SPARTANBURG, SC (October 2, 2007) -- Twenty-two year-old Jeremy Clements recently received the phone call that every young racer is fueled by -- an opportunity to compete with a premier NASCAR Busch Series' team. Clements' exciting news also had...
SPARTANBURG, SC (October 2, 2007) -- Twenty-two year-old Jeremy Clements recently received the phone call that every young racer is fueled by -- an opportunity to compete with a premier NASCAR Busch Series' team. Clements' exciting news also had another important twist as the Spartanburg native was set to drive for South Carolina-based McGill Motorsports and reunite with his former ARCA RE/MAX Series crew chief Ricky Pearson.
John McGill, owner of the experienced, privately-owned team watched Clements tackle the fiercely competitive ARCA RE/MAX Series in his family-owned #3 Chevy for several years but only recently had the opportunity to call on the racing phenom after the team parted ways with former driver Brent Sherman.
"We hoped to put Jeremy in a car for part-time schedule prior to this event but we were unable to secure a sponsor for him," commented team owner John McGill. "He is a real racer and amazing undiscovered talent. We are very excited to have him as part of the McGill Motorsports' #36 team. Our goal is to have a strong performance at Lowe's Motor Speedway that will hopefully showcase Jeremy and our team to a potential sponsor who would be interested in joining us in the NASCAR Busch Series for the remaining events of this season and possibly 2008."
While he may appear to be an unassuming veteran, Clements boasts an accomplished resume. He made his first NASCAR Busch Series start in 2003 at Pikes Peak, advanced four positions and was the youngest competitor in the field. That same season he advanced a staggering 30 and 35 positions respectively for a pair of third-place ARCA RE/MAX Series' finishes at Lowe's Motor Speedway so the nearby North Carolina 1.5-mi oval is a fitting site for his Busch Series return.
"I have known John and Nancy McGill for a few years and they are great people. Their team is headed up by Ricky Pearson who is a great friend and my former ARCA crew chief. When I received the call from John asking if I wanted to drive at Charlotte, I didn't hesitate to say yes," Clements said.
McGill believed in Clements' talents but had a renewed desire to help the Palmetto State native following his impressive Pocono performance where Clements' apparent first win vanished as his #3 Chevy ran out of fuel just shy of the checkered flag but still managed to earn a podium finish. The young driver and his family-owned team rebounded the following weekend with their first ARCA RE/MAX Series' win at Nashville Superspeedway.
"John told me the Pocono race caught his eye so its nice to know that something positive came out of that ordeal," added Clements. "I feel like they have better equipment than their recent results show so I hope to avoid any trouble, stay on the lead lap and maybe open some doors for both myself and the team. If we can secure sponsorship for the remaining races or 2008 season, I may be able to enter the next phase of reaching my goal."
No task is unattainable for the soft-spoken driver. Just as Clements was on the fast track to securing a ride in one of NASCAR's three premier divisions during the 2004 season, he was seriously injured in a dirt late model incident where the driveline pierced the cockpit of his racecar and severely damaged his right hand.
"That experience could either make you stronger or break you. All that I ever wanted to do and all that I know is racing cars so when doctors told me that I may never do that again, the fighter instinct kicked in," recalled Clements. "I went through a lot of surgeries, therapy and hard work to return here and am thankful for every opportunity I have. I said then that I want to be better than I was before and have put in 110% to do that and I will give my best effort behind the wheel of the #36 at Lowe's."
In addition to Clements' Nashville win, he has also earned an impressive six Top-5 finishes in only ten ARCA RE/MAX Series' starts during the 2007 season.
Jeremy will be guaranteed a starting spot in the 43-car field at the upcoming "Dollar General 300" as the No. 36 team is locked in due to their owner's points' standing but is confident that his team under the guidance of Ricky Pearson, son of racing legend David Pearson, is capable of earning their place in the show.
"We have yet to secure a sponsor for this event and John is taking a chance on me and told me just to bring my seat and get ready to drive the car," Clements said. "Nowadays there are at least twenty [Nextel] Cup guys trying to steal the show but if you want to compete in the Busch Series, that's what you have to compete against. They had to start somewhere and this is the biggest break of my career so I'm not scared."