Joey Clanton La Crosse race report

Tough day for Clanton at La Crosse. WEST SALEM, Wis. (July 1, 2002) - A stuck throttle on lap 97 of Sunday's American Speed Association (ASA) Kul Brew 300 sent Joey Clanton spinning into the wall and dashed the team's chances for its eighth ...

Tough day for Clanton at La Crosse.

WEST SALEM, Wis. (July 1, 2002) - A stuck throttle on lap 97 of Sunday's American Speed Association (ASA) Kul Brew 300 sent Joey Clanton spinning into the wall and dashed the team's chances for its eighth victory of the 2002 season. Despite the 21st place finish in the race held at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, Wisconsin, the team remains well ahead in the 2002 driver points chase, with a 142-point lead over ASA veteran Gary St. Amant.

Drawing the first spot in the qualifying line-up, Clanton drove a 110.854-mile per hour lap to place the No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the 12th position for the start of the race. With the Wisconsin afternoon sun beating down on the .625-mile flat track, several drivers, including Clanton, radioed their teams reporting that the track was very greasy. Despite the slippery racing surface, Clanton advanced from his starting position quickly breaking into the top-five.

Heading into turn one on lap 97, Clanton's ascent to the top spot ceased when the throttle stuck on the No. 83 sending the rear end of the Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevy hard into the wall. Within seconds of the crash, crew chief Bond Suss encouraged the No. 83 team to stay focused on the challenge ahead.

"We have a lot of new people on the team this year that fortunately haven't had to make major repairs to a car during a race. I just tried to remind them time is of the essence when you are running for a championship." The team quickly went to work repairing the damage to the suspension of the Chevy. Clanton spent 60-plus laps in the pits while the crew repaired the suspension of the car and bolted on a new spoiler before putting on four fresh tires and gassing up the No. 83, with hopes that she wouldn't need to come back down pit road until the end of the race.

Amazingly, despite the damage, the Steve Dale Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo ran close to the speeds it had set earlier in the event. When the checkered flag flew, Clanton crossed the finish line in the 21st position, 68 laps down. While Clanton was not pleased with the finish, he did commend the hard work and dedication of the Steve Dale Motorsports crew.

"The team did an awesome job fixing the Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The accident is a disappointment, but that's racing and I can't complain. We've had a great first half of the season."

The Steve Dale Motorsports team will be able to celebrate the Fourth of July at home. The crew will have a much needed one-week break before their next event in Jennerstown, Pennsylvania. The Camp Fire USA Georgia Council team feels it is prepared for the half-mile flat track of Jennerstown Speedway as the facility is similar to several other tracks on the ASA circuit, most notably Hawkeye (Iowa) Downs Speedway. With a win at Hawkeye Downs earlier this year and seven victories so far in the 2002 season, the No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevy will likely visit victory lane again. Jennerstown Speedway will host the ASA on July 14, with the green flag waving at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The race will be broadcast live on The National Network (TNN).

-jcr-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Joey Clanton