Clanton finishes eighth at Montgomery

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (May 7, 2001) - In front of a large contingency of family and friends, Joey Clanton, the Stockbridge, Georgia-native drove his special edition purple No. 83 Zaxby's Real Chicken/NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Monte Carlo solidly into...

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (May 7, 2001) - In front of a large contingency of family and friends, Joey Clanton, the Stockbridge, Georgia-native drove his special edition purple No. 83 Zaxby's Real Chicken/NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Monte Carlo solidly into eighth position in this past weekend's Actionline 300. The sixth race on the 2001 ASA schedule marked Clanton's and Steve Dale Motorsports' fourth top-10 finish of the 2001 season. The Montgomery Motor Speedway hosted 32 cars on its half-mile oval, known among drivers on the ASA circuit for its spotted asphalt and concrete surface.

Starting on the grid in the sixth position, Clanton looked like he was on his way to another victory when he moved up five positions to take the lead by lap 19. Clanton continued to run at the front, entering the pits in the first position during the fourth caution of the day at lap 76. Clanton and his Steve Dale Motorsports crew were quick in the pits, putting on two right-side tires and sending Clanton out to maintain the lead. Unfortunately, the No. 63 car blocked Clanton's exit from the pits, causing the 2000 Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year to lose position and fall to the fifth spot when the green flag flew again at lap 81.

In true Clanton-fashion, the Zaxby's/NAPA Auto Parts No. 83 moved back into the lead by lap 127. Despite running in the top spot, it was at this time that Clanton radioed into his crew chief, Gene Roberts, stating the car was "missing and a little flat." Unfortunately, Clanton, a graduate of Georgia Tech's mechanical engineering program, knew his car's capabilities and was rightly concerned.

Clanton would pit the car under a caution flag at lap 155 to put on left-side tires. When the next caution flag waved at lap 166, Gene Roberts made the call for Clanton to come in again for fresh right-side tires to aid in balancing out the car.

Clanton continued to battle to keep the No. 83 in the top-10, hoping a late race adjustment under a competition yellow at lap 270 would provide assistance in gaining position. Clanton pitted three times under the competition caution. The first pit stop would be made to visually check for problems with the engine, which had lost a cylinder during the race. Clanton headed back on the track when the team could not determine the engine problem upon inspection. The No. 83 would come in two more times, once for fresh right-side tires and the final stop would be made to reverse the worn left-side tires.

"We had a good car today," stated Clanton. "It looked like this Zaxby's Real Chicken/NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Monte Carlo was going to be in contention for the win, but it just wasn't our day. We had a solid finish and we will look to Concord for our next victory."

Hoping that seven is a lucky number for the No. 83 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, the Steve Dale Motorsports crew will head to one of the most famous short tracks in the United States, Concord Motorsports Park for the seventh race of the 2001 season. The half-mile track is known not only for its location in the heart of stock car racing country, but also for the challenge its tri-oval track poses to drivers.

Led by business entrepreneur, and racing enthusiast Steve Dale, Steve Dale Motorsports builds and races highly competitive winning cars. Based in Fayetteville, Ga., Steve Dale Motorsports has teams in both the American Speed Association and Legends Racing series.

Joey Clanton and the Steve Dale Motorsports crew will challenge for the victory at Concord Motorsports Park on Sunday, May 20 in Concord, N.C. Racing action will begin at 1:00 p.m. EST and will be broadcast live on The National Network (TNN).

-SDM-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Joey Clanton