Screven Motor Speedway
Clanton hopes to end his skid at Screven
By Joshua JoinerWorld of Outlaws Late Model Series
Shane Clanton has had the weekend of Feb. 6-7 circled on his calendar since the 2015 World of Outlaws Late Model Series schedule was released nearly three months ago. Not just because those dates serve as the national tour's season-opening weekend, but because that's when Clanton intends to end his 65-race series winless streak. | Complete Speedweeks coverage
Clanton, the 39-year-old WoO veteran from Zebulon, Ga., will join 13 other WoO championship hopefuls and a host of other national stars, regional standouts and weekend warriors in launching the 2015 WoO season with separate $10,000-to-win WoO programs Friday and Saturday as part of Screven Motor Speedway's Winter Freeze weekend in Sylvania, Ga. The doubleheader kicks off a busy stretch of racing that features seven WoO events in Georgia and Florida between Feb. 6 and Feb. 21.
Back on the WoO schedule after a one-year hiatus, Screven's 3/8-mile oval is particularly inviting to Clanton. With his Capital Race Cars house car team based roughly three hours from the east Georgia track, Clanton has more laps around Screven than any of the other WoO regulars. That advantage has led to plenty of success for Clanton, including a victory and four top-five finishes in Screven's six WoO events.
At a time when he needs a WoO breakthrough perhaps more than ever, Clanton hopes that trend continues this weekend.
"It would be a good start to the year just to go there and run good and get a couple top-fives, but I'm going to Screven to at least win one of them, if not both," said Clanton, who scored finishes of first and second during Screven's most recent WoO events at the 2013 Winter Freeze. "We always seem to run up front there I think just because of the amount of laps I have there over most of my competition. It seems to fit my driving style and fit our cars. Hopefully we can capitalize on that again because we really need a win or two."
Indeed, Clanton needs a victory to both end his winless streak and get the season started on a positive note as he looks to rebound from a 2014 campaign that fell below his usual standards. Besides producing a disappointing sixth-place points finish, the 2014 season was also the first time since the WoO was restarted in 2004 that Clanton failed to win a series event.
But Clanton and his Weldbank Energy-sponsored team have put their dismal 2014 results behind them and focused their sights on a comeback year in 2015. After putting in extra work in the shop and spending extra time testing over the off-season, Clanton is confident both his own race team and the Capital Race Cars program as a whole are headed for much better results.
"It's always a work in progress and if you slow down and quit working, you get behind," said Clanton, who recently welcomed back former crew chief Brock Wise after the two parted ways early last season. "That showed in our results last year. But we've worked real hard the past six months and I think we've got a real good package that we can keep making better and better.
"We're definitely going out to have a better year this year and we're gonna do our best to start off with a couple wins before we even get to Florida. We should have a good opportunity because we like Screven and run good every time we go there. Hopefully we can start the year off on the right foot.”