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 2010 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 and the 2009 winner Jeff Fultz.

This week's "Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week" goes to ...
Bobby Santos, III
#4 Mystic Missile Modified

This past off-season, one of the most stories rides in all of Modified racing...ever...became open.  A driver was needed for the #4 Mystic Missile Modified.   Rumors flew about who would drive the car to replace 2007 and 2009 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Donny Lia in the ride.  A  few of the name tossed around were Matt Hirschman, Rowan Pennink, Doug Coby and even a return performance by former Tour champion Jerry Marquis.

While some of those rumors were bunk and some were rooted in truth, the choice ended up being Bobby Santos, III.  While Santos' career included plenty of open-wheel victories and a brief, but promising outing in what is now known as the NASCAR Nationwide Series, his Modified resume only included one victory heading into the 2010 season.

But Santos proved he was worthy of being the chosen driver for the Mystic Missile as he won the pole and the race for this past weekend's season opening Icebreaker at Thompson International Speedway (CT).

That performance allowed Bobby Santos, III to be named as the winner of this week's Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award.

Peltier's power move was so strong that he scored an overwhelming victory in our Clutch competition once the votes were tallied up.  To be honest, the voting wasn't even close this time around.

Here are a few comments from our panel:

"[My vote goes to] Bobby Santos lll - he was quickest in practice, set a new track record and dominated the Icebreaker!"

"Santos had some tough shoes to fill driving for the championship team on the NASCAR Modified Tour, but to win the pole and the race in his first outing for the team shows he was the right man for the job."


Here are our honorable mentions for this week:

Derek Ramstrom (SLM) - On Thursday, Derek Ramstrom was hoping to make his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West debut at Phoenix International Raceway (AZ), but a hard wreck led to an early trip home.  On top of a tough day in the last NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at South Boston Speedway (VA), Ramstrom had plenty to hang his head about.

But the teen racer didn't give up.  He got back home and headed to the nearby Thompson International Speedway - where he was the 2009 Super Late Model champion.  Ramstrom won on Saturday in his feature race and backed that up with a second victory that came after a last lap pass on Sunday afternoon - coming through in the clutch and leaving the K&N Pro woes a distant memory.

Here is one of our panelist's comments:

"Derek Ramstrom - One super late model win at Thompson is hard - two in a row even harder!"

Steve Arpin (ARCA) - On Sunday on the tough bullring of Salem Speedway (IN), Steve Arpin broke on through to win his first career ARCA Series event.  That earned him the notice of a few voters this week in the quest for the Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week crown.

Here is what one of our voters had to say:

"Steve Arpin...seems to be good no matter whose ARCA car he's in."

Bubba Pollard (Blizzard Series SLM) - There was plenty of pressure to perform on Bubba Pollard this week as the 2010 Blizzard Series opened up at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.  Pollard, Augie Grill and Johanna Long had dominated the Blizzard races there over the last while, but there were plenty of big guns who aimed to take them down this time around.  Josh Hamner, Chase Elliott, Jeff Fultz and Mike Garvey were just a few of the guys aiming to take that trip down.

Elliott actually came close to doing just that.  He led the race last on Friday night, but buzzed his tires on the final few restarts.  Meanwhile, Pollard was flawless and won the race.  In doing so, he earned a few votes from our panel this time around.

Keith Sterkowitz (CRA Sportsman Series) - Despite winning the inaugural CRA Sportsman Series championship, Keith Sterkowitz had never won a feature event on the tour in his career.

Well, that was up until this weekend at least.

Sterkowitz wasn't paralyzed by the pressure to win a race and was the top dog in the Cabin Fever 200 at Plymouth Speedway (IN)

Dale Planck (DIRT) - Enough DIRT Big-Block Modifieds go home after time trials at any given race that they could make their own high-quality feature event.  So to win one is tough and brings about plenty of pressure.  But Dale Planck thrived on that pressure to win this past weekend's race at Fulton Speedway (NY).  That earned an honorable mention by our voters this week.


Quarter Master salutes Bobby Santos, III on this week’s Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award.

Quarter Master
"Clutch Performance of the Week"

1.  Bobby Santos, III (WMT)
2.  Derek Ramstrom (SLM)
3.  Steve Arpin (ARCA)
4.  Bubba Pollard (SLM)
5.  Keith Sterkowitz (CRA Sportsman)

2010 Cumulative Winners

Fadden Racing
Billy Moyer
Jeff Choquette
Wayne Anderson
Jeff Fultz
Andy Seuss
Justin South
Darrell Wallace, Jr.
Preston Peltier
Bobby Santos, III
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Rick Ibsen Photo