Quarter Master's Clutch Performance of the Week
Who Came Through in The Clutch This Time?
As Decided by the Staff of Speed51.com
Performing in the clutch is what seperates a winning driver from the rest of the pack.  Flexing muscle at the right time is something that true talents posess.  Often luck plays a big role in winning versus losing, but being able to squeeze just enough strength out at the perfect opportunity is what separates winners from losers.  Performing in the clutch doesn't necessarily mean winning, however; it's all about making the most from what you've got.

That's why Quarter Master, providers of winning clutches & driveline components to racers from Super Speedway to the Bullring, from IRL to Rally, from NASCAR to the "Weekend Warrior," is proud to honor a weekly "Clutch Performance of the Week" from the short track ranks of America.  Each week, an esteemed panel of short track industry insiders will vote on which drivers came through in the clutch.  The driver or team with the most votes will then be the "Clutch Performance of the Week."  At the end of the 2009 season, the driver or team that received the most votes throughout the season will then be the "Clutch Performer of the Year" and will be awarded a clutch kit from Quarter Master, valued at $3,500 - just like the 2008 Quarter Master Clutch Performer of the Year winner Eddie MacDonald.

This week's "Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week" goes to ...
Donny Lia - #4 Mystic Missile Modified

Donny Lia was the overwhelming choice of our voters in deciding the Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award.  Lia earned their votes by winning Saturday's NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event on the Magic Mile at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

"Anytime you win THAT modified race, it's a clutch performance," wrote one of our panelists.

Lia really came through in the clutch though by the way that he won the race though.  A three-way battle for position coming out of turn four on the final lap left Ted Christopher and Todd Szegedy riding up along the frontstretch wall, while Lia kept his Mystic Missile Modified straight and pointed towards the finish line.  That performance under pressure locked down the awards by a large margin.

That wasn't to say that there weren't some other strong performances in the clutch this time around though.  For example, here are a few of our honorable mentions this week:

Joey Pole (ACT) - The pressure was on for Joey Pole at Thunder Road's Governor's Cup.  It was one of the largest, if not THE largest, crowds ever assembled at the track with two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, and current point leader, Tony Stewart in the field - as a teammate to Pole.  Add the fact that Pole had always been fast and led a ton of laps at Thunder Road only to be jinxed out of victory lane and the pressure was on the driver who recently celebrated just his 20th birthday.  But Pole rose to the occasion and won the prestigous race despite the pressure on him.

Lucas Ransone (Pro Cup) - Clay Rogers had won the last three Pro Cup races and everyone was ready to pnecil him in for a fourth victory this weekend at Lanier.  But a funny thing happened on the way to the checkered flag.  Check out the offical USARacing press release for what that was...

"Ransone may have a rookie stripe on his rear bumper, but he drove like a veteran when it counted.  A late-race accident involving leader Caleb Holman and the second place Clay Rogers set up a green-white-checker finish. When the field lined up for the final restart, Ransone was third, directly behind leader Frank. When the green flag waved, Bobby Gill, who was fourth, jumped to the outside in an attempt to pass Frank. Ransone dove to the inside and pulled even with Frank. Ransone and Frank then dueled door-to-door for the final lap, before Ransone edged ahead by a mere 0.150 second for the victory. The final lap was the only one Ransone led in his Ransone Racing/K-N Filters/KRG Utilities Chevrolet Monte Carlo."

Now there's some performance under pressure!

Matt DiBendetto (CW East) - Going into the final lap of his first start at New Hampshire International Speedway in a NASCAR Camping World East Series car, DiBendetto was running second to leader Ryan Truex.  But things went bump between the leaders and DiBendetto emerged as the race winner.

John Donahue (ACT) - John Donahue dominated the ACT race at White Mountain Motorsports Park - beating the tour regulars and some strong local Late Model competitors at the same time.
leading all laps.

Meghan Dillner (Pro Challenge) - OK, we admit to being biased on this one having seen "Megs" turns into a quick little racer.  But even still, she gathered a few clutch votes for damn good reason after her Pro Challenge victory at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC). 

"Why?  Why not?" wrote one of our voters.  "Three National Race runner ups in a row and then she finally won at a track none of her teammates could win at."

Quarter Master salutes Donny Lia on this week’s Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week.

2009 Quarter Master
"Clutch Performance of the Week"
June 4th-7th

1.  Donny Lia  (Mods)
2.  Joey Pole (ACT)
3.  Matt DiBendetto  (CW East)
4.  Lucas Ransone  (Pro Cup)
5.  John Donahue  (ACT)
6.  Meghan Dillner  (Pro Challenge)

2009 Cumulative Winners

Donny Lia (Mods)
Parker Klligerman (ARCA)
Brian Campbell (CRA, ASA LM)
Earl Paules (Mods)
Bubba Pollard (Blizzard SLM)
Jamey Caudill  (UARA)
Chris Wimmer (ASA MW)
Jay Fogelman  (PASS South)
Ross Kenseth  (Big 8)
Ted Chriistopher  (Mods)
Eric Beers (Mods)
Aric Almirola (PASS South)
Andy Seuss  (Mods)
Earl Pearson, Jr.  (WoO LM)
George Brunnhoelzl, III (Mods)
Matt Hirschman (Mods)
David Rogers  (SLM)
Matt Kobyluck  (CW East)
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