Because of weather interruptions, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series hasn’t raced since February 17th, but that does not mean 2015 series champion Shane Clanton has sat idle since that time. This past weekend the Zebulon, GA driver hit the high banks at Ray Cook’s Tri-County Race Track in Brasstown, NC and came away with a $3,000 Southern Nationals Bonus Series victory. He then followed that up with a runner-up result in a weekly show at Senoia(GA) Raceway on Saturday. As a result, the ‘Georgia Bulldog’ will enter this weekend’s scheduled double-header event at Farmer City(IL) Raceway with a new car that has proven its worth right away.
“It was,” Clanton replied when asked if his car was as good as it looked at Tri-County. “I think we did our homework. We worked awfully hard over the winter to get what we got out of this car and it showed tonight. It just got that much better.”
Clanton dominated the SNBS race by leading all 40 laps to beat out the likes of Ricky Weiss and Casey Roberts. His car could seemingly run high and low on the track as the driver maneuvered through traffic on the high-speed quarter-mile facility.
The Capital Race Car used by the No. 25 team at Tri-County had only run one other race up to that point and that resulted in a win at Senoia on March 3rd. So have those efforts given Clanton and his crew a boost in confidence going into the next round of WoO Late Models action?
“Oh, it does,” the 42-year-old racer told InsideDirtRacing.com. “This car is undefeated right now. We’ve run two races with it and won two so I can’t wait to break it out in a World of Outlaws race.”
With it having been over a month since the last WoO Late Models event, is it difficult to maintain a good racing rhythm when not racing against the other national touring series teams and drivers? In reality, the veteran racer says that the additional time away from his regular series has actually helped ready his team for the long grind ahead by providing opportunities to get used to new equipment.
“Not really,” Clanton explained. “I mean that’s what we do for a living is race. So if we take two months off, it’s supposed to be okay. But we R&D so much over the winter and you build new cars and you don’t know where your stuff is. That’s the hard part- trying to figure out what you’ve built new and what it likes and what it don’t like. This car don’t like anything like what the old car did so we’re having to learn a little bit more. But over the past two weeks, we’ve learned a lot.”
Clanton, along with Marshall Green and all those involved with Capital Race Cars, are happy to see one of their own in victory lane after all the attention other chassis builders have received during the early stages of the 2018 season. Not only does the win at Tri-County inspire confidence but it is also encouraging as their efforts move forward.
“It does,” Clanton declared after being asked if it felt good to know that Capital has proven it can win races like the others. “Last night we got to practice some so that helps on our World of Outlaws stuff. We feel real good with where we’re at right now. It’s gratifying with all the hard work and the hours we put in this car over the winter to come out and be as good as we were at Volusia the first night. What we’ve done so far this year feels good.”