TULSA, Okla. – In 2003, the late Bryan Clauson won the Tulsa Shootout in a red and white No. 7.
The car was a unique design. Built by GT American, the company was established in 1998 by Dennis Golobic and his son, John. The cars were built in California and shipped all over the nation. At one point, more than 300 cars could be found from California to New York in Quarter Midget action.
Their east coast representative was Tim Clauson. His son, Bryan, was a house driver from the start and the car that Bryan wheeled to victory lane was the first Micro ever constructed by GT American and was partly designed by his father.
“We design and develop that car with Shane Golobic’s Grandfather, Dennis, and his Father, John,” said Tim about the car that Bryan, who died in August after a crash during the Belleville Midget Nationals, wheeled at the Shootout.
Asked about the event, Tim replied with a chuckle, “So, when we showed up there, I think Bryan was 11 at the time and we were running the stock class and drew dead last and at the Shootout, we all know that’s going to be a tough day, so Bryan talked me into drawing the open class and we drew a one in that.”
It didn’t take long for young Clauson to overcome the high draw.
“We went out for the Stock Heat Race and he came from the back and won so that put us on the front row of the A-Main, so I told Bryan we weren’t going to worry about running the open class and he said, come on lets run it. If I drop to second, I’ll pull in. I begrudgingly agreed and he led it for a while until he got wheeled, and that really motivated him so he ended up driving past that guy for the win so now we’re on the front row of both features with a stock micro.
Finishing second in the Stock A-Feature, the team rushed to put fresh rubber on the car to make the call for the Outlaw feature. With the smaller stock wing, stock motor, and spec tires, Clauson was able to pick up the win.
On the car making its return to the Tulsa Shootout, Tim stated, “What I think is cool about it is a Father and son took that car and are replicating the experience we had. Putting the car together and going to the Shootout, so to me, the car is special but what the Key family has done to honor Bryan is really special.”
Acquiring the car in 2012, Scott Key put his son, Noah, behind the wheel. Ever since that day, Tim and Bryan were in contact with Scott about the car and what to do with it if they needed advice.
“The car now is mainly a Hyper, but there is still a lot that we have to make custom and Tim has always been great to let us know what to do and what they did,” commented Scott Key. “When we heard about what happened, Noah was the one who wanted to do the car. It means a lot to be able to come back and pay tribute to what Bryan and his father did.”
As of now, the car is slated to compete in the Winged Outlaw Division.
The 32nd Speedway Motors Tulsa Shootout takes place Dec. 28 through Jan. 1 at the Tulsa Expo Raceway inside the River Spirit Expo Center.