Clanton, Smith Chase Southern Success
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Georgians Shane Clanton and Clint Smith are looking for success when the World of Outlaws Late Model Series rolls into their territory this weekend.
The WoO LMS kicks off an ultra-busy month of May this weekend with a pair of $10,000-to-win events in North Carolina and Georgia.
The action starts Friday at 4/10-mile Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway, as the Outlaws roll into the Larry Norris-promoted speed-plant for a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win race during their annual Tarheel 100.
This marks the first visit to Fayetteville since April 30, 2010, when Josh Richards picked up the victory and went on to claim the series championship. Richards also won the Oct. 7, 2008 event and home-state driver Jeff Smith of Dallas, N.C., took the 2009 series victory.
On Saturday the series makes its first appearance to the Stan Lester & Sarah King-promoted Lavonia (Ga.) Speedway for the second 50-lap, $10,000-to-win event of the weekend.
Clanton, of Zebulon, and Smith, of Senoia, are both within a two-hour drive of Lavonia Speedway. Clanton, one of World of Outlaws Late Model Series regulars chasing his first win of the season, says he’s looking forward to racing closer to home this weekend.
“Lavonia is about as close as the series gets to racing near our home, it would be special to win one here,” said Clanton, who last raced at Lavonia Speedway about six years ago. “We need to win this weekend and hopefully we can.”
Clanton, fourth in WoO LMS points, is 98 markers behind leader Darrell Lanigan.
“We’ve gotta go back out and win,” Clanton said. “We’ve struggled with the balance on LM tires (which ran at Farmer City) and more open tires which we’ll run this weekend. We feel like we’re pretty good on the more open tires, we changed some things. We like racing at Farmer City, but just have to find the balance.”
Clanton drove his Capital Race Cars entry to a 13th-place finish in last Saturday’s Illini 100.
There have been eight different winners in eight World of Outlaws Late Model Series events this season, with Shannon Babb picking up the $20,000 Illini 100 last Saturday in front of his home-state crowd for the 12th WoO LMS payday of his career.
Among the top-12 in series regulars, 10 of those drivers are hungry for their first victory of the season – including Smith, the 49-year-old driver who owns 12 WoO LMS victories in his career and has been winless since May 8, 2011, when he won in his home state at Needmore Speedway.
“I’m really looking forward to going to Fayetteville this Friday,” Smith said.
“We need a World of Outlaws win. We’ve had some motor problems and just haven’t been able to get into a rhythm yet. It’s tough to win anywhere the Outlaws go, there are no breaks anywhere.”