Shane Clanton Eyes Redemption in Colossal 100
Shane Clanton will be seeking redemption when the world's top dirt late model racers invade The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway for the April 20-21 Circle K Colossal 100.
Clanton, 31, of Locust Grove, Ga., won his heat race during the inaugural Circle K Colossal 100 last year, but completed only four laps in the main event before a mechanical failure left him last in the 36-car field.
"We broke a driveshaft last year," Clanton said. "It was a bad deal, but you try to enter every race with the best equipment. As much as we are on the road, you're going to have part failures. We try to limit those, which is key to our success."
Clanton was born into dirt-track racing. His late father, Billy, was a competitor on the nomadic National Dirt Racing Association circuit during the 1970s and '80s. His two brothers, Joey and Rusty, are also enjoying successful racing careers.
Rusty, the oldest of the Clanton brothers, raced stock cars on both dirt and pavement before becoming a crew chief. He currently oversees the Ergon Racing entries driven by Marc Mitchell in the ARCA RE/MAX and NASCAR Busch Series. Clanton's other brother, Joey, was the 2000 American Speed Association rookie of the year and is sharing the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford with Stacy Compton in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this season.
Shane, the youngest of the clan, started driving sportsman cars in 1994 at age 19 and accumulated over 50 victories during an eight-year span.
"I drove my father's car," Clanton explained. "He told me if I could afford the motor, then he'd give me the car. So I put a limited motor in it, and went racing."
Clanton advanced to late models in 2002 where he continued to have success and by 2005 was competing regularly with the 360 OTC World of Outlaws Late Model Series. Last year proved to be Clanton's best season to date as he won nine races and finished the year just 16 points behind Tim McCreadie in the World of Outlaws championship chase.
"Hopefully we can win more races," Clanton said about his goal for this season. "Win more races and things will take care of themselves. We got on a hot streak there at the end of last year and really closed the gap on McCreadie. If we can get that hot streak in the beginning or the middle of the season, then, with any luck, we can get a lead like he had and it will be hard for anyone to catch us."
Although Clanton races the No. 25 SAE Parts/Stevens Plumbing and Mechanical late model for RSD Enterprises, he does much more than just show up at the race track with his helmet bag.
"I am there for every nut and bolt that's turned on my car. Every body piece that is put on it, I do it myself. I just like to work on the car," Clanton said. "Knowing every piece of my car-that's more exciting to me than going up to someone and hoping that my car is ready to race."
While many dirt-track drivers have their eyes on a NASCAR career, Clanton is content racing with the World of Outlaws.
"The level I'm competing at is basically the highest there is in dirt racing," Clanton noted. "I do this for a living. I love what I do. To just forget this and move on to the next level isn't something for me. I know I could move up to Busch or Craftsman Trucks, but I don't care to. I'm having fun and making a good living out of it."
The Friday night portion of the Circle K Colossal 100 will feature group time trials and heat races. The top two finishers in each heat will secure a spot in the 100-lap finale and a draw will determine the starting lineup.
Saturday night's program begins with a driver autograph session and on-track action includes at least four additional qualifying races to the main event. The race will be part of the 360 OTC World of Outlaws Late Model Series, but The Dirt Track's traditional format, including the extremely popular double-file restarts, will be utilized.
If purchased in advance, reserved tickets for both Friday and Saturday nights are $49 for adults and $19 for children ages 12 and under.
Two day pit passes are $60 in advance. Tickets and pit passes for the April 20-21 Circle K Colossal 100 can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.