Holy Toledo! Clanton captures eighth win. TOLEDO, Ohio (August 12, 2002) - The trophy case at the Steve Dale Motorsports shop, based in Fayetteville, Georgia, is a little more crowded today after Sunday's American Speed Association (ASA) event.
Holy Toledo! Clanton captures eighth win.
TOLEDO, Ohio (August 12, 2002) - The trophy case at the Steve Dale Motorsports shop, based in Fayetteville, Georgia, is a little more crowded today after Sunday's American Speed Association (ASA) event. Joey Clanton and his teammates dominated the Metro Toledo - Northwest Ohio Ford Dealers 300, held at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway, capturing their eighth win of 2002. The victory allowed the team to reclaim the top spot in the driver point standings.
After losing the points lead to ASA regular Gary St. Amant, one would have thought the Camp Fire USA Georgia Council team would arrive in Toledo with heavy hearts and a lack of confidence. However, despite coming off four weeks of disappointing finishes, the crew spent the three practice sessions perfecting the car giving Clanton a rocket ship for qualifying. Clanton delivered, posting a 110.619-mile per hour lap, putting him second on the starting grid for Sunday afternoon's race.
"We were loose all day in practice," explained Clanton following qualifying. "This track was repaved at the end of last year, and the surface is really smooth compared to what it had been. It took us a while to get the car where I wanted it, but the team just dug in and by the end of the third session, I was happy with the car."
Following the drop of the green flag, Clanton immediately established the No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevy as the car to beat when he passed the No. 04 car of Butch Miller on lap one. Several strong cars kept the team on its toes, but Clanton kept the No. 83 in the top three while dodging several accidents that would force ASA officials to throw the yellow flag seven times within the first 100 laps.
When the caution flag flew for the eighth time on lap 129, Bond Suss called his driver to the pits for what would be the only pit stop of the day. Clanton, who had been leading the field since lap 77, came down pit road ahead of his competitors with hopes they would leave in the same order. With the car handling well, the team decided to forego making adjustments. After putting on right side tires and fueling the No. 83, the Camp Fire USA Georgia Council team sent Clanton back on the track in the lead.
Despite several attempts by his competitors, including pole winner Butch Miller and ASA rookie Jason Boyd, nobody was able to get around Clanton. After dominating most of the event, Clanton and his team claimed the victory at lap 300.
"We tested here earlier in the season, so I knew that we were going to be strong," stated Clanton. "After having such an awesome start to the season then really hitting a slump midway through, this victory means so much to us."
With a 39-point lead over Gary St. Amant, Clanton and his teammates head to Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park for the next event on the schedule. The Tennessee track is the home of Steve Dale Motorsports' first win back in 2000, the team's rookie season. The Jani-King 200 presented by Flash Market will take place on Sunday, August 25. The event will be telecast live on TNN beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.