Clanton makes it six for eight with win at Elko. ELKO, Minn. (June 17, 2002) -- When a team wins a race, some may consider it luck. With two victories, it's considered a streak. But how do you explain a six-for-eight record? Talent. For the...
Clanton makes it six for eight with win at Elko.
ELKO, Minn. (June 17, 2002) -- When a team wins a race, some may consider it luck. With two victories, it's considered a streak. But how do you explain a six-for-eight record? Talent. For the sixth time in the 2002 season, Joey Clanton and the Camp Fire USA Georgia Council team celebrated victory with their win in Sunday's American Speed Association (ASA) Governor's Cup 300 held at Elko (Minn.) Speedway. The triumph moves the No. 83 team further ahead in the 2002 points chase with a 150-point lead over ASA veteran Gary St. Amant.
Despite its domination over the 2002 schedule thus far, the Steve Dale Motorsports team was not necessarily the favorite going into Sunday's event. Elko Speedway, located about 30 minutes outside of Minneapolis, happens to be just minutes away from the home bases of two of Clanton's closest competitors, Kevin Cywinski and Dan Fredrickson. Both Cywinski and Fredrickson have accumulated hundreds of laps on the quirky 3/8-mile track, giving the Minnesota teammates an advantage over Elko rookie Clanton.
After fighting a tight-handling racecar in Saturday's practice sessions, the Steve Dale Motorsports team set up the No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevrolet to take its qualifying lap in the high groove of the oval. The decision paid off as Clanton posted a qualifying time of 94.883-miles per hour, giving the team the second starting position. Within a blink of the eye, the green flagged waved and Clanton took the lead over pole-sitter Robbie Pyle.
Despite several moves by his competitors, Clanton fought off their advances keeping the yellow and blue Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevy well in front. After several cautions and rounds of pit stops by his competitors, Clanton led the field into the second half of the event. During a caution period at lap 161, Clanton drove down pit road for his only pit stop of the day. The team put on two tires and gassed up the Chevy in a mere 11 seconds before sending Clanton out into the sixth position after several cars decided not to pit. It was a fight to the finish with four cars battling tooth and nail for the win.
Running in the third spot Clanton passed the No. 11 car of David Stremme before setting his sights on the No. 17 of Mike Garvey. As Clanton edged up onto Garvey's bumper rain started to fall causing the track to get slick. Clanton moved into the inside and drier groove of the track and successfully made the last pass of the evening on lap 297.
Clanton was pleased with the victory, citing the hard work of his team for the win. "I wasn't sure if we were going to have anything for [Mike] Garvey. But the Camp Fire USA Georgia Council team was awesome today and I just got a run on him on the inside."
Heading into their fourth week of a five-week stretch, Clanton and the No. 83 crew will travel to I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Missouri for a one-day event scheduled for this Saturday. The race will be broadcast tape-delayed on The National Network so be sure to check your local listings.