HAIR NO TORTOISE IN MASTERS TRIUMPH by Matt Kentfield
Clay Takes Win With A Little Motivation From Newborn Son
Clay Hair has been on a roll of late. He spent much of the 2006 Summer Shootout season in victory lane in the Legends Masters division. He’s won a bunch of races throughout the Southeast as well in his signature black, white and neon orange #29 machine. But Hair has been on the highest high of them all since the birth of his son just a few weeks ago.
every time he’s been here I’ve won. I just can’t let him down.”
Hair’s path to victory was a relatively smooth one for most of the race, but an oil leak from another competitor late in the race forced a gigantic amount of oil-dry to be dropped on the track. Hair led from the start of the race, but on the restart with just three laps to go, second-place Jeff Haynie was tired of watching Hair get out to a huge lead. Haynie got a jump into the first turn on the restart and pulled along side Hair down the backstretch. Haynie had the pass made, but his lead was short-lived. Before the lap was completed, Hair was back along side and re-took the lead as Haynie’s car started slipping around the slippery track full of oil-dry. Hair pulled away on the final lap to score the victory, but it wasn’t just another notch in the belt of the veteran. It was one that was earned, not given.
It was hard enough to knock the smile off Hair’s face on a normal day, win or lose, but since the birth of his son, Hair has been unstoppable. That has made that infectious smile of the all-time winningest Legends Car driver at Lowe’s Motor Speedway seem nearly permanent lately. The win streak continued on Saturday, as the Legends veteran scored the National Championship trophy in the A-Main for the Masters Division at Lanier National Speedway (GA).
Of course, Hair had to get to victory lane. He did not want to disappoint the newest member of the family.
“I have been so blessed with the people that have been around me,” said Hair. “My son’s been to every race and
Hair celebrated his win and his automatic birth into the Mason-Dixon Meltdown with Bob Dillner (top), but more importantly, with his family as well (bottom). (51 photos)
Jeff Haynie (#12) had a shot, but never was able to beat Clay Hair (#29). (Future Pros Photos)
“You never know what can happen. A little oil got put on the racetrack, but we had a good, safe race. Everyone had a lot of fun.
It was just crazy, I mean this car was wrecked the day my son was born in Atlanta, so this is a brand new car that we built. Paddy Rodenbeck got second in the Semi-Pro, and that was a brand new car that we just built for him. So that just goes to show you how good 600 Racing’s equipment is. Their cars, their chassis, rear end housings. GE Chapman did the engines in both those cars and we just came down here and unloaded and we did it tonight.”
For Haynie, the valiant effort he put up in the final laps only to come up short still made for a successful race.
“I was trying to hold on to second the whole night,” said Haynie. “My car was so loose, but when the oil come out, it actually put me on a level playing field then. I almost got the win, too, but I raced him clean. I had a couple of looks in there, but the car was so loose. This track is like a slick track. The car wasn’t very good, but it was better when the oil came out because it put everyone on a level playing field.”
Brian Weimer tried to overtake Haynie for second on the final lap, but came up short. Dwight Pilgrem and Billy Gomez, Jr. rounded out the top-five.