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 ...
#4 Mystic Missile Modified
Any number of things could have kept Donny Lia and his #4 Mystic Missile team from a strong finish in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
First, there was a fire that started in practice on Thursday when a fuel line came loose on the team's Modified. Lia's car was heavily damaged as a result of this fire and there was no back-up car on the one-car hauler of the team.
So they loaded up their newly-crispened racecar and headed back to their shops in Connecticut. They pulled an all-nighter to repair both the car and its engine and came back to NHMS, where Lia had to start Saturday's race at the rear of the field.
From there, Lia was involved in not one, but two, wrecks. He lost two laps after getting black flagged for a dragging nerf bar. He came through the field on three separate occasions and entered the final lap just outside of the top five. Yet
somehow through it all, Lia managed to place second in the race. That effort earned him this week's Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance award.
Here were a few of our voter comments on Lia's selection:
"Was in multiple wrecks, lost two laps and still nearly won the thing!"
"Donny Lia came through in the clutch for coming through the field for a podium finish at NH."
By winning this week, Lia has become the first three-time winner of the Quarter Master Clutch Performer of the Week award in 2009.
Here are our honorable mentions for this week:
Ronnie SIlk (WMT)- Ronnie Silk might have beat Donny Lia on the racetrack this weekend at New Hampshire, but he finished one spot behind him in voting for this edition of the Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award.
Silk won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at NHMS, which ended up being the biggest victory so far in his career, just a few weeks after parting ways with the Hillbilly Racing #79 team. We don't know for sure if Silk quit or was shown the door as there are plenty of different accounts around, but we do know that Silk came though in the clutch at New Hampshire and made the most of a one-race ride in the TS Haulers Modified to pass Reggie Ruggiero on the final lap and take down the race victory.
Eddie MacDonald (CW East and ACT) - New Hampshire performances swept the podium this week in voting for the Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award and Eddie MacDonald's efforts placed third on the list that we out together after adding up all of our panelists' votes.
All that Eddie Mac did this week was win both the NASCAR Camping World East Series race at NHMS and the first ever ACT Invitational. MacDonald also made up a little bit of ground over the Michael Waltrip Racing team of Ryan Truex in the battle for the CW East championship.
Andy Seuss (WSMT) - A rescheduled race on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour left Andy Seuss in a tough spot. He is racing for the championship on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour and that series was racing at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina on Saturday night. Also on Saturday was a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway - the home state track for Seuss where he had promised to his sponsors that his car would run.
Seuss solved the dilemma by recruiting Eddie MacDonald to run his Modified at NHMS while he headed himself to North Carolina. But the Mod race was the only one at the track all weekend that MacDonald entered and didn't win. Instead, he hit the wall hard early on and heavily damaged the Seuss car.
Instead of getting down about that, Seuss just turned up the wick and scored a dominating victory at Caraway.
"My vote goes to Andy Seuss for winning the Caraway race after learning the family owned car had been destroyed earlier in the day at NHMS," wrote one member of our panel.
Ross Kenseth (Big 8) - Here is what one of our voters had to say about Ross Kenseth this week and who are we to argue his point?
"Ross Kenseth started ninth in both of the 65-lap features and finished third and second to win the Wisconsin State Championships at Jefferson (WI) Speedway this past Saturday night.
Kenseth also passed the most cars I'm both of the races. Ironically, the two winners (Kyle Jarlsberg and Jason Erickson) each started on the front row and each led wire-to-wire in their races.
Kenseth also set the fast time among the 48 qualifiers in the Big 8 Series event. The Wisconsin State Championships featured five divisions of racing over two days with 168 cars competing."
Wayne Helliwell, Jr. (ACT) - On Friday night, Wayne Helliwell, Jr. won the Late Model feature at Lee USA Speedway (NH). He then returned to his shop, put on a pre-assembled new body on his Late Model, went through the car, changed its set-up and loaded it up to arrive at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to prep for a 8am ACT Late Model practice session. While his 28th-place finish in the first ever ACT Invitational wasn't stellar, just getting to the track was a display of coming through in the clutch.
Stacy Cahoon (ACT) - And you thought that we were done when it came to recognizing people who raced at New Hampshire this past weekend?
On Friday night, Stacy Cahoon came from behind to capture the 2009 track championship at White Mountain Motorsports Park. In doing so, he locked down the final invitation for Saturday's ACT race at the Magic Mile. So his team spent most of the wee hours of Saturday morning prepping to go from a tight quarter-mile oval to a mile-long speedway with their Late Model. They didn't get much sleep, but they did their jobs well and were rewarded with their first chance to race at NHMS.
Quarter Master salutes Donny Lia on this week’s Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week.
"Clutch Performance of the Week"
1. Donny Lia (Mods)
2. Ronnie Silk (Mods)
3. Eddie MacDonald (CW East and ACT)
4. Andy Seuss (Mods)
5. Ross Kenseth (Big 8)
2009 Cumulative Winners
Donny Lia (Mods) 3x
Andy Seuss (Mods) 2x
Chris Wimmer (ASA MW) 2x
Mike Rowe (PASS North)
Brandon Ward (Pro Cup)
Paul Harraka (CW West)
Corey Wiilliams (PASS South)
Steve Park (CW East)
Justin Lofton (ARCA)
Eddie MacDonald (LM)
Derek Ramstrom (PASS North)
Parker Klligerman (ARCA)
Brian Campbell (CRA, ASA LM)
Earl Paules (Mods)
Bubba Pollard (Blizzard SLM)
Jamey Caudill (UARA)
Jay Fogelman (PASS South)
Ross Kenseth (Big 8)
Ted Christopher (Mods)
Eric Beers (Mods)
Aric Almirola (PASS South)
Earl Pearson, Jr. (WoO LM)
George Brunnhoelzl, III (Mods)
Matt Hirschman (Mods)
David Rogers (SLM)
Matt Kobyluck (CW East)
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