Clauson to Drive Fastenal Dodge in Kentucky
Happy Birthday, Bryan!: Happy Birthday wishes go out to Bryan Clauson this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. The young racer turns 19 on Sunday, June 15.
Almost There: Team Owner Chip Ganassi is just three wins away from reaching a milestone of 100 victories as an owner. His wins have come across a wide variety of racing series including CART, IndyCar, NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide, ARCA and Grand Am. Clauson has contributed to one of Ganassi’s victories and that was last August at Gateway International Raceway when the teenage racer scored his career-first stock car victory in the Gateway ARCA 150.
Clauson’s First Start: Clauson will be making his first career Nationwide Series start at Kentucky Speedway this weekend. It won’t be his first stock car start at the 1.5-mile tri-oval. Clauson competed in the ARCA WLWT 150 last July, when he started 11th and then went on to finish 14th for CGRFS.
From Nashville: Clauson overcame a tight-handling No. 40 Fastenal Dodge at Nashville Superspeedway to finish in the 22nd position. After starting the race in 17th, Clauson came onto pit road just 10 laps into the race to make major adjustments to the car. Despite rejoining the field in the 34th position and having a suspected tire problem on lap 101, Clauson was able to fight his way back into the top-25, finishing 22nd.
Clauson at SMI Tracks: In his two seasons with CGRFS, Clauson has made five NNS starts at a Speedway Motorsports Inc. owned track. In those five starts, he has an average start of 15.6. His average finish position is 28.6.
Standings Update: The No. 40 Fastenal Team is 18th in the overall NNS owner standings. With a current tally of 1,606 points, the team is 44 points outside the top 15, 255 out of 10th and 656 points away from first.
Check out the Parrott Perspective: Clauson’s NNS Crew Chief Brad Parrott is keeping fans up to date on what is going on in the world of the Fastenal Racing Team through an online blog he is keeping throughout the 2008 NNS season. Check out the Parrott Perspective at www.fastenalracing.com.
With Father’s Day approaching, Bryan Clauson’s father—Tim—answered a few questions in regard to raising a teenage racer.
Tim, what is probably the best father’s day present you have ever received from Bryan to date? “Bryan won a couple of races for Penny Paniagua when he was 8 or 9 years old and got paid for it. It was probably 40 dollars or so. The next week was Father’s day. He took his winnings and bought me a watch. I still have that watch.”
Tim, what was it like for you when Bryan won his first ARCA race (Gateway International Raceway, August 2007)? What about his first NNS start (Richmond International Raceway, September 2007)? “In reality, when Bryan won Gateway in the ARCA car, I was a little lost. As a dad who had raced every race with him since he was 5 years old, it was the first time I thought ‘wow he can do this WITHOUT me’. On the other hand I was so proud of Bryan and the whole team. To see the guys going to Victory Lane together was really special and I remember thinking ‘WOW he CAN do this with out me’.
“Bryan's first Nationwide race was at Richmond and it was such a whirlwind. At times, it’s hard to believe it was only 10 months ago. I wish I would have been more of a fan that day and just soaked it in.”
Tim, Bryan refers to you as his role model, best friend and hero, how does that make you feel and how did you raise such a great kid? Do you have any good advice to current fathers or aspiring fathers out there? “Humbling is the best word to describe it. To have your son at 17, 18 or 19 years old to feel that way about you is very humbling. We had the opportunity to spend a lot of time together during some very formative years and it’s funny how much a 5, 10, 15 year old can teach you if you are willing to listen. As far as raising a great kid, I think I would have to give a lot of that credit to his mother. We are very blessed as a family.
“As far as advice for fathers, spend a little time listening. On the way home from a particularly rough day, when I may have come off a little hard on Bryan about 20 minutes into the drive, he at 6 years old reaches across the front of the truck, turns down the radio and says, ‘Dad? You know I wanted to win as much as you. Right?’ That was a defining moment as a dad for me.”
What would you consider to be the best Father’s Day gift this year from Bryan? “A win at Kentucky [he smiles]? Seriously, I think he spilled the beans on the gift he is getting me. He is getting me some golf clubs because he has taken it up and he said it’s a way we can hang out when we are not at the race track.”