Clanton Odessa race report

ODESSA, Mo. (June 18, 2001) - Joey Clanton and the Steve Dale Motorsports team are on a roll. The team posted its second straight podium finish, placing third in this past weekend's ASARacing.com 300 held at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, ...

ODESSA, Mo. (June 18, 2001) - Joey Clanton and the Steve Dale Motorsports team are on a roll. The team posted its second straight podium finish, placing third in this past weekend's ASARacing.com 300 held at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Missouri.

Despite a reoccurring plug wire problem, which the team battled for most of the race, the No. 83 Zaxby's Real Chicken Chevrolet Monte Carlo managed to pull out a solid finish. The team started the race in the fifth position, after Joey Clanton made his expected strong qualifying run.

With the No. 83 suffering from mechanical problems, Clanton managed to keep the Zaxby's Real Chicken Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the top-five for the first 70 laps of the race. At lap 72, Clanton came down pit road for two right side tires and fuel during a routine pit stop. Clanton went back out on the track, only to return to the aid of his crew during the same caution, allowing the team to attend to the plug wire issue and add fuel to the car.

When Clanton returned to the track after the second pit stop, the No. 83 had fallen to the 19th position. Clanton had a lot of positions to recover and wanted to make them up quickly. By lap 116, the Steve Dale Motorsports team was riding in the 10th position. When the caution flag flew for the fifth time on lap 117, Gene Roberts, crew chief of the No. 83, made the call to pit. With one of the fastest pit crews in the American Speed Association (ASA), the team gained three positions, leaving pit road in the seventh spot.

The team would continue to struggle with the faulty plug wire. Down on power, Joey Clanton fought to keep the No. 83 Zaxby's Real Chicken Chevrolet Monte Carlo in contention. At lap 150, the No. 83 entered pit road to allow the team to put on fresh tires and take another look at the faulty plug wire. Clanton went back out on the track with hopes his problems were behind him.

During the last half of the race, Clanton continued to struggle with an engine that was low on power, due to the loose plug wire. However, Clanton was not going to allow anything to keep him from moving to the front of the field. By lap 200, the No. 83 was riding in the third position. A caution, called for rain at lap 253, would delay Clanton's chance to make it to the top spot. With 16 laps to go when the final green flag fell, Clanton fought for his position. At lap 300, the No. 83 crossed the line third, racking up Steve Dale Motorsports' fifth top-five finish of the season.

"I just wish that we wouldn't have had the problems with the plug wire," remarked Clanton. "I think we would have had a chance at the win if we didn't have mechanical troubles. The team worked hard to keep the Zaxby's Real Chicken Chevrolet in contention, and we came out with a solid finish."

ASA racing action will make its next stop in Toledo, Ohio at the Toledo Speedway. The 10th race on the 2001 schedule will be held on Sunday, July 1. The race will be aired live on The National Network (TNN) and will begin at 1:00 p.m. EST.

k-EM

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Series Stock car
Drivers Joey Clanton