Clanton rocks and rolls to victory at Memphis. MILLINGTON, Tenn. (August 26, 2002) ? On lap 199 of the American Speed Association (ASA) Jani-King 200, Joey Clanton made a gutsy pass on Kevin Cywinski to capture his ninth win of 2002 and second...
Clanton rocks and rolls to victory at Memphis.
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (August 26, 2002) ? On lap 199 of the American Speed Association (ASA) Jani-King 200, Joey Clanton made a gutsy pass on Kevin Cywinski to capture his ninth win of 2002 and second victory in three starts at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park. The team's winning performance increases its lead in the 2002 point standings to 67 over Gary St. Amant. With five events remaining on the 2002 schedule, the book is far from closing on this season. The No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council crew will need to keep themselves fired up in order to stay ahead of St. Amant and Kevin Cywinski who remain close enough in points to upset Clanton's championship run.
After clocking the fourth fastest lap in the final practice session on Saturday, Clanton's qualifying run of 22.979 seconds around the .75-mile oval was good enough to earn him the pole. The top starting position combined with a win in 2000 and a fourth-place finish in 2001 at the Tennessee track gave the Steve Dale Motorsports crew a boost of confidence heading into Sunday's event.
Clanton paced the field through the first half of the race despite challenges from Robbie Pyle and Kevin Cywinski. When the caution flag flew for the sixth time of the day on lap 105, crew chief Bond Suss radioed to Clanton to come in for a pit stop. At the other 19 tracks on the 20-event schedule, ASA restricts the number of tires that can be changed on a pit stop to two. However, because Memphis Motorsports Park is the largest facility on the 2002 schedule, ASA officials made the decision to allow four-tire pit stops.
With Clanton leading the field down pit road, the No. 83 crew readied themselves for the planned four-tire stop. The team serviced the car and sent Clanton back out onto the track with four fresh tires and a full gas tank. Once all pit stops had been completed, Clanton lined up for the restart in the sixth position behind cars that either did not pit or changed only two tires.
On lap 130, while running in the fifth position, Clanton became the victim of a crash between Butch Miller and Travis Kittleson. The accident caused damage to the right side of the car including a rear right flat tire. Clanton drove into the pits and the team quickly changed right side tires. Once the team had made the needed repairs, Clanton was listed in the 16th position.
With less than 50 laps to get to the front, Clanton made quick time passing his competitors. By lap 177 Clanton was running in second just behind Kevin Cywinski. Clanton continued to knock on Cywinski's door until a caution at lap 197 gave Clanton his opportunity. When the race went back to green flag conditions, Clanton wasted no time. On the restart Clanton headed to the bottom of the track giving Cywinski the impression he was going to try to pass him on the low side. When that didn't work, Clanton took another route slipping through a hole Cywinski opened. Clanton took the lead on lap 199 and the checkered on lap 200.
"This race was awesome," exclaimed Clanton. "In ASA, you've got to drive it to the edge every lap and that's what I did today. The team did an awesome job in the pits and I couldn't ask for a better car owner. Steve [Dale] gives us everything we need to bring home a win."
If you want to meet the Steve Dale Motorsports team at the fair, then you will need to travel to Minnesota this weekend. The Minnesota State Fair Speedway in St. Paul will host the ASA Series for its annual Labor Day race. The event is for one day only with just one hour of practice. Due to the time restrictions, the field will line-up for the event on points which means the No. 83 will take the green flag in the pole position.
The race will be held Monday, September 2 and shown tape delayed on The National Network (TNN) so check your local listings.