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World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series

Clanton eyes Volusia run despite serious infection

February 1, 2010, 6:28 am
By Kevin Kovac
World of Outlaws Late Model Series
Shane Clanton
Shane Clanton

The only place Shane Clanton wants to be right now is in his race shop, making final preparations for the 2010 season-opening World of Outlaws Late Model Series events on Feb. 11 and 13 during the 39th annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. Instead, the WoO LMS star is in an Atlanta-area hospital, undergoing treatment for complications related to a cut he suffered on his left thumb.

Clanton, 34, of Locust Grove, Ga., was working on his RSD Enterprises racing equipment on Jan. 26 when he sliced his finger on a bolt. He thought the injury would amount to just a minor nuisance, but significant swelling from an infection that set in left him no choice but to seek medical assistance the following night. He was immediately admitted to the hospital and was still there as of Sunday evening.

"They pumped me up with fluids and cut my thumb to try to get the infection out," said Clanton, speaking by phone from his hospital room on Sunday night. "The next day there was more swelling, so I had to have surgery on the thumb.

"It's been a frustrating waiting game since the operation for Clanton, who said doctors told him that his problems likely stemmed from a case of strep throat he happened to have at the same time he cut his thumb. Clanton said he hadn't been feeling well for several days before suffering the injury and he might have unwittingly transferred strep bacteria into his open wound, causing his serious infection.

Clanton said he was hopeful that a weekend of treatment with antibiotics would put him on the road to recovery. He was scheduled for further evaluation on Monday and a positive opinion from doctors would likely allow him to head home.

"I'll be there (at Volusia) for the World of Outlaws races," said Clanton, who is unsure if he'll arrive at the half-mile oval in time for the DIRTcar UMP Late Model programs (Feb. 8, 9, 10) that kick off the full-fender of the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. "I'm not missing the start of the season. My thumb might not be 100 percent, but my doctor said I can race as long as I can take a little bit of pain."

Clanton is focused on erasing memories of a frustrating 2009 season. He entered the campaign with high hopes after enjoying a career year in '08 highlighted by his World 100 triumph at Ohio's Eldora Speedway, but managed just one WoO victory and slipped to a sixth-place finish in the points standings.

A WoO regular since 2005, Clanton finished a career-best second in the tours 2006 points standings. He has committed to chasing the national tour again in 2010 behind the wheel of car owner Ronnie Dobbins's Rocket machines.

Another Bloomquist appeal upheld

Scott Bloomquist's WoO penalties for tire-cheating violations last November at the Dirt Track at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway were upheld Friday after a second and final appeal. The 2004 WoO champion remain suspended from World Racing Group competition (UMP DIRTcar and WoO events) until May 8.

In his first appeal on Dec. 10, Bloomquist's fine was reduced $10,000 in a case connected to chemically-altered tires. But after both appeals, Bloomquist continues his six-month suspension and a year-long probation through Nov. 7. — Chris Dolack

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