Cliff Daniels Misses Win At Southern National By Mere Inches
Career-Best Finish Gives Late Model Stock Driver Early Season Boost
to kick us out of tech line. I had to get some tin snips and trim the skirt before going back though tech. Because of that, we ended up being the last car on the track to qualify. We didn’t have time to adjust our air pressures or anything. So, we qualified seventh, which was frustrating since we had a car that would qualify second or third.”
Putting the early setback behind him, the driver prepared for his run to the front. When the green flag flew, he did just that, methodically working his way through the field. Patience was the name of the game for Daniels, especially since he was racing with names well known in Late Model racing.
“I raced with Jamey Caudill and Drew Herring for a long time,” said Daniels. “That was a lot of fun to race with those guys. I have a lot of respect for Jamey. We raced side-by-side for literally 12 laps. Drew (Herring) was also right behind me. I would poke the holes and he would follow me right on through the field. He did rough me up a few times, but Drew is a good, hard racer and we are friends off the track.
“With five laps to go, I was in third behind Deac McCaskill with Drew (Herring) running
behind me. A caution came out, giving us a green-white-checker finish. I knew Deac
was going to be tough on the restart since he won the race here in the fall when he beat
Denny Hamlin. When we went back to green, Deac slipped, allowing me to pass him
coming to the white flag. When we came to the checkered flag, I was right up on the
back bumper of the leader (Sherman Davis Jr.) but couldn’t do anything with him since
the laps ran out
“I think we had a good enough car to win the race, but the 55 laps of caution didn’t allow
me enough time to show what the car was capable of.”
The second-place finish gave Daniels a solid start to the 2007 racing season. While
excited on the great run, he is being cautiously optimistic heading into the March 24th
season-opener at South Boston.
“This gives us great momentum going into South Boston, but we are not going to let the
good finish get to our heads,” explained Daniels. “We are going to go back and review
all of our Kenly notes. There are a few things we learned that we can directly apply to
our car for South Boston. So we are going to do our homework this week and have a
well-prepared car for the weekend. We should have an exciting race.
“Hopefully we will be able to one-up our finishing position from Kenly.”
Cliff’s sister, and teammate, Tiffany will make her season debut this weekend as well at South Boston, competing in the Limited Late Model class.
For more information on Cliff and Tiffany, please contact Jason Buckley at (704) 455-2051 and be sure to look out for new Cliff Daniels and Tiffany Daniels websites, coming soon.
Cliff Daniels (51 Photos)
Cliff Daniels headed to Southern National Raceway Park Saturday in his Late Model Stock looking for something to prove. He wanted, like all drivers, to start off the 2007 racing season strong. But he also wanted to prove to his fellow drivers that he deserves to be there, and he’ll be someone to be reckoned with this year.
And when the checkered flag fell, Daniels impressed on the competition that he is here to stay, coming in second place in only his third start at the Kenly, NC, facility.
“It was an exciting, but caution-filled race,” said 18-year-old Daniels. “Out of the 150 laps scheduled, we ran 55 laps under caution. Because they count the caution laps, we didn’t have a whole lot of green-flag racing. But it was still an exciting race. There was a lot of good, hard clean racing out there as well between the cautions.”
Daniels unloaded his renumbered #00 machine (Daniels’ usual #03 was taken by another competitor) fast off the trailer, and it showed with one of the faster speeds in practice. The team was all smiles until a situation in pre-qualifying inspection set them back.
“We had a problem getting through tech with our left side skirt,” said Daniels. “They have a minimum frame height rule, which is four inches. When they rolled their frame height checker up under the car, the side skirt barely scraped. It was enough for them