From Bill Wright
July 13, 2015 – The Brad Doty Classic at Limaland Motorsports Park Thursday (moved back from Wednesday) and the King’s Royal at Eldora Speedway (Friday and Saturday) will be new experiences for Bryan Clauson and the Matt Wood Racing #17w team. Last weekend, Bryan ran seventh in NSL competition at another new track, Park Jefferson International Raceway near Jefferson, South Dakota. An early call on a rainout at Knoxville allowed the team to get their midgets on the track at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri Saturday. Bryan picked up the win, while Cole Wood also got on track for the first time this summer.
Bryan was first on the track for time trials Friday at Park Jefferson and ended up fourth quick.
“We didn’t know what to do with ourselves coming out first!” he says. “We’ve been coming out late all year. The track stayed in good shape all night, but it was a good effort for us. Our qualifying efforts have been good as of late. We’re looking to continue that.”
He would finish fourth in his heat and qualify for the Dash. “The big thing is getting in the redraw,” says Bryan. “With the format we had at Park Jefferson that meant it was for the Dash. We’ve been qualifying well all year, but the heats have been hit or miss. We were able to finish fourth in the heat and get in the Dash.”
The Dash turned into an entertaining race and Bryan would checker fifth. “It was pretty hectic out there,” he says. “We had a decent car. We weren’t great by any means. We were kind of in the wrong lanes at the wrong time. We fell back to sixth or seventh, and we were able to get up to fifth there.”
He would start fifth in the feature. “It was a racy place, but it was hard to complete passes,” says Bryan. “You could get runs off of one and two, and get underneath guys in three, but it was hard to finish those moves off. It seemed a lot of passes came on starts and restarts.”
Bryan was right there in a pack most of the way in the 30-lapper. He would settle for seventh at the checkers. “We fell back to seventh on the original start, and that’s kind of where we ran the rest of the race,” he says. “We weren’t quite as good as we needed to be, but at the same time, we were right there in the thick of things. The front two or three guys checked out, but we were right there in the second group.”
Bryan is excited for the big races in Ohio this week. “When you think of sprint car racing, you think of the Knoxville Nationals and the King’s Royal,” he says. “They are the first two that come to mind. We were able to get to Eldora during Ohio Speedweek, and we were pretty competitive. Now is as good a time as ever to go and get some experience. It’s difficult to roll into these large events the first time out and be in contention, but we feel like we have the speed to have a good solid run and gain experience for the future.”