Clanton breaks record, captures fourth straight victory PENSACOLA, Fla. (May 5, 2002) - Joey Clanton and the No. 83 Steve Dale Motorsports team inked their name in the record books yesterday after winning their fourth straight American Speed ...
Clanton breaks record, captures fourth straight victory
PENSACOLA, Fla. (May 5, 2002) - Joey Clanton and the No. 83 Steve Dale Motorsports team inked their name in the record books yesterday after winning their fourth straight American Speed Association (ASA) event. Clanton now holds the record for the most consecutive wins following the season opener, a record that had been held by Mike Eddy who won the first three events of the 1995 ASA season. Sunday's win, captured at the famed half-mile abrasive oval of Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, didn't come easy for the No. 83 team after the Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevy was caught in a multi-car accident early in the event.
While his seventh-place qualifying run for the ASARacing.com 300 had his competitors wondering if the Georgia-native could continue his winning streak, Clanton was confident going into the race he had the car to beat. "Track position is not as important here at Pensacola. I think that we have the right set-up for the race and I will work this Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevy to the front." Clanton started the race in the sixth position after the second-place qualifier was disqualified.
This victory may have been the No. 83 team's hardest won yet after the Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevrolet Monte Carlo suffered damage at lap 70 while attempting to avoid an accident. Fearing the suspension had been harmed in the wreck, Clanton brought the No. 83 down pit road repeatedly to the attention of his crew during the caution period following the pile-up. While monitoring the leaders in order to keep the No. 83 on the lead lap, the team doctored the car with the help of several pieces of tape and a lot of muscle.
Running out of time, the team sent Clanton back onto the track for the green flag in hopes they could continue to better the car's handling. Subsequent caution periods allowed the team to make continued improvements to the Camp Fire USA Georgia Council entry. While the No. 83 may not have looked like the car to beat, it's lap times showed otherwise. Clanton steadily moved through traffic running in third when the caution flag waved for the sixth time. A 10-second pit stop put Clanton back onto the track in second place, just behind the No. 21 car of Dan Fredrickson. At lap 194 Clanton claimed the lead and kept it until coming down pit road for the final time for fresh tires. At lap 219, Clanton passed for the lead the final time before taking the checkered flag at lap 300.
Excited about the ASA record and his fourth straight trip to victory lane, Clanton credited his team with the honors. "This car ran almost as good after the accident. The crew kept working until they gave me a car that was as close to perfect as they could make it. They were good on pit stops, too, which made my job of getting to the front much easier. This Camp Fire USA Georgia Council team has just come together so well this year, I am so proud to be a part of it."
The No. 83 Steve Dale Motorsports team will have one week off to celebrate before focusing on its next challenge - Hawkeye Downs Speedway. Out of four visits to the Cedar Rapids, Iowa track, the team has two top-five finishes on its record. The O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 will be held on Sunday, May 19 and will be aired live on The National Network (TNN) beginning at 2:00 p.m. EDT.