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

It looked like any shot of winning was over with for Donny Lia after he made contact with Ted Christopher and spun in Thursday night's NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Thompson International Speedway (CT).  The pressure was on Lia to just salvage a decent finish.

But Lia didn't get the memo.  He drove like a man possessed and didn't even bother to pit for his Mystic Missile team to look over their car.  Lia got back into the lead and went on to win the race over archival Christopher.

If that isn't coming through in the clutch, we don't know what is.  So that is why Lia earned this week's Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance award. 

Here were a few of our voter comments on Lia's march to victory:

"My vote Hands Down is for Donny Lia at Thompson.   He charged back through the field with vengeance after spinning due to contact with

TC. He got around TC with a few to go to finish the charge and get the trophy."

"Lia recovered from a spin to run down TC and take the win."

Lia now joins fellow Modified pilot Andy Seuss and ASA Midwest Tour driver Chris Wimmer as the only two-time weekly winners of the Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award in 2009.

Here are our honorable mentions for this week:

Andy Seuss (WSMT)- Last week's winner of the Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award came just two votes shy of becoming our first repeat winner of the award.  But now, Seuss will just have to settle for being one of three (along with Donny Lia and Chris Wimmer) two-time winners of the award in 2009.

Seuss got the nod from our voters for keeping his cool during a hot Myrtle Beach NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race where tires wore out in just a few laps.  For the first half of the race, Seuss was nearly a lap down, but he put the hammer down late in the going and won his third WSMT feature of the season.

Jeff Fultz (CRA) - As one of the most accomplished short track racers in the country, Jeff Fultz is used to winning...often.  But the Super Late Model barnstormer has been shut out of victory lane for nearly two seasons now.  He's notched plenty of runner-up and podium finishes, but winning just hasn't been in the cars for him.

Until this weekend.

Fultz went out and won Monday's CRA Super Series event at Winchester Speedway (IN) to end that dry spell - coming through nicely in the clutch to do so.

"He's had the monkey on his back for so long it was a big sigh of relief for all when he won a Winchester," wrote one of our voters.

Lonnie Sommerville (SLM) - The Peterbilt 250 is one of the biggest short track events in all of Canada.  With such a lofty title comes plenty of pressure for entrants.  There's no doubt Lonnie Sommerville felt that pressure.

But Sommerville didn't let that get to him.  He came out on top of a late race dogfight with Shawn Turple and Johnny Clark to win the race and a few votes from our panel.

Dave Pembroke (ACT) - ACT chief Tom Curley reportedly compared running 200 laps caution free at Thunder Road Speedbowl (VT) to a no hitter in baseball and it almost happened on Sunday.  Pembroke led from flag-to-flag and only got one chance in the final 20 laps of the race, to catch his breath under caution to do so.

"David Pembroke gets my vote!" wrote one of our voters.  "David absolutely dominated the 30 car field on
the ACT Tour during the Bond Auto Labour Day Classic.  He led flag-to-flag the event and putting down a lap 25 of the 30 participants and leading by as much as half a track.

Jan Leaty (RoC Mods) - Jan Leaty won this weekend's RoC Asphalt Modified race at Oswego as a tune-up for the upcoming Race of Champions at the track.

"He's ready for the RoC," wrote one of our voters.

Justin Johnson (LMSC)  - Late Model Stock Car driver Justin Johnson earned a vote from our panel this time around.

"His first win since March at South Boston Speedway came Saturday, and he needed those bonus points for winning to get the track championship by a really slim margin," wrote our panelist.

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

2009 Quarter Master
"Clutch Performance of the Week"

1.  Andy Seuss  (Mods)
2.  Justin Lofton  (ARCA)
3.  Brian Loftin  (WSMT)
4.  Chase Elliott (PASS South)
5.  Colt James  (ASA LM)

2009 Cumulative Winners

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)
Donny Lia (Mods) 2x
Parker Klligerman (ARCA)
Brian Campbell (CRA, ASA LM)
Earl Paules (Mods)
Bubba Pollard (Blizzard SLM)
Jamey Caudill  (UARA)
Chris Wimmer (ASA MW) 2x
Jay Fogelman  (PASS South)
Ross Kenseth  (Big 8)
Ted Chriistopher  (Mods)
Eric Beers (Mods)
Aric Almirola (PASS South)
Andy Seuss  (Mods) 2x
Earl Pearson, Jr.  (WoO LM)
George Brunnhoelzl, III (Mods)
Matt Hirschman (Mods)
David Rogers  (SLM)
Matt Kobyluck  (CW East)
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Jim Dupont Photo