WINCHESTER, Ind. (September 24, 2001) - Joey Clanton and the No. 83 Zaxby's Real Chicken Chevrolet Monte Carlo survived the longest and toughest race of the year, capturing victory in yesterday's American Speed Association (ASA)-sanctioned ...
WINCHESTER, Ind. (September 24, 2001) - Joey Clanton and the No. 83 Zaxby's Real Chicken Chevrolet Monte Carlo survived the longest and toughest race of the year, capturing victory in yesterday's American Speed Association (ASA)-sanctioned Winchester 400. The win, Clanton's third of the 2001 season and fourth in his ASA career, moved the racing standout into the third position in the 2001 Driver Points Standings.
Running in second, Clanton took over the lead for the final time on the lap 332 restart, when the No. 5 car of David Stremme wasn't able to shift into high gear. Clanton took advantage of the opportunity passing Stremme on the inside for the lead. The No. 83 Zaxby's Real Chicken Chevrolet Monte Carlo paced the field for the remainder of the 400-lap event.
Clanton, elated, felt that it was time for another win for the Steve Dale Motorsports team. "This No. 83 Zaxby's Real Chicken Chevrolet Monte Carlo was awesome today. We got a break when David's [Stremme] car couldn't get going on the restart, and we just took that right to the checkered."
While the team did catch a lucky break, it was the hard work of the entire crew that kept the No. 83 in the front pack for the entire race. Clanton was able to grab the lead earlier in the race thanks to the talent of his pit crew. When the competition yellow was flown to mark the third caution of the race, the No. 83 headed to the pits for fresh tires on lap 134 while running in the fourth position. The team flew through the stop and sent Clanton back down pit road in first. That stop allowed Clanton to take the lead and continue on the point for 25 laps.
Ironically, Clanton and the No. 83 almost didn't participate in the American Speed Association Winchester 400. Prior to postponement by ASA officials, the No. 83 had been withdrawn from competition. Steve Dale, owner of the No. 83 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, opted to withdraw his team from the original September 16 event in light of the national tragedies that occurred earlier in the week. The Steve Dale Motorsports crew did not forget those lost in the terrorist attacks as the team proudly displayed four American flags on the No. 83 in remembrance of the victims and their families.
"We dedicate this win to the firefighters, police officers and rescue workers that continue to work at the disaster sites in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania," stated Clanton. "We have gotten back to racing, but our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families."
Clanton hopes to repeat his winning performance next Saturday, the last race of the 2001 season, September 29 at Indianapolis (Ind.) Raceway Park. The National Network (TNN), with coverage to begin at 9:00 p.m. EST, will air the tirerack.com 200 live.