Clanton Prepares For Lernerville Speedway’s Ninth Annual Firecracker 100 Presented By GottaRace.com June 25-27
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Points Leader Hopes to Add $30,000 Firecracker 100 Victory to His Stellar 2015 Season
By Joshua Joiner, WoO LMS PR
SARVER, Pa. – June 22, 2015 – With a career-high five World of Outlaws Late Model Series victories already to his credit and a commanding lead in the national tour’s points chase, Shane Clanton is well on his way to making the 2015 season the best of his career. But the Zebulon, Ga., driver would like to add even more luster to his stellar year with a crown jewel victory in this weekend’s ninth annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com at Lernerville Speedway.
Clanton, whose career highlights include a Firecracker 100 victory in 2010, will be among a star-studded field of Dirt Late Models converging on Lernerville’s 4/10-mile oval for three nights of WoO LMS action as part of one of the summer’s biggest race weekends. Both Thursday and Friday will feature separate WoO LMS programs that determine the lineups for Firecracker 100 heat races. Those heats will kick off a blockbuster night Saturday evening that culminates in the 100-lap, $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 finale.
“Our goal is always to have a good season on the series and try to win a championship, but it also means a lot to win the big races,” said Clanton who leads the WoO LMS standings by 94 points as he chases his first career series title. “It’ll be a great year if we end up winning the championship, but to be able to look back and say we’ve had a helluva season, we really want to win one of those big races like the Firecracker to go along with it.”
The Firecracker 100 is certainly among the events that can make the best seasons even better. Along with offering one of the year’s highest payouts, the event has developed a prestige that makes it one of the Dirt Late Model racing’s most coveted big-race wins.
That prestige attracts talented fields to Lernerville’s 4/10-mile oval every year, making a Firecracker 100 victory all the more difficult to achieve. But for Clanton and his Weldbank Energy-sponsored Capital Race Cars house car team, competing against one of the toughest fields of the season only makes winning the race more meaningful.
“We race against tough fields every night on the Outlaws,” Clanton said. “But there’ll be some sure enough heavy hitters at Lernerville – the Outlaws regulars, guys from the other series and regional and local guys. When you have that many quality cars and you run good and win, that’s the kind of stuff that makes a year even more special.”
Clanton has other reasons to desire a victory in the year’s Firecracker. A year ago, he entered the event hoping for a solid weekend to help turnaround a sluggish first half of the 2014 season. Instead, Clanton’s hopes of a second Firecracker 100 victory ended early on Saturday night when he was disqualified from the event following a heat race run-in with Chub Frank (Clanton made contact with Frank’s car during a caution period and per WoO LMS rules, was disqualified from the remainder of the event).
“Last year I was especially looking forward to Lernerville, but circumstances just kept us out of the race,” Clanton said. “You always look forward to going back to a place that you’ve run good at and a race that I’ve won before, but yeah, I’m really looking forward to going back there this time.”
While he would like to score some redemption in his return to Lernerville, Clanton has certainly already put the disappointment of last year’s Firecracker 100 outcome well behind him. In fact, he’s essentially put the entire 2014 season out of memory with his fantastic performance this year.
After last year going winless on the WoO LMS for the first time since the tour was restarted under the World Racing Group banner in 2004 and recording just seven top-five finishes on his way to a 7th-place points finish, Clanton has been the exact opposite this season with 15 top fives in 18 races and a series-leading five wins.
Clanton acknowledges that part of his improved performance can be attributed simply to better luck this season over last, but he and his team have done a much better job of putting themselves in positions to capitalize when things fall their way. He’ll look to do that once again this weekend at Lernerville.
“The main thing we focus on is having a good enough car to take advantage when the luck is going our way,” Clanton said. “When you’ve got luck, but you’re not running any good, the luck usually doesn’t mean anything. You’ve gotta have luck in this deal, but you also have to have a good enough car to put yourself in a position where you can take advantage of that luck.
“We’re just trying to keep the ball rolling right now like we have all year and just trying to keep putting ourselves in positions to win races. If we can just keep it rolling and keep things on track, maybe we’ll come up with another big win at the Firecracker.”
The Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com kicks off on Thurs., June 25 with a complete WoO LMS program featuring a 30-lap, $6,000-to-win A-Main. Another preliminary night program is set for Fri., June 26 with another 30-lap, $6,000-to-win main event.
The two prelim events determine the lineups for Firecracker 100 heat races on Sat., June 27. Those heat races, along with Last-Chance Showdowns will set the lineup for the $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 finale. Saturday night also features the $3,000-to-win Uncle Sam 30 for non-qualifiers.
The Firecracker 100 weekend also includes plenty of activities off the track to keep fans entertained. The third annual Firecracker 100 Kick-It Cup Kickball Game and Silent Auction will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon. The kickball game features drivers competing in a friendly match to raise awareness and money for programs and research devoted to childhood cancer.
Kick-It Cup Participants will include Gregg Satterlee, Shane Clanton, Rick Eckert, Tim McCreadie, Morgan Bagley, Boom Briggs, Eric Wells and several others. To raise money for the fight against childhood cancer, fans can donate money on behalf of their favorite participating driver by logging on to http://www.kick-it.org/games/2015/06/3rd-annual-firecracker-100-kick-it-cup where each driver’s name can be found in the pulldowns under ‘Team 1’ and ‘Team 2.’
Following Thursday night’s WoO LMS action, national recording artists LOCASH will headline the Froggyland Hometown Country Tour in the parking lot behind the turn four grandstands. LOCASH will be joined on stage by opening acts Abby Abbondanza from Hillbilly Way and Cody Gibson. Friday night’s concert will follow post-race fireworks and features Thursday night alums the Justin Fabus Band and Vanessa Campagna along with newcomer Bridget McCrum.
Saturday afternoon features the traditional slate of Fan/Driver Horseshoe and Cornhole tournaments, followed by the driver autograph session later in the afternoon.
For more information on the Firecracker 100 and Lernerville Speedway, visit http://www.lernerville.com/firecracker-100-presented-by-gottaracecom. Tickets for the event can be purchased now at https://dirtcar.ticketforce.com.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com. Fans can also follow the WoO LMS on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/WoOLateModels and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsLateModelSeries
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Bad Boy Buggies (Official Side-by-Side Vehicle), The Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience (Official Racing Experience), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Lincoln Welder (Official Welder), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors: Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Mobil 1, MSD, Ohlins Shocks, QA1, QuarterMaster, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Club 29 Chassis, Integra Shocks, Impact Racing Products, Intercomp, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, and TNT Rescue.