Toledo Speedway tough on Clanton

Toledo Speedway Tough on Clanton TOLEDO, Ohio (July 2, 2001) - Joey Clanton and the No. 83 Steve Dale Motorsports team left the Toledo Speedway Sunday disappointed after the team finished 30th in the American Speed Association (ASA) Glass City...

Toledo Speedway Tough on Clanton

TOLEDO, Ohio (July 2, 2001) - Joey Clanton and the No. 83 Steve Dale Motorsports team left the Toledo Speedway Sunday disappointed after the team finished 30th in the American Speed Association (ASA) Glass City 300. A lap two incident dashed Clanton's hopes for his third straight podium finish.

Clanton put the No. 83 Chevrolet Monte Carlo into what would be an unlucky 12th position after qualifying at the half-mile, high-banked oval on Saturday. Clanton started the race geared up to finish strong and claim the top spot in the ASA championship points battle. The team entered the weekend only 53 points behind the leader in the standings, Butch Miller.

On lap two, as Clanton was entering turn four of the track, the No. 10 car of Matt Sielsky hit the No. 83 Zaxby's Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the rear. Clanton spun around, testing the brakes on the No. 83 Chevrolet as he fought hard to avoid the wall. The braking cars created a pile-up behind Clanton, forcing officials to wave the first caution flag of the day. As Clanton attempted to straighten out the car and pull away from the wreckage, the No. 83 Steve Dale Motorsports-entry suffered damage to its rear-end mechanism, forcing Clanton to bring the car behind the wall on lap four.

Gene Roberts, crew chief of the No. 83 Zaxby's Chevrolet Monte Carlo, instructed his crew to replace the rear-end machinery to repair the damage suffered in the early-race incident. Clanton sat in the pits for 49 laps, anxious to return to the track and make up the lost laps. On lap 53, the No. 83 returned to the track in the 31st position.

The team kept their heads held high as the No. 83 ran in the back of the pack, attempting to gain points in their pursuit of the series' championship. On lap 108, Chris Bell's No. 24 entry spun off of turn two, giving Clanton no time or room to avoid making contact. The No. 83 directly hit the side of Bell's car, causing serious damage to both Monte Carlos. After the second accident, the damage to the No. 83 Zaxby's Real Chicken Chevrolet was too extensive for the top-notch Steve Dale Motorsports crew to repair. On lap 108, Clanton parked the car in the garage and watched the remainder of the race from the pits.

As the 300th lap was recorded in the books, ASA officials listed Clanton and the No. 83 in the 30th position. The finish drops Clanton and the Steve Dale Motorsports team to the fourth position in the ASA points standings.

Clanton was disappointed with the finish, but attributed his bad day to the nature of the sport. "That's racing. We will get them in Chicago," stated Clanton.

The second half of the ASA schedule will begin this weekend from Chicago Motor Speedway in Cicero, Ill. The race will be broadcast live on The National Network (TNN) at 1 p.m.

-SDM-

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Series STOCKCAR