Shane Clanton took advantage of a lesson learned Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway.
After pushing up the track on Lap 1 of his Heat Race, he logged the moment, learned from it, and used it against his competitors in the Feature.
While Ryan Gustin pushed up the track in Turn 2, Clanton held his line low and blasted past “The Reaper” to take the lead.
From there, Clanton, of Zebulon, GA, led every lap to score his second World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Series victory of 2022.
“When you turn into the corner, if you turn in too low, you just shove and go across the racetrack, and [Gustin] went flying across it,” Clanton said. “I just entered hard enough into the turn to get below him in Turn 2, and that was all I needed.”
While the “Georgia Bulldog” led every lap to earn the $10,000 prize, his 48th career Series triumph almost slipped away in the race’s second half. Second-place Max Blair cut a second off Clanton’s lead before a caution reset the field with 10 laps left.
“I got too high in Turn 2 over here messing with a lap car trying to drive harder to get by him,” Clanton said. “I was seeing where I could make ground better than just running with them because they were killing me down the straightaways just because they were laying out so hard getting into the corner.
“I couldn’t drive in clean air like I needed to, so I just needed to find a different place, and I just messed up that lap.”
Max Blair held on for second – his sixth podium finish of 2022. The Centerville, PA driver closed on Clanton before the yellow flag and said he may have had something for him if the caution hadn’t come out.
“Maybe if the yellow don’t come out, we got a race for the win there,” Blair said. “He was definitely better than I was early and late. I think there was a stretch in the middle that I think we could run with him.
“It feels good to be on the podium. If you get to go out there enough, good things will happen.”
Gustin settled for third after drawing the pole for the Feature.
While the Marshalltown, IA driver stated he was happy to finish on the podium with a brand-new Rocket XR1, he also felt he let another win slip away.
“I just felt like I gave it away there,” Gustin said. “It looked like there was more out there to grab and get you going, but there was absolutely nothing out there.”
Rookie of the Year leader Tanner English finished fourth in his first appearance at Williams Grove Speedway. The Benton, KY campaigner said he felt like he was hanging on to a top-five run for most of the race.
“In the beginning, we ran the bottom, and I thought it was going to come to me a little bit,” English said. “But the top never slowed down enough, and I never could keep up with them down there, so I didn’t really have nothing for them. I was lucky just to hang in there and get fourth.”
English gained points in the championship standings on Dennis Erb Jr., who finished seventh. He’s now 158 points behind the Carpentersville, IL driver. However, English lost points to Max Blair in the Rookie of the Year battle. He leads Blair by 16 points with 17 races remaining.
Rick Eckert, from York, PA, rounded out the top five. The 2011 Series champion stated his car wasn’t tight enough to contend for the win.
“I needed to be a little tighter,” Eckert said. “You needed to be tight to be able to run that cushion like the top three did. I tried to get off the cushion, and I did for a few laps after the restart, which is when I got [English], and on the next restart, I got stuck on the outside, and he got back by me.”
Shane Clanton’s lesson at Williams Grove showed him the path to victory and gave him momentum for the rest of the triple header weekend.
“[Sharon’s] a good racetrack for me too,” Clanton said. “It ain’t near as big as a half-mile, but our car is real good and real balanced right now, and I think we can carry it anywhere we go.”
UP NEXT: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet return to Sharon Speedway in Hartford, OH, for the Battle at the Border on Saturday, Aug. 20. Then, they travel to Tri-City Raceway Park in Franklin, PA, on Sunday, Aug. 21
If you can’t make it to the tracks, watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online on with the DIRTVision App.
CASE Construction Feature (40 Laps): 1. 25-Shane Clanton; 2. 111V-Max Blair; 3. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 4. 81E-Tanner English; 5. 0E-Rick Eckert; 6. 66JR-Eddie Carrier Jr; 7. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 8. 1-Josh Richards; 9. 15K-Dale Hollidge; 10. 43A-Jason Covert; 11. 45-Kyle Hardy; 12. 66C-Matt Cosner; 13. C9-Steve Casebolt; 14. B1-Brent Larson; 15. 1K-Gene Knaub; 16. 11-Gordy Gundaker; 17. 14-Tyler Horst; 18. 32-Coleby Frye; 19. 9Z-Mason Zeigler; 20. 32J-Shaun Jones; 21. 99B-Boom Briggs; 22. 2J-Justin Weaver; 23. 59-Chad Julius; 24. 2-Dan Stone FOX FACTORY HARD CHARGER: Eddie Carrier Jr. [+8].