Awesome car, awesome pit stops but bad luck spoils Clanton's run for six in a row. MARNE, Mich. (June 3, 2002) -- The No. 83 team was the car to beat Saturday night in the American Speed Association (ASA) event held at Berlin Raceway in Marne,...
Awesome car, awesome pit stops but bad luck spoils Clanton's run for six in a row.
MARNE, Mich. (June 3, 2002) -- The No. 83 team was the car to beat Saturday night in the American Speed Association (ASA) event held at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan. Several teams fielded super-fast racecars, but the Steve Dale Motorsports team put a fast car on the track and scored several victories on pit road - the pit crew was unbeatable. Unfortunately, an incident on the backstretch of the half-mile track spoiled the team's hopes for its sixth event victory of the 2002 season and the opportunity to set an ASA record for the most consecutive wins. The team finished in the 25th position, 24 laps down.
While the finish was disappointing to the Steve Dale Motorsports crew, their hunt for the 2002 ASA Championship trophy still looks promising. After Saturday evening's event the team continues to dominate the point standings with a 91-point lead over second place position holder Gary St. Amant.
The No. 83 Steve Dale Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo lined up on the starting grid in the seventh position for the running of Saturday evening's tires.com 300 presented by BF Goodrich. Packed stands and anticipation for another win motivated Joey Clanton to move the yellow and blue Chevy to the front of the field. Clanton gained ground on the track before allowing his pit crew to make up the difference. A caution period on lap 65 allowed Clanton to bring the No. 83 down pit road giving the Steve Dale Motorsports pit road warriors opportunity to fight their battle. The Camp Fire USA Georgia Council team easily scorched their competition giving Clanton the lead on lap 69.
The No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevy seemed to be on track for another win as Clanton drove down pit road in the second position to get fresh tires during the fifth caution period of the day. Clanton left pit road narrowly missing the No. 7 Chevy of Gary St. Amant. After dodging the near accident, Clanton left the pits breathing a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, his respite was short lived. As Clanton drove around lapped traffic on lap 210, the right wheel of the No. 83 Chevy dropped off the track forcing him to make a quick decision. In an attempt to avoid major damage to the Chevy, Clanton veered his car off the backstretch allowing the Chevy to be slowed by a foam wall and tire barrier.
With the help of track workers, the No. 83 was rescued and returned to the track before heading to pit road. Clanton returned to the event minus the fenders, nose and hood of the Camp Fire USA Chevy. The hard work by the No. 83 crew may not have seemed worth the effort, but with a team fighting for the championship, every lap counts and despite the damage, the No. 83 competed 276 of 300 laps.
"Our finish doesn't show what a great car and pit stop team we had tonight. The Camp Fire USA Georgia Council guys were awesome in the pits and we just had some bad luck," explained Clanton. "No matter how hard you work, luck still plays a part in racing, and tonight just wasn't our night to win."
The Camp Fire USA Georgia Council team makes its next appearance at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna on Sunday, June 9. The race begins at 12:00 EDT and will be broadcast live on The National Network (TNN).