SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (April 13, 2002) - For the third-straight event in a row, Joey Clanton drove the No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevrolet into victory lane. Clanton's latest victory, this time at Big Daddy's South Boston (Va.) Speedway,...
SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (April 13, 2002) - For the third-straight event in a row, Joey Clanton drove the No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevrolet into victory lane. Clanton's latest victory, this time at Big Daddy's South Boston (Va.) Speedway, makes Clanton only the second driver in American Speed Association (ASA) history to claim victory in each of the first three events of the season. Clanton and the No. 83 team were favorites going into the race at the .40-mile track after leading all 300 laps of last year's event.
Strategy played a key role in Saturday night's win for Clanton and his crew. Due to the one-day schedule, ASA officials let teams know ahead of time that they planned to impound the 32-car field following the afternoon qualifying session. Knowing that they would not have the opportunity to adjust the car following their two-lap run, crew chief Bond Suss and Clanton decided to set up the No. 83 with the qualifying laps in mind.
"Track position is everything at a place as narrow as South Boston. We chose an intermediate gear in hopes of making sure that we concentrated on making the car right for qualifying," explained Clanton. "The compromise paid off, we got the pole and still had a car that was able to hold off [Kevin] Cywinski."
Despite the narrow groove of South Boston Speedway, Clanton and his fiercest competitor in this event, Kevin Cywinksi, managed to find two different driving lines. The No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevrolet Monte Carlo consistently stayed to the high side of the asphalt oval, while the No. 1 Cywinski racecar kept close to the bottom. During the last 60 laps of the event, ASA fans witnessed short track racing at its finest as Cywinski's slightly faster machine attempted to squeeze below the No. 83 to take the lead. Despite the 1997 ASA Champion's bids for the steal, Clanton, with the help from his spotter and team owner Steve Dale, kept the top position.
Following the race, Clanton was first to admit that he didn't have the dominating car that he enjoyed at Lakeland (Fla.) and Irwindale (Calif.). "We had a great car, but Cywinksi was right there with us lap for lap at the end. We just proved that with our pit stops and the strength of this team, we will be the force to be reckoned with in 2002." At lap 114, in their only stop of the event, the rapid-fire pit crew gave the No. 83 two BF Goodrich radials and a drink of fuel before beating every other team off pit road.
ASA teams will have two weeks to try and figure out how to beat the No. 83 Camp Fire USA Georgia Council Chevy before the fourth event on the 2002 schedule. With a considerable points lead, the Steve Dale Motorsports group will head to Pensacola, Florida for the May 5 event. Five Flags Speedway's half-mile track, home of the famous Snowball Derby, will host the ASA Series for the first time since 1997. The race is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast live on The National Network (TNN).