Clanton Indianapolis Raceway Park report

CLERMONT, Ind. (October 1, 2001) - Driving the No. 83 Delco Remy-sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Joey Clanton stood on the podium for the seventh time this year, capturing a third place finish in Saturday's American Speed Association (ASA) ...

CLERMONT, Ind. (October 1, 2001) - Driving the No. 83 Delco Remy-sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Joey Clanton stood on the podium for the seventh time this year, capturing a third place finish in Saturday's American Speed Association (ASA) tirerack.com 200 held at Indianapolis (Ind.) Raceway Park. Three was a popular number for the No. 83 Steve Dale Motorsports group, as the team also finished the year with three victories and a third position spot in the final 2001 Points Standings.

The No. 83 started in the fifth position for the 200-lap Indianapolis event and quickly climbed to the third position by lap six. Clanton would continue to keep the car in the front pack for the first 50 laps of the race wavering between the second and third positions. A caution flag thrown at lap 65 allowed the Delco Remy-sponsored car to come down pit road for fresh tires and fuel. Coming into the pits in the second position, Clanton beat the leaders off pit road giving him the lead at lap 68. The No. 83 paced the field until lap 73 when Clanton would drop back, giving the lead to eventual winner Johnny Sauter.

Running in the top-three the entire night, Clanton was able to keep the Steve Dale Motorsports-entry out of trouble for the entire 200 laps. Clanton's closest potential accident occurred on lap 115 when the No. 63 car of Robbie Pyle got loose trying to pass Clanton on the inside. Clanton drove past the danger while the No. 63 spun and hit the outside wall. The remainder of the event was much calmer for the ASA sophomore, and when the checkered flag flew, Clanton crossed the line in third place.

In only their second full season in the ASA Series, the Steve Dale Motorsports team finished third in the final 2001 Points Standings. The team missed the second position spot by a mere 62 points, finishing behind 2000 ASA Champion Gary St. Amant. The team had hopes of capturing the coveted 2001 Championship trophy, but despite having several top finishes, were unable to overcome the dominance of rookie ASA driver Johnny Sauter.

The 2001 season started off with a bang as the No. 83 Zaxby's Real Chicken Chevrolet Monte Carlo captured the win at the season opener at St. Augustine (Fla.) Speedway. Three races later, at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, Joey Clanton drove the "perfect race", leading all 300 laps of the event. The team would hit a dry spell on wins in the mid-season, suffering from bad luck on the track and mechanical failures. Despite the trouble, Clanton would score several podium, top-five and top-10 finishes, keeping the No. 83 in the hunt for the championship. Their final win of the 2001 season would come in the 19th event of the 20-event schedule at the famed Winchester (Ind.) Speedway. Joey Clanton waited patiently through the longest race of the year before capturing the lead and taking the win.

Overall, the team is pleased with their performance this year, knowing they are one of the top teams in the most competitive short-track series in the United States. In 20 events, the No. 83 finished in the top-five an amazing 12 times. "We were definitely contenders for the championship the entire year," stated Clanton. "The competition in ASA is tough and every point counts. Three wins and a third place finish in the final points standings is pretty good for a team in only their second year in the series."

-SDM-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Johnny Sauter , Joey Clanton