SYLVANIA, Ga. — Shane Clanton led all 50 laps to win Saturday night’s Winter Freeze IX feature for the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series at Screven Motor Speedway.
It was Clanton’s first victory in Outlaws competition since Aug. 26, 2017, breaking a 51-race winless streak. This victory also goes in the books as Clanton’s fourth at Screven and 43rd all-time in WoO LMS competition.
“It feels real good,” Clanton said. “To go almost a year and a half … like I said at the banquet [last year], it just makes you mad. And the guy who wins, it just makes him more determined to come back and win again, and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve worked awful hard over the winter to build a new race car here.”
In what was almost a perfect night, Clanton qualified second overall out of 39 cars, won his heat race and redrew the pole for the Morton Buildings Feature. Taking the lead on lap one, he faced several long strings of lapped traffic, as the race’s first caution didn’t fly until lap 45 – a complete night-and-day difference from Friday night’s feature, which saw numerous cautions and even a red flag.
Maneuvering around lapped traffic on any given night is hard enough, let alone doing it on a one-lane race track. But Clanton was able to handle the pressure from those behind him, much like all great veterans of the sport do.
“I guess it’s lucky to get number one but I think our car was good enough to pass a couple of cars,” Clanton said. “I was just biding my time, trying not to get into too much lapped traffic, just didn’t want to get myself in a bind. We rode a long way, and to come up with the win, it’s pretty special.”
And how special it was for Clanton and the Capital Chassis stable this weekend with Chris Madden putting his Capital on the podium in Friday night’s race and a top-10 on Saturday. Clanton said Madden’s help has been and will continue to be instrumental in Capital’s success on the tour this season.
“I’ve had some help when Chris came along after Charlotte [last year] and we went and tested my car, then we built this car,” Clanton said. “We’ve changed some things on it and evidently we’re going in the right direction, so that’s the good thing.”
Another special finish came right behind Clanton – the Viper Motorsports entrant of rookie contender Kyle Hardy. The Virginian had a solid night on Friday, coming from 17th to finish 11th after winning his Late Chance Showdown. But Saturday night was a much different story, as he set fast time in Group B, won his heat and redrew third.
Hardy made the pass for second around Jason Covert on lap 12 and chased Clanton down the rest of the way but was never able to make the pass on the rubbered track. However, he held his own through lapped traffic, staying right with Clanton the entire way and closing a two-second gap before the lap 45 caution. Overall, a great showing by the new Barry Wright Race Cars house driver.
“It turned out to be great,” Hardy said. “We’ve got a greatly prepared car by Lance and Barry Wright, and that means the world. We ran decent last night, wasn’t the greatest, but second place tonight was, by far, great for us.”
- 25-Shane Clanton [$10,000]; 2. 36v-Kyle Hardy [$5,000]; 3. 18-Chase Junghans [$3,000]; 4. 1-Brandon Sheppard [$2,500]; 5. 72-Mike Norris [$2,000]; 6. 3s-Brian Shirley [$1,700]; 7. 29-Darrell Lanigan [$1,400]; 8. 2x-John Henderson [$1,300]; 9. 44-Chris Madden [$1,200]; 10. 1D-Brent Dixon [$1,100]; 11. 28-Dennis Erb [$1,050]; 12. 2-Brandon Overton [$1,000]; 13. 99jr-Frank Heckenast [$950]; 14. 1x-Chub Frank [$900]; 15. 7-Ricky Weiss [$850]; 16. 9-Billy Moyer [$800]; 17. B1-Brent Larson [$770]; 18. 72c-Jason Covert [$750]; 19. 97-Cade Dillard [$730]; 20. 6-Blake Spencer [$700]; 21. 27+1-Tyler Carpenter [$700]; 22. 6m-Mike Marlar [$700]; 23. 22x-G.R. Smith [$110]; 24. 58-Ivedent Lloyd [$700]; 25. 99B-Boom Briggs [$700]