Clements Takes Charge at Nashville, Earns First Career ARCA Victory
ARCA Race Is Good to the Last Drop This Time Out
After running out of gas while leading just yards from the Pocono finish line last week, the Spartanburg, South Carolina driver, in Ken Appling's Appling Boring Chevrolet, would not be denied his career-first victory in his 30th career series start. Clements also became the 11th different series winner in 15 events so far in 2007.
"Man, after this Pocono misery I just wanted to come and win a race," said Clements. "And to beat the big development teams this means a lot. You know this is a small team; we build all our own engines and we purchased this car from Childress. Me and my buddy Chris were talking about that Gibson Guitar trophy earlier; it's so prestigious. I can't wait to put it in my race shop."
Clements also established a new race record with an average speed of 123.526 mph, eclipsing the old mark of 119.424 mph set in 2006 by Robert Yates development driver Stephen Leicht.
Clements gave up the lead to Clauson on the 72nd circuit of the 113-lap, 150-mile race, but charged right back and regained the lead on the 75th lap. From there, all Clauson could do was watch as Clements drove away, winning by more than eight seconds at the checkered flag.
Jeremy Clements' team made sure that their #3 was full of fuel at Nashville. (Robert Costanzo Photos)
With the hammer down and plenty of gas in the tank, ARCA RE/MAX Series regular Jeremy Clements drove away from Ganassi Racing's Bryan Clauson to win the Toyota ARCA 150 Saturday afternoon at Nashville Superspeedway.
In the end, Clauson held on for second in the Memorex Dodge, doing all he could do to hold off current point leader Frank Kimmel in the closing laps.
"This was only my seventh career stock car start," said Clauson, a veteran of USAC Sprints and Midgets. "We ran Kentucky and we tested a little bit and I think I like the speedways almost better than the short tracks. It was good to run with the ARCA regulars. We ran with Frank Kimmel a lot today and it was nice to get respect from him. He raced me clean all day."
Kimmel, a three-time Nashville winner, finished third in the Town & Country-Fort Dodge Animal Health-Pork Ford, earning his tenth top-ten finish of 2007.
"After our luck in Pocono last week, getting wrecked like we did, this feels really good," said Kimmel. "Our car was pretty good overall today. It was a really good points day for us. Can't wait to go to the Springfield mile-dirt next Sunday. It's what this series is all about."
Development driver Cale Gale, in Kevin Harvick's Dollar General Chevrolet, finished fourth in front of Brian Keselowski, who finished fifth in the Bobby Gerhart Racing Lucas Oil Chevrolet.
Erin Crocker finished sixth in the Evernham Motorsports Dodge, extending her lead in the Superspeedway Challenge championship. No female driver has ever won ARCA's superspeedway title, let alone lead the points.
Michael McDowell, who earned the SIM Factory Pole Award on Friday, led the first 33 laps and was closing in on Kimmel for third before the Phoenix, Arizona driver suffered engine woes with just four laps remaining. McDowell was relegated to 19th in the final running order and fell 80 markers behind Kimmel in national championship points headed to the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile-dirt for next Sunday's Allen Crowe 100.
Clements also showed the way in the lap-leader category, leading 48 laps. Clauson, outside of McDowell, was the only other lap leader with 32 laps-led. Four cautions, all for minor incidents, slowed the race for 20 laps.
Clements celebrates his victory.
Robb Brent advanced from his 28th starting position to finish 10th in the Orchard Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Ford to earn Hoosier Tire Hard Charger award. Patrick Sheltra, in the J&S Bulk Transport-CP Concrete Products Chevrolet, earned the Highest Finishing Rookie honors for his 13th place finishing position.