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 ...
Les Hinckley
#06 - Modified Racing Series

What a weekend it was for Les Hinckley.

The Connecticut driver led early in the Modified Racing Series event on Saturday at Airborne Speedway (NY), but got passed for the lead in the second half of the race by Rowan Pennink.

Hinckley then stayed with Pennink and when lapped traffic held up the leader, he took advantage of the situation and shot into the lead.  At the finish line, Hinckley and Pennink tangled and wrecked...hard.

So Hinckley went to victory lane without his racecar while his team started working on the car.  They were planning on racing the next day in the MRS event at Thunder Road Speedbowl (VT) and didn't have the luxury of a back-up machine.  Hinckley's team worked on the car at Airborne, loaded it up and worked on it more at T-Road.  They couldn't fix a bent front snout though and Hinckley had no choice to race it wounded.  He still managed a sixth-place finish.
That performance allowed Les Hinckley to be named as the winner of this week's Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award.

So there was no question that Hinckley won the Quarter Master award this week as he won by a healthy margin.  But we aren't sure which races he actually own it for - as our judges were split on whether he came through in the clutch more at Airborne or Thunder Road.

Here are a few of our panelist comments on Gresham this week...

"Les Hinckley and his team worked late into the night on Saturday, early on Sunday and he still took a car with a bent front snout to a sixth-place finish at Thunder Road.  Now that is coming through in the clutch!"

"Les Hinckley - At Airborne, he led till lap 75 when passed on a restart by Pennink. When Pennink was slowed by a lap car coming off turn four to take the checker, Hinckley pounced and grabbed the win."

"Victory and the defeat of a wrecked racecar within seconds of each other.  Definately a crazy weekend for Les Hinckley."


Here are our honorable mentions for this week:

Chase Elliott (Blizzard Series) - In the season opener for the Blizzard Super Late Model Series at Pensacola's Five Flags Speedway (FL), Chase Elliott buzzed his tires on a late race restart and missed going to victory lane.  He learned a few things in the time since and won round two of the Blizzard Series last Friday night at the track.  Losing a race no doubt put plenty of pressure on the young driver, but he thrived on that pressure and came through in the clutch to win.

Andy Loden (PASS South) - It could have been stressed for Andy Loden to make the switch from Late Model Stock Cars to Super Late Models, but he didn't let the pressure get to him.  Loden came through in the clutch by winning the PASS South race at Concord Speedway and earned an honorable mention in the race for the Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week as a result.

Here is what one of our voters had to say:

"Andy Loden gets his first PASS South win at Concord - we knew it wouldn't take long!"

Bobby Santos (WMT) - Once again, Bobby Santos, III won a pole on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (He's three-for-three so far this year) and for the second time in three races he also won.  This latest victory came last Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway where Santos came out on top after some crazy late race antics by a few other leaders.

Ray Cook (Dirt LM) - After winning a wild and ultra - competitive Show Me 100 Dirt Late Model race, Ray Cook earned this vote:

"Ten years after his first major dirt LM win in the Show-Me 100 at West Plains MO, he reeled off another Show-Me victory. Who cares if the track's different (Wheatland MO) ... at least it's in the same state."

Jim Storace (Mods) - Two weeks ago, Jim Storace wrecked hard in his Modified at Shangri-La II Speedway (NY), heavily damaging his car and earning a trip to the hospital as a result.  The next week, he was back in  action there and this weekend he broke through to win the Modified feature.  Coming back from trouble is always a great way to come through in the clutch, so we salute Jim Storace for a job well done.

Patrick Laperle (ACT) - Patrick Laperle started deep in the field for the most recent ACT Castrol Series race, but he didn't waste any time getting to the front.  he went on to win the race and earned this vote:

"For the second week in a row Patrick Laperle dominated and won the ACT CASTROL Edge series.  From his 16th starting position he threaded his way to first place by lap 24.  Once in the lead, despite the numerous restarts, he was never really challenged."

Bobby Measmer, Jr. (PASS South)- It was almost a storybook race for Bobby Measmer, Jr. at Concord Speedway (NC) last Saturday night.  He made his first PASS South start and was quick all day long.  He lined up ninth on the grid, but had early problems in the race.  Often racers hope that a miss is caused by a bad plug wire and this time that was true for Measmer.  His BDI Racing team changed a plug wire and Measmer rocketed back up to second just a few days before the birth of his daughter. 

It could have been a Cinderella story until Kevin Love turned Measmer up into the wall ended his day.  Still, Measmer earned an honorable mention for what might have been.  Here was what one of our voters had to say:

"Bobby Measmer Jr. at Concord working his way up to 2nd before getting taken out gets my vote this week."


Quarter Master salutes Les Hinckley on this week’s Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award.

Quarter Master
"Clutch Performance of the Week"

1.  Les Hinckley (MRS)
2.  Chase Elliott  (Blizzard SLM)
3.  Andy Loden  (PASS South)
4.  Bobby Santos, III (WMT)
5.  Ray Cook (Dirt LM)

2010 Cumulative Winners

Preston Peltier  (2x)
Fadden Racing
Billy Moyer
Jeff Choquette
Wayne Anderson
Jeff Fultz
Andy Seuss
Justin South
Darrell Wallace, Jr.
Bobby Santos, III
Johnny VanDoorn
Mike Rowe
Brian Campbell
Ross Kenseth
Max Gresham
Les Hinckley
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Jim Dupont Photo