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 ...
43rd Annual Snowball Derby
Welcome to a special Snowball Derby week edition of the Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week competition. For a final time during the 2010 racing season, we'll look back at who came through in the clutch the most from the previous week.
There were plenty of stories to be told after the 43rd Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. A number of drivers were able to overcome long odds and post good finishes in the Derby and in the Snowflake 100 Pro Late Model event.
Johanna Long was one of those drivers. The 18-year-old old grew up around Five Flags and watched her father Donald race in the Derby for years. So the pressure that she put on herself could have been overwhelming. She also faced plenty of pressure during a wild and crazy final few laps of the race where the event seemed more like bumper cars than the biggest Super Late Model race in the land.
But still, Long stepped up when it mattered the most and won the event in her third attempt. To say the victory was wildly popular among the Pensacola fans would be a big understatement.
That performance allowed Johanna Long to be named as this week's winner of the Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award.
Here are a few of our panelist comments about Long's performance:
"I know it will be the popular vote... but Johanna Long is my pick. She was up front, spun, was mid-pack and then came back... in the Clutch, to win in the closing laps. It's a race where she is expected to do well. All the weight of the world is on her at the Derby as a local girl, fan favorite and daughter of Donald Long."
"The pressure that she put on herself to win the Snowball Derby was huge, but that didn't stop her from pulling it off."
"Those were some wild final laps of the Snowball Derby, but Johanna Long came out on top and that wasn't easy to do."
This is the first time in 2010 that Johanna Long has won the weekly Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Year award.
Here are our honorable mentions for this week:
Chase Elliott (Snowflake 100) - After problems in the technical inspection line, Chase Elliott needed to start near the rear of the field for the Snowflake 100. Add the fact that he is also the 2010 Blizzard Series champion and the son of former NASCAR Cup champion Bill Elliott and you would think that this 14-year-old had almost an unmanagable amount of pressure on him heading into Saturday night's Pro Late Model race.
Elliott didn't let it get to him though. When the 100 lap race was over, he found himself as the race winner. Now that's coming through in the clutch.
Dennis Schoenfeld (Snowball Derby) - Early problems in the Snowball Derby left Dennis Schoenfeld four laps down. The lucky dog rule helped him out a little and keeping cool through that pressure helped a lot, as Schoenfeld stayed out of trouble and came home with a very impressive fifth place finish. That earned him an honorable mention from our panel of experts.
Mason Mingus (Snowball Derby) - Given the facts of his week, Mason Mingus shouldn't have even qualified for the Snowball Derby. That's not because he lacks any talent or because his team doesn't put their best foot forward, but it is because he had so much to overcome during the week.
Mingus was a rookie at the Derby. He suffered a blown engine early in the week. He had trouble in tech like many other competitors. Yet, Mingus qualified successfully for his first Derby.
Then he got spun early in the race. So a good finish wasn't to be expected. Mingus wasn't paying attention to convensional wisdom again though and he pressed on. Eventually, he was rewarded with a seventh place finish. His efforst against all odds weren't lost on our voters and Mingus earned himself an honorable mention with his hard work.
Quarter Master salutes Johanna Long on this week’s Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award.
"Clutch Performance of the Week"
1. Justin Wakefield (SLM)
2. Jeff Fultz (SLM)
3. Augie Grill (PLM)
2010 Cumulative Winners
Preston Peltier (3x)
Andrew Ranger (2x)
Joey Pole (2x)
Darrell Wallace, Jr.
Bobby Santos, III
Tommy St. John
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