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 ...
#91 ACT Late Model
It just didn't seem like it was Patrick Laperle's day during Sunday's running of the Fall Foliage 300 ACT Late Model race at Airborne Speedway (NY).
Laperle had handling problems early on and needed to pit for adjustments. Then he spun after the halfway mark. Since Laperle isn't running for "American" ACT points, nobody would have blamed him for just parking his orange #91 Late Model.
But quitters never win and Laperle pressed on. In fact, he pulled through so much in the clutch that he took the lead late and held off a talented pack made up of Brian Hoar, Joey Pole and Brad Leighton to win the race.
That performance allowed Patrick Laperle to be named as this week's winner of the Speed51.com / Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award.
Here were a few of our voter comments for Laperle this week:
"Patrick Laperle in the ACT race at Airborne. The defending race winner started at the front but pitted several times when his car wasn't to his liking. He later tangled with a lapped car and spun, putting him a lap down. He then unlapped himself and when he saw the opportunity at the end of the race, he passed Brian Hoar and Eric Williams in the same corner to take the lead and never look back."
"You just can't count this cat out! Laperle looked done at Airborne, but still came through in the clutch to win the race."
"As if Patrick Laperle's three straight wins (Showdown at Chaudiere, Labor Day Classic at Thunder Road and Fall Foliage at Airborne) wasn't enough to earn him this week's in the Clutch performance... The fact that he spun and recovered from going a lap down to win his 3rd Fall Foliage is my vote for this week."
Here are our honorable mentions for this week:
Johnny Clark (PASS North) - Finishing just a hair behind Laperle this week was PASS North speedster Johnny Clark - who won last week's Quarter Master Clutch of the Week award and came awfully close once again. This time around, Clark earned the nod for winning the biggest PASS race of the season - the PASS 300 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) and doing it with a car that might have not been the strongest one in the house.
Here were a few voter comments of Clark this time around:
"Johnny Clark coming through with, arguably, the biggest win of his season is my vote. Championships are built on performances like the one Clark had on Sunday. Simply flawless."
"Johnny Clark goes to a track he says isn't one of his best, takes (maybe) a top five car and wins 10K and a fifth title."
"Johnny Clark gets my vote for winning his second big money race in two weeks."
Benny Gordon (Pro Cup) - With sponsorship negotiations underway for 2011 and a large group of people attending the USARacing Pro Cup event at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN) on behalf of his sponsor, Benny Gordon delivered them a victory. He also beat the sometimes seemingly unstoppable Clay Rogers to win the race. That is coming through in the clutch on two accounts and worthy of an honorable mention this time around.
Chuck Barnes, Sr. (Street Stocks) - One of our panelsts thought outside the box this time around and nominated Chuck Barnes, Sr. for the Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award. He is why, in their own words:
"I know it is not something covered a lot by you guys, but Chuck Barnes Sr. came back from an early wreck, raced his way through the field and won the Frank Kimmel Street Stock race at Bristol Saturday, beating 56 cars that were there for that race. They only got 10 minutes of practice because of rain and drew for starting positions were Chuck started 31st, he got caught up in a pile up that took out eight other cars when some slow cars checked up in front of the pack in the first laps of the race. The team got the car fixed under red and he took it to another great victory. Of course his crew chief is Chuck Barnes Jr."
Boris Jurkovic (LM) - Boris Jurkovic is a talented wheelman, but even still it takes a lot to beat someone like Brent Sontag at his own game when racing at Illiana Speedway (IN). Although Sontag won the last two Tony Bettenhausen Memorial events, Jurkovic still beat him to win this past weekend's 2010 version of the race. That's definitely pulling through in the clutch.
Andy Shaw (PASS Modifieds) - Last season, Andy Shaw appeared to be right on track to winning the PASS Modified championship. Then, his engine was torn down in tech late in the season and some irregularities were found that may or may not have been that way when the team bought their powerplant. A large penalty parked his team for the season and left their future in doubt.
But Shaw came back this year legal and loaded for bear. He won five features...so far...and clinched the 2010 PASS Modified championship by winning at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) this past weekend. What happened last year could have killed a team, but instead the Dave and Crystal Weir-owned #66 bunch just came back more determined and pulled through in the clutch to become champions.
Quarter Master salutes Patrick Laperle on this week’s Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award.
"Clutch Performance of the Week"
1. Patrick Laperle (ACT)
2. Johnny Clark (PASS)
3. Benny Gordon (Pro Cup)
4. Chuck Barnes, Sr. (Street Stocks)
5. Boris Jurkovic (LM)
2010 Cumulative Winners
Preston Peltier (2x)
Andrew Ranger (2x)
Darrell Wallace, Jr.
Bobby Santos, III
Tommy St. John
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