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CLAUSON READY TO DEFEND, SEEKS ELUSIVE THIRD-STRAIGHT TITLE

. Posted in Racing News

9a9975ed61463a6dc929492ab2b7763b XL Bryan Clauson won seven AMSOIL National Sprint Car features in 2013 on his way to the championship. (Jeremey Rhoades Photo)(WWW.USACRACING.COM) Only three drivers in the history of the AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship have achieved the feat of back-to-back-to-back titles, but Noblesville, Indiana’s Bryan Clauson will start the 2014 season on Thursday at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida with that exact result in mind.

After recovering from four missed races due to other commitments to win his first championship with the Corey Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian Racing #7 in 2012, Clauson stepped into the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing #20 for 2013 and picked up where he left off. Seven wins each season and both championships now present him with the opportunity to join Steve Butler, Robbie Stanley, and Levi Jones as the only drivers to take three-straight.

“Walking into an organization like that, where they have a tradition of winning championships, is a lot of pressure. To step in and go through the process, with the downs and ups of the season, it was satisfying and a lot of fun to work ourselves into form and contend for the championship. I’m excited about some changes we made through last season and in the offseason, so hopefully we can come out even stronger and defend it,” Clauson said.

The TSR operation was no stranger to success and championships, as Jones won four-of-five championships before Clauson broke through in 2012. The 2013 season posed a legitimate test, however, as the team saw changes in nearly every area. In addition to the change in the seat, only Brad Mariscotti remained from the crew, and the team switched to Beast Chassis. For the first race of the year, car builder Bob East joined the team as an advisor and Warren Beard completed the crew assembled by race director Jimmy Carr. East would become a full-time addition early in the season.

Despite winning their first race out of the box in a spirited battle with Dave Darland, the beginning of the season was self-described as “challenging.” Still, the group found enough footing for Clauson to take his second-straight “Eastern Storm” title in early June using consistent finishes, as a second win on the season was still lacking.

“Each driver is so different. The characteristics of the way Bryan drives a car versus Levi before him are just not the same. Luckily, we meshed together pretty well from the start. It took us a little while to marry everything together and figure out exactly what Bryan likes, and that’s when we started to see better results,” Mariscotti said.

The wins finally flooded in when the biggest week of the season came, as Clauson took back-to-back wins to close “Indiana Sprint Week” at Putnamville and Bloomington and steal the week-long championship. Two races later, he opened up “Sprint Car Smackdown” at Kokomo (IN) Speedway by slicing from 14th to win without the aid of a caution. By the time Clauson won at Little Rock, Arkansas in early September, he had tied Darland for the point lead.

To close out the championship, they backed up a big win in the final Midwest race of the season at Lawrenceburg (IN) Speedway with another in the first night at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Arizona. As Darland had difficulties, Clauson was steady and dueled with Darland at the “Oval Nationals” as he narrowly missed a win in the final race of the season while clinching the title in the process.

Not only was it Clauson’s fourth career National title (joining his two National Midget championships), it was the first Sprint Car title for former racer East, who has achieved numerous titles in both Midget and Silver Crown competition as crew chief and team manager.

“The Sprint Car title was definitely a focus, after we got going. It was the only one that I hadn’t won, and I wanted to do that. It was a lot of fun; it’s the first series in so long where I had no other cars (chassis customers) competing, so I could totally concentrate on our team. It was a great group to race with. We believed in each other, and confidence makes a big difference,” East said.

Clauson, who now sits tied for 16th all-time with 25 career National Sprint Car wins, also relished the opportunity to win with his new group.

“I always dreamed of working with Bob, but never really thought it would be on the sprint car side. When I was coming up, he was king of the midgets. To have an opportunity to work with him and get the chance to win the sprint car championship with him was cool. The chemistry he and Brad had, being friends even outside of racing, helped a lot. Bob wasn’t necessarily supposed to work with us all year, but after Ocala it was obvious that we would be good together,” Clauson said.

For Mariscotti, it was a slightly different point-of-view, but the level of satisfaction was similar.

“It meant a lot for me, personally, as the only guy still there from all our other championships. And we were able to win the Silver Crown championship, too, with Bobby (East). To be able to go out with a new driver and a really small team, it felt great to do it again,” Mariscotti said.

As the top six pairings from last season remain intact for 2014, along with some strong additions pursuing the full schedule, Clauson knows a target will be on them as they try to defend the crown with their Chevrolet Performance – Curb #20 Beast/Kistler.

“It looks like the National Sprint Car bunch is as strong as I can remember it being, and we know that other teams have gotten better in the off-season, so we’ll have to start a little quicker and be even better than last year to do it again,” Clauson said.

Thursday’s season opener at Ocala kicks off “Winter Dirt Games V,” which is preceded by a practice night Wednesday evening. Tickets are still available for advance purchase at BubbaRacewayPark.com while an online pay-per-view is offered at USACracing.tv and further information about the race, including post-race coverage, will be found at USACracing.com.

April 06, 2014

Jeff Mathews Wins 2014 Mike Peters Open in Memory of Niokoa Johnson

by BRP Media
Winner of the 2014 Mike Peters Open in Memory of Niokoa Johnson is the #33 of Jeff Mathews!!! Congratulations to Jeff and thank you so much to all the fans who came out to support the Johnson family. The support of the entire racing community has been humbling. The entire staff of Bubba Raceway Park thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support and generosity. Late Model - Feature Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points 1 7 33 Jeff Mathews Brandon , Fl 50.00 2 6 11 Austin Kirkpatrick Ocala , Fl 48.00 3 3 12 Jack Nosbisch Riverview , Fl 46.00 4 5 46P Darrell Padgett Jacksonville , Fl 44.00 5 8 58 Mark Whitener Middleburg , Fl 42.00 6 16 1X Shane Williams Deland , Fl 40.00 7 14 14T Tyler Clem - 38.00 8 13 J17 Joe Kump Lake Helen, Fl 36.00 9 17 55 Devin Walker Mayo , Fl 34.00 10 23 17 Shane Blanchette - 32.00 11 12 33S Carter Stokes New Smyrna, Fl 30.00 12 1 21 Ivedent Lloyd, Jr. Ocala , Fl 28.00 13 15 7 Donald "billy" Holmes Groveland , Fl 27.00 14 20 1 Jeff Bagent Silver Springs, Fl 26.00 15 10 6 Kyle Bridges Moultrie , Ga 25.00 16 11 26 Greg "adam" Bedenbaugh Lake City, Fl 24.00 17 9 32 Phillip Cobb Riverview , Fl 23.00 18 2 47 Tyler Ivey Tallahassee , Fl 22.00 19 24 74 Danny Fogal - 21.00 20 19 54 Dalton Myers Riverview , Fl 20.00 21 21 10X David Ponton Lake City, Fl 20.00 22 22 51 Larry Anderson Jacksonville , Fl 20.00 23 18 09 Scott Oniel - 20.00 24 4 02 Keith Nosbisch Valrico , Fl 20.00 25 25 41K John Kellum Jacksonville , Fl 0.00 E-Mods - Feature Finish… read more
April 04, 2014

Dick Berggren's Speedway Illustrated, will be at Bubba's Raceway Park on Saturday, April 5th

by BRP Media
National Racing Magazine, Dick Berggren's Speedway Illustrated, will be at Bubba's Raceway Park on Saturday, April 5th to assist in raising donations in memory or Niokoa Johnson. Speedway Illustrated directs its focus toward hometown tracks, the… read more
March 28, 2014

Bubba Raceway Park will be holding The Mike Peters Open in Memory of Niokoa Johnson

by BRP Media
Next Saturday April 5th Bubba Raceway Park will be holding The Mike Peters Open in Memory of Niokoa Johnson who tragically lost her life after injuries she sustained while racing on March 22nd. The Gladiator class will be running a special 17 lap… read more
March 15, 2014

Bubba Raceway Park Results for 03/15/2014 (2)

by BRP Media
Modified - Feature Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points 1 3 64 Austin Sanders Seffner , Fl 50.00 2 1 65 Billy "shane" Nichols Ocala , Fl 48.00 3 5 00B Buzzy Reutimann Zephyrhills , Fl 46.00 4 8 61 Ronald Soltis Ocala , Fl 44.00 5 4 10… read more
March 09, 2014

Bubba Raceway Park Results for 03/08/2014

by BRP Media
Bubba Army Sprints - Feature Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points 1 2 24 Danny Martin, Jr. Sarasota , Fl 0.00 2 1 83 Mark Ruel, Jr. Jacksonville , Fl 0.00 3 3 88 Sport Allen - 0.00 4 8 52 Shane Kreidler - 0.00 5 12 38 Tony Agin Ft. Myers, Fl… read more
March 04, 2014

OPENING NIGHT HONORS TO RHOADS, STALNAKER, SNYDER, APPLEBY AND WHITENER

by BRP Media
OPENING NIGHT HONORS TO RHOADS, STALNAKER, SNYDER, APPLEBY AND WHITENER ON A BEAUTIFUL CLEAR SATURDAY NIGHT, THE 2014 SEASON OPENER WAS READY TO GO. HEAT RACE ACTION FOR THE BUBBA ARMY HOBBY STOCKS WAS WON BY MIKE STALNAKER AND SEAN MONAGHAN. THE… read more
March 02, 2014

Bubba Raceway Park Results for 03/01/2014

by BRP Media
Late Model - Feature Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points 1 5 58 Mark Whitener Middleburg , Fl 50.00 2 6 32 Phillip Cobb Riverview , Fl 48.00 3 3 40B Kyle Bronson Brandon , Fl 46.00 4 7 59 Jake Perkins - 44.00 5 4 14T Tyler Clem - 42.00 6 8… read more
February 23, 2014

CLAUSON CLOSES "WINTER DIRT GAMES V" WITH OCALA WIN

by BRP Media
Winner Bryan Clauson is joined by Justin Grant and Chase Stockon on the Bubba Raceway Park podium. (Rich Forman Photo)Ocala, Florida…….Defending AMSOIL Sprint Car National Champion Bryan Clauson let it be known that his title defense will be strong… read more

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