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Cleveland Speedway

Clanton rolls to $11,000 sweep at Cleveland

November 23, 2008, 5:34 am
By Brian McLeod
DirtonDirt.com correspondent
Shane Clanton sits in his twice-winning car at Cleveland. (Brian McLeod)
Shane Clanton sits in his twice-winning car at Cleveland. (Brian McLeod)

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (Nov. 22) — With some cold hard cash — emphasis on cold — up for grabs the final weekend of the season at Cleveland Speedway, Shane Clanton grabbed $11,000 with a sweep of two Super Late Model features on the Joe Lee Johnson Memorial weekend. | Friday's racing postponed

The Locust Grove, Ga., driver capped his impressive World 100-winning season by winning from the pole in the 27-lap Joe Lee Johnson Memorial as well as the 50-lap O'Reilly Southern All Star-sanctioned Gobbler at the third-mile oval promoted by Monty Morrow. On a weekend when freezing temperatures and even a freezing track surface plagued racers, Clanton earned $2,700 for the first victory, $5,000 for the second victory and a $3,300 bonus from track sponsor Car Smart Auto Sales.

Clanton's weekend didn't start out too good as he crashed in hot laps in Friday's action. But Clanton got a reprieve when racing was postponed to Saturday because of the track surface issues caused when temperatures dipped into the 20s. Clanton went to a backup car on Saturday and turned his weekend around in a big way.

In the 27-lap opener, Clanton led every lap from the pole for a victory in the afternoon's tuneup feature. His familiar yellow No. 25 Rocket Chassis remained well ahead of a side-by-side battle for second place between low-running Dale McDowell of Rossville, Ga., and Skip Arp of Georgetown, Tenn. Scooting through traffic a little quicker in the last five laps, Arp snuck away from McDowell to claim the runner-up spot. McDowell settled for third ahead of Chris Madden and seventh-row starter Jimmy Owens.

Later in the doubleheader program, outside front-row starter Madden led the opening circuits of the 50-lap Sonya's Used Cars-sponsored Gobbler over the polesitting Clanton, who closely chased the Gray Court, S.C., driver until making a move for the top spot when Madden left a slight opening on the backstretch. While Madden faded in the field, McDowell moved past him into second place.

Clanton pulled away from the pack although McDowell steadily kept his Warrior Race Cars house car just three or four lengths behind, looking for an opportunity that never arrived. Despite four cautions that , McDowell settled for a runner-up finish over Arp, Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn., and 11th-starting Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga. Weaver switched to car owner Mike Hill's No. 11 after suffering motor problems with his primary car in the first feature event of the ambitious twin-race program.

While Friday's stop-and-go action was eventually pushed back to Saturday, the second-day action scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ran smoothly with Clanton's second victory wrapping up about 7:30 p.m.

Ivedent Lloyd Jr. of Ocala, Fla., clinched his second consecutive O'Reilly Southern All Star championship merely by appearing for the event.

O'Reilly SAS @ Cleveland: (1) Shane Clanton, (2) Dale McDowell, (3) Skip Arp, (4) Randy Weaver, (5) Clint Smith, (6) Chris Madden, (7) Ray Cook, (8) Jake Knowles, (9) Jimmy Owens, (10) Anthony White, (11) Lamar Scoggins, (12) Tommy Kerr, (13) Jason Welshan, (14) Brad Coffey, (15) Shawn Chastain, (16) Johnny Chastain, (17) Anthony Hill, (18) Reuben Mayfield, (19) Kevin Gibson, (20) Todd Morrow, (21) Derek Ellis, (22) Ivedent Lloyd Jr., (23) Ethan Hunter, (24) Riley Hickman. Fast qualifier (among 31 cars): Clanton, 14.541 seconds.

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