Clanton has long climb ahead at Dream XIX
By Joshua JoinerDirtonDirt.com staff writer
ROSSBURG, Ohio (June 8) — Shane Clanton was so happy with his race car after setting fast time in Thursday’s first round of Dream XIX qualifying that he skipped the rest of Thursday’s action to make sure he kept his car in pristine condition for the rest of the weekend’s action.
Things were a little different Friday night, when Clanton tagged the wall in the second round of Dream qualifying and ended the night with just a 13th-place finish in the first of two twin-25 lap preliminary features. | Complete Dream XIX coverage
“We’re still a tick tight, so we were just trying to make our car a little bit better,” said Clanton, whose fast time from Thursday ended up second fastest overall, one-thousandth of a second behind Jonathan Davenport. “I still think we have a good car, we were just trying a lot of different things to try to make it better. We know what not to do now.”
Clanton’s slow lap during Friday’s time trials wasn’t indicative of his car’s potential performance. Clanton admitted he wasn’t driving his car as hard as he could have during his second round qualifying round. Seeing Josh Richards hit the wall on his qualifying run and later tagging the wall on his first lap, convinced Clanton to not push the issue.
“Josh was probably the last car that I was worried about beating us. He laid down a pretty good lap, then hit the fence,” Clanton said. “I saw him hit the fence, and it goes through your mind, do you want to tear up your car or not? I knew we had a good spot still and we’re guaranteed in the race, so I just took it easy.
“We were just trying things after I almost hit the fence in qualifying. We were just trying to get better for the race and get something where we could pass.”
Clanton better have a car capable of passing if he’s going to be a factor in Saturday’s Dream finale action. After Davenport spun a six on the inversion wheel, Clanton will have to start from the outside of the third row in the second of six Eldora heat races.
“It depends on how much luck we have,” Clanton said. “We’re gonna try, ain’t no doubt. If our car’s good, we can go, if it ain’t we’ll just have to bide our time.”
The good news, is Clanton is already locked into the main event thanks to provisionals that go to the four fastest qualifiers not making the lineup. Clanton’s glad he has the provisional to fall back on, which would put him starting from the 10th row if he has to use it, but he’s hoping he doesn’t have to.
“You want to get up there and win that heat, but the important thing is we’re in the race,” Clanton said. “It’s a good deal to have a fast-time provisional when they invert six. One hundred laps around this place is a long time. If you’ve got a good car you can start last and win the race."