BUSTI, N.Y. — Shane Clanton made sure he gave his better half a 25th birthday present to remember on Saturday night at Stateline Speedway.
Racing at a track where his wife Michelle grew up watching her father Ron Davies in action, Clanton surged into the lead on lap 11 and marched on to a $10,550 victory in the 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main.
“Michelle’s birthday is today,” said Clanton, whose wife’s hometown of Warren, Pa., is less than a half-hour drive from the one-third-mile Stateline oval. “She sent me a message this morning and said, ‘I need a W for my birthday.’ I got her one I guess.”
Clanton, 37, registered his fourth win of 2013, equaling his single-season career-high on the WoO LMS. He has won three of the national tour’s last eight events and sits second in the points standings, 34 points behind Josh Richards, who finished sixth after starting 24th because a broken valve spring in his primary car’s engine forced him to hastily switch to his backup machine and relinquish the sixth starting spot.
Mike Knight chased Clanton for the final 12 laps but wasn’t able to draw close enough to make a serious bid for his first-ever WoO LMS victory. The 26-year-old settled for a career-best finish of second, flashing under the checkered flag 1.194 seconds behind the victor.
Defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan, who started ninth, climbed as high as second following a lap-33 restart but finished third. It was his seventh consecutive top-three run on the tour.
John Volpe, also recorded a career-high WoO LMS finish, placing fourth in a head-turning run forward from the 11th starting spot. The 22-year-old racer traveled most of last year’s WoO LMS as a crewman for Chub Frank and still works for Frank during the week, but he isn’t accompanying Frank on road trips this season so he can pursue his driving career by competing on a weekly basis at Stateline and Eriez Speedway in Hammett, Pa.