Clanton claims top-10 finish in Labor Day event at Minnesota. ST. PAUL, Minn. (September 3, 2002) -- After chasing a loose handling racecar for most of the afternoon, Joey Clanton drove the No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevy to a ...
Clanton claims top-10 finish in Labor Day event at Minnesota.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (September 3, 2002) -- After chasing a loose handling racecar for most of the afternoon, Joey Clanton drove the No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevy to a seventh-place finish in the American Speed Association (ASA) Miller Lite 300 held Monday. The Steve Dale Motorsports team continues to hold down the lead in the championship point race following the Labor Day event. Clanton's two closest competitors in the 2002 championship points race, Gary St. Amant and Kevin Cywinski, finished one-two, thereby narrowing Clanton's lead to 32 markers.
Located in St. Paul, Minnesota, city regulations restrict the half-mile oval of the Minnesota State Fair Speedway to just one event per year. Fortunately for race fans in and around the Twin Cities area, the ASA continues to be the lucky series to take the green flag annually. In addition to the one-race restriction, the ASA series itself is limited to just one and a half-hours of practice prior to the start of the race. Clanton clocked the fastest lap in the 90-minute Monday morning practice session with a 20.762-second trip around the half-mile facility.
Following the lone practice session, the shortened schedule forced the 33-car field to line up on the starting grid based on points rather than the normal qualifying results, putting the No. 83 Chevy on the pole. Once the green flag dropped, Clanton paced the field until lap 39 when the No. 1 car of Kevin Cywinski took over the lead.
Prior to their first pit stop, Clanton and crew chief Bond Suss discussed via radio the car's extremely loose handling conditions. On lap 90, Clanton drove down pit road to allow the crew to change right side tires and to make an adjustment to tighten the car's handling. While the team made all of the right changes, the No. 83 Chevy continued to keep Clanton on the edge of his seat for the remainder of the race.
"The car just didn't tighten up like we had hoped," explained veteran crew chief Bond Suss. "We made four pit stops during the event, each time taking on two tires and making adjustments to tighten the car. Joey drove the wheels off the car, but he just didn't have as much as normal to work with. "
The team's four pit stops did allow Clanton to gain spots in the pits while at the same time improve on the loose handling Chevy. When the checkered flag dropped mid-afternoon, Clanton brought home the Camp Fire USA Georgia Council-sponsored entry in the seventh position.
"All in all, it wasn't too bad of a day," remarked Clanton. "Our car was just super loose and despite the adjustments, it just never tightened up like we had hoped. Minnesota is a tough track because you aren't allowed to test at the facility and you only get an hour or so of practice prior to the race. More than any other track, it's just a guess as to how to set up the car."
The team heads to the heart of the Midwest with high hopes they will be able to increase its chances of taking home the 2002 ASA Championship trophy. The No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council team returns to Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa this weekend for the Iowa 300 to be held on Sunday. Hawkeye Downs is the only track that the team will visit twice in the 2002 season. In its first appearance in May of this year, the team claimed victory after starting the race in the 15th spot. The race will be broadcast live on The National Network (TNN) starting at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.