car was flipped on it's top. Tuttle, Kelly and Mahlik all escaped with minor injuries although were knocked out of the race.
There were a number of sensational side-by-side battles throughout the race. Garvey barely held off rookie David Stremme in a lengthy stretch during the final 50 laps. Stremme eventually came home as the runner-up despite never leading. It appeared his Mei jer number 11 car would be able to pass Clanton on many occasions but ultimately was unable to do so and he settled for a second straight podium.
The deciding pass for Clanton over Garvey came between turns two and three on the bottom side of the racetrack. The move on lap 297 whipped the standing room only crowed into a frenzy and paved the road for another Clanton victory.
"We couldn't figure out for a long time if the top or bottom line was best here," said Clanton. "Finally we settled on the low side and it paid off. I'm really happy for my crew chief (Bond Suss) coming home to Minnesota for this one."
Stremme pulls to within 76 points of Elko native Dan Fredrickson in the rookie point's chase. Clanton extends his margin over Gary St. Amant to 150 markers in the overall championship point's standings.
The 2002 ASA Racing Series moves into it's fourth of five consecutive event weekends with the Saturday, June 22nd Missouri 300 presented by Jani-King and Price Chopper at I-70 Speedway in Odessa (MO). The race will take the green flag just after 8 p.m. (Ce ntral) and will be telecast on a same-day tape delay basis on TNN The National Network starting at midnight (Eastern).