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 ...
Outlaw Super Late Models
The problem with running twin features on the same night is that if you wreck a car in race number one, you are behind the eight ball for race number two. Sometimes, you can patch a car back together to make the green flag and sometimes you might be able to race it, but that task is never easy.
But when Bobby Stremme wrecked his car during the first Outlaw Super Late feature on Saturday night at New Paris Speedway (IN), all of the King's horses and all of the King's men were not going to be able to put it back together again for the second feature. The car was likely destroyed.
Stremme wasn't done though. He got behind the wheel of Mike Shewchuk's #6x for the second feature of the night and wasn't rattled one bit. Stremme won the race and salvaged his night at New Paris.
That performance allowed Bobby Stremme to be named as our Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week winner this time around.
Stremme enjoyed a narrow victory this week and that is because the field was a big one. More drivers than we can remember recieved honorable mentions this week for their clutch performances.
Here is what one of our voters had to say about why Stremme was their pick:
"Bobby Stremme get my vote after wrecking, or should I say destroying, his car in the Pat Riley Memorial at New Paris, then getting in someone else's car and winning second feature of the night."
Here are our honorable mentions for this week:
Trevor Sanborn (PASS North) - We don't remember how many times Trevor Sanborn has finished second in the PASS North Super Late Model series, but it is more than fair to say that there has been a giant sized monkey on his back when it comes to winning on the tour. Well, that is no longer true. Sanborn tossed that monkey into the adjoining Connecticut River on Saturday night after winning at Riverside Speedway in Northern New Hampshire. It was a true clutch performance by the young Maine driver.
Here is what one of our voters had to say...
"Trevor Sanborn finally got the PASS North win he deserves. He also gets my vote."
Darrell Wallace, Jr. (K&N East) - Darrell Wallace, Jr. scored a victory int he NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Lee USA Speedway (NH) after going from third to first on a green-white-checkered restart and driving under Ryan Truex to get out front. Truex wasn't happy, and spun Wallace after the race, but the gutsy move is what earned Wallace the victory...and a nod as an honorable mention in the Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week competition.
Rowan Pennink (WMT) - Trevor Sanborn wasn't the only driver to throw a monkey off his back last weekend. Rowan Pennink tackled Riverhead Raceway (NY) to score his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory. It had been awhile coming for the driver who finished within the top five of the WMT standings last year and it was definately a clutch performance.
Ryan Preece (WMT) - Event he runner-up at Riverhead attracted the notice of our voters. Ryan Preece earned an honorable mention this week for finishing second at Riverhead and this voter comment explains why:
"Ryan Preece gets my vote," it read. "For coming back through the field after spinning and almost winning at Riverhead."
Robb Brent (ARCA) - Pocono Raceway is a tricky place to get around, but that didn't stop Robb Brent from scoring his first career ARCA Racing Series victory there last Saturday.
Frank Ruocco (SK Mods) - The SK 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) is the longest race of the season for that division at the track where that type of racecar was born. Winning it isn't easy, but the extra distance might have come in handy for Frank Ruocco, who spun early and then came back to win. AMong the drivers that he beat to do that were Ted Christopher and Keith Rocco - a 17-time feature winner in Connecticut SK/Sunoco Modified competition this year. Talk about pressure on several fronts - yet Ruocco still managed to perform his way to victory lane.
DJ Vanderley (PLM) - DJ Vanderley has been pretty much unstoppable in the Pro Late Model ranks at Five Flags Speedway (FL) and Mobile International Speedway (AL) so far this year. Last week was no exception, despite a few big guns towing in to try and unseat him in victory lane. Vandreley swept both features and earned this vote:
"Even with Pollard in the line up at Five Flags and Clay Alexander the next night at Mobile DJ still won both PLM races."
Todd Annarummo (Mods) - It was the middle of last week when Todd Annarummo came through in the clutch during the Modified Madness open compeition show at Seekonk Speedway (MA), but that was still fresh in the memory of one of our voters and for that, Annarummo scores an honorable mention in this week's competition:
"Todd Annarummo [gets my vote] for his first ever modified win. Running second and making a late race pass in the big purse Open Wheel Wednesday show at Seekonk."
John Dillon (SLM) - Heading out west, we recived this nomination from one of our panelists this week:
"John Dillon, who ended Gary Lewis' three-year winning streak in the Idaho 200."
Andy Shaw (PASS Mods) - After being involved in an early tangle in the PASS Modified feature at Riverside Speedway (NH), Andy Sahw had to act quick to get back through the field to win the 40-lap feature. But that's exactly what he did and it earned the notice of our panel.
Mark Hayward (ACT) - Winning your first ACT Late Model race could never be an easy task. But holding off Ben Rowe and battling Brent Dragon for that victory makes it even more pressure-packed. Still, Mark Hayward did both of those things on Friday night to win at Twin State Speedway (NH) and earn an honorable mention for the Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week this time around.
Kevin Swindell (K&N East) - Kevin Swindell finished ninth in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race in a car that looked like it probably should have been carted off the track on the hook of a wrecker. To come through and salvage a top ten finish after the night he had, Swindell earned an honorable mention in the race for the Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week.
Quarter Master salutes Scott Hantz on this week’s Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award.