|Date: 6/24/2015 9:57:42 AM|
Clanton Completes Empire State Sweep with Weedsport Speedway Win
Weedsport, N.Y. – June 23, 2015 – Shane Clanton drives car No. 25, but on Tuesday night at Weedsport Speedway, he was No. 1 all the way.
From setting the fastest time in time trials with a new track record to winning his qualifying heat race and picking the pole in the redraw, the Zebulon, Georgia racer led the Finger Lakes 40 flag-to-flag and came out on top in everything when the World of Outlaws Late Model Series completed its Great Northern Tour.
Clanton won at Fonda Speedway when the series raced there Thursday, June 18, and he ran runner-up to Josh Richards Saturday, June 20 at Brighton Speedway. The Weedsport win is his sixth series win of the season and ninth overall win of the year, as well as the 26th series win of his career.
“It’s just dedication and hard work and the will and desire not to give up,” he said, crediting his crew for the $8,000 victory. “It takes a whole team effort to get to where I’m at.”
After clocking the fastest lap time trials with a sub-15-second trip around the three-eighths mile clay oval, Clanton won the first of three 10-lap late model heat races and headed to the redraw of the top six starting positions for the 40-lap feature.
The first driver to draw, he picked the pole and never looked back from there, as he led all 40 circuits to earn the chance to drive up victory hill in the infield.
After speeding off as if the rest of the pack was standing still on the initial green flag, Clanton easily dominated the first half of the race. But, Watertown’s Tim McCreadie drove to second on a lap 23 restart from the 14th starting spot and gave the leader a run for his money over the closing laps.
In the end, McCreadie let Clanton get away and finished second by 1.659 seconds. Darrell Lanigan finished third, while Chase Junghans, Morgan Bagley, Eric Wells, Dan Stone, Frank Heckenast Jr., Greg Oakes and Dylan Yoder rounded out to the top 10.
“I was just trying to save the tires and let it float where it wanted to go,” Clanton said of his strategy to adapt to the car’s handling.
McCreadie rallied from a night of adversity after he hit the wall during hot laps and then broke a brake line in time trials. He also relished being the crowd favorite as he tried to reel in Clanton and praised the track crew with maintaining a good surface.
“It is what it is. We try to run as hard as we can,” McCreadie said, adding that it has been tough for the whole field to keep up with Clanton all season long. “We give it our best shot. We appreciate people coming out.”
After a tough season thus far, Lanigan drove to third from the 13th starting spot and said the restarts helped his move through the field, along with a track that was in good shape.
“We had a good car all night long,” he said. “We threw some stuff at it. We’ve been off all year.”
The 25-lap crate sportsman event also featured a winner leading flag-to-flag and a runner-up nearly closing in in the final laps. Steve Gray captured the victory but narrowly held off Rocky Warner, who clung to the leader’s bumper at the checkered flag.
Warner charged from the 11th starting spot to second, tracked down Gray in the second half and tried to take the high line around when the leader took the low groove. Gray said he knew Warner was there and that protecting the bottom was important.
“I felt him back there a couple of times. I figured I better keep the bottom door closed,” Gray said. “I knew it had to be on the top or he wasn’t getting it.”
James Friesen finished third, with David Marcuccilli, Todd Root, James Sweeting, Kevin Root, Jeff Stevenson, Rocco Leone and Joe Kline rounding out the top 10.
Gray’s second win of the season is “hands down the best,” he said, and it came in a car prepared for Canadaigua Motorsports Park but run primarily at Black Rock Speedway this season. If Weedsport ever went to a weekly schedule, he said he would be there every week.
World of Outlaws Late Model Series (40 laps): 1) Shane Clanton, 2) Tim McCreadie, 3) Darrell Lanigan, 4) Chase Junghans, 5) Morgan Bagley, 6) Eric Wells, 7) Dan Stone, 8) Frank Heckenast Jr., 9) Greg Oakes, 10) Dylan Yoder, 11) Boom Briggs, 12) Jim Yoder, 13) Chad Hollenbeck, 14) Greg Satterlee, 15) Jordan Yaggy, 16) David Zona, 17) Josh Richards, 18) Brando Overton, 19) Ross Robinson, 20) Chub Frank, 21) Rick Eckert, 22) Jimmy Bernheisel, 23) Tim Fuller, 24) Bryan Bernheisel.
Crate Sportsman (25 laps): 1) Steve Gray, 2) Rocky Warner, 3) James Friesen, 4) Dave Marcuccilli, 5) Todd Root, 6) James Sweeting, 7) Kevin Root, 8) Jeff Stevenson, 9) Rocco Leone, 10) Joe Kline, 11) Earl Rudy, 12) Tyler Meeks, 13) Nick Webb, 14) Jimmy Morton, 15) Will Shields, 16) Adam Jacobs, 17) Steve Abt, 18) Ron Davis III, 19) Todd Town, 20) Dan Kapuscinski, 21) Anthony Stockman, 22) Ricky Newton, 23) Matt Guererri, 24) Josh VanBrocklin, 25) Jamie Platt, 26) Mike Ward.
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