HARTFORD, Ohio (June 22, 2016) – “Circular Insanity” is in full force. And it will continue to be at a feverish rate over the coming summer weeks for Bryan Clauson.
An “Eastern Storm” title along with first career wins with the ASCS National Tour last week and then the All Star Circuit of Champions last night are among the latest items that Clauson has checked off his “to-do list”.
A total of 17 races for Clauson over the 15-day period from June 7 to June 21 has pushed the season total to 86 races in the pursuit of 200 races for the calendar year. Those 16 races have netted another half dozen wins as well to run the season total to 24 wins. And it’s not even the midway point yet.
Coming off his third USAC Indiana Midget Week title, Clauson stormed eastward in the Dooling & Hayward-owned Cancer Treatment Centers of America/Jonathan Byrd’s Restaurant & Hospitality Group No. 63 Non-Wing Sprint Car and picked off three wins to capture the USAC Sprint Car “Eastern Storm” title.
Mixing in a rousing Silver Crown run from 16th to second while on the Eastern tour, Clauson returned to the central part of the nation where he picked off his first career ASCS National Tour win during Speedweek action in Oklahoma and then nabbed win number 23 two nights later with a hard-earned USAC Midget “40 for Shorty” triumph at the fabled “Ditch” in West Memphis, AR.
Add on win number 24 on Tuesday night at Ohio’s Sharon Speedway, where Clauson added an All Star Speedweek win to the previous week’s ASCS Speedweek win. After another night of Ohio action, Clauson will shift back to central PA where he will look to add a Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek win to the “Circular Insanity” collection.
The most recent in “Circular Insanity”…
Fresh off winning USAC’s Indiana Midget Week title, Bryan Clauson kicked off the USAC Sprint Car “Eastern Storm” by driving the Dooling & Hayward-owned Cancer Treatment Centers of America/Jonathan Byrd’s Restaurant & Hospitality Group No. 63 Non-Wing Sprint Car to victory lane at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, PA, on Tuesday night, June 7.
“Got a good start with quick time. We didn’t get through our heat race and ran the “B” Main, but sometimes that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We learned some stuff and put it to good use for the feature. It was really a fun race, it was three and four-wide for the lead at times, we were able to make the right moves and get out front. Picked the right lanes late and held ’em off. Eastern Storm has historically been a pretty good trip for me, with five or six straight nights of racing it’s important to get off on the right foot.”
USAC’s Eastern Storm shifted to Pennsylvania’s Lincoln Speedway on Wednesday night, June 8, where Clauson stormed to victory lane for the second night in a row and 20th time of the season.
“We qualified fifth, then got through the heat race and started third. We kind of just settled in, fell back to fourth early and then maneuvered through there. We stalked Chase (Stockon) for a little while, then we got a run off of four and slid him without about five to go and then set sail from there.”
The June 8 card offered up a double with a makeup feature from two years ago. With an invert from the first feature setting the lineup, Clauson worked his way to 13th after starting 19th.
“It was right around the bottom for the makeup feature. We got to 12th or 13th or so and got caught up in an incident and went to the back then got back to about 13th.”
USAC’s “Eastern Storm” continued on Thursday night, June 9, at New Jersey’s New Egypt Speedway with Clauson landing on the podium once again with a third place finish.
“We got off to another good start again with quick time. We started sixth in the “A”, we had a pretty good car but probably a little too tight, we needed it to be a 40-lapper. We came on strong the last five or eight laps, it was just a little too late.”
A double dip followed at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night, June 10, with Clauson jumping into the Heffner Racing No. 27 Midget for a night of ARDC action that ended prematurely with a cut tire.
“With the handicap process for not being a member, we started seventh in the heat and ran third. We started eighth in the feature, we actually had a pretty good start getting by a couple of guys. We ended up having a tire issue, we exploded a right rear tire and didn’t have enough time to get it changed.”
The Williams Grove nightcap featured the return of USAC Silver Crown cars to the storied ½-mile with Clauson rallying from the 16th starting positon to claim a runner-up finish aboard the Cancer Treatment Centers of America/ Jonathan Byrd’s Restaurant and Hospitality Group No. 6 Silver Crown car.
“I had a little trouble in qualifying so we had to start 16th. We were able to get going early on and make some moves and get ourselves in position there late to make a run at Chris (Windom). I was a little too far back with ten to go, but we got there with two to go and made a couple of runs and he just did a good job cutting us off.”
Eastern Storm action resumed on Saturday night, June 11, at Central PA’s Port Royal Speedway with Clauson adding his third win of the tour aboard the Dooling & Hayward-owned Cancer Treatment Centers of America/Jonathan Byrd’s Restaurant & Hospitality Group No. 63 Non-Wing Sprint Car
“We didn’t qualify very well at 11th, that’s where we started in the feature. We threw the toolbox at it for the feature. Early on I think we fell back to 15th, we kept working at it and got up to about fourth and had a guy fall out then got a restart. Then we were able to get around Brady (Bacon) for the lead and hold onto it. It’s a place that I’ve struggled at over the years, so to get a win was unexpected and pretty cool.”
The Eastern trip ended with another double dip on Sunday night, June 12, at Susquehanna Speedway Park where another night of ARDC competition in the Heffner Racing No. 27 Midget netted a seventh-place finish.
“We finished second in the heat and stared seventh in the feature. I got to second and popped another tire with five to go.”
The “Eastern Storm” ended with a rare DNF in the non-wing Sprint Car, but Clauson had already built up enough of a lead to come away with the Tour title.
“We were quick time then got through our heat race. We got a good start in the feature, got to third early on and felt like we were in a pretty good position but then we had an engine failure. We did enough throughout the week to give ourselves enough cushion to fall out and still win the overall week, which is nice. Obviously, anytime you can string together a run like that, it’s pretty cool.”
After a couple of days off, Clauson shifted gears by getting back into winged action aboard Matt Wood’s Elk Grove Ford/Cancer Treatment Centers of America No. 17w winged Sprint Car for a couple of nights of ASCS Speedweek competition. Following a Tuesday night rainout at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, Clauson was marching forward in the Wednesday night, June 15, feature event at Oklahoma’s Lawton Speedway only to have the run derailed by a flattened right rear tire.
“We started front row outside of the heat and got the win which got us in the redraw, and we pulled the five. We got going pretty good early, I was making a move for second and had a red flag. Then under the red we had a flat right rear. We changed it and went back out and had another flat right rear, it turned out it was a bleeder issue.”
ASCS Speedweek action shifted to Creek County Speedway near Tulsa, OK, on Thursday night, June 16, where Clauson added his first Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour triumph to the ledger by wiring the field for his 22nd overall win of the year.
“It got off to a good start winning our heat from sixth which put us high points going into the qualifiers, and then had another good run going sixth to second. The car was working really good, we were able to move around a little in the qualifier to see what we were going to need to do for the feature. I kind of learned from the first time we were there to get to the top as fast as I could. I was able to do that and get out front and caught a couple of yellows to keep us in clean air and got the win.”
With his first ASCS win in the books, it was off to West Memphis, AR, for a pair of USAC Midget nights at Riverside International Speedway that also included some winged 360-ci action on Friday night, June 17. Midgets were up first with Clauson sidelined by engine problems.
“We qualified fourth then ran third in the heat. We started third in the feature but ended up blowing up running fourth.”
The Friday double at “The Ditch” wrapped up with Clauson’s third consecutive night of winged 360-ci competition netting a runner-up finish.
“We were able to win our heat from the outside front row and that put us starting third in the feature. I actually struggled the first few laps and fell back to ninth. We were able to work our way back up to second. We were pretty strong at the end, I was hoping to catch a caution and have a run at (Tim) Crawley but we didn’t get it. Just a little too good, too late to make up the ground we gave up early on, but overall it was a solid comeback.”
Clauson and the Dooling Machine/Cancer Treatment Centers of America/Jonathan Byrd’s Restaurant & Hospitality Group No. 63 Midget team bounced back in supreme fashion at Riverside International Speedway on Saturday night, June 18. After a blown engine the previous night, the team’s hard work paid off with win number 23 on the season.
“That will probably be one of the more memorable things on the tour. It was a crazy day, a lot of people put a lot of effort into just getting us on the track that day. We didn’t really qualify the greatest but we were able to get it dialed in for the feature where we started ninth. We were able to kind of work the bottom where nobody was for a long time and got ourselves in a position to win. It was pretty cool to be able to do that with everything that went into getting on track that day and having my dad and Tyler back on the Midget side that night was a lot of fun.”
Another shift in action took place on Sunday, June 19, with Clauson and the Elk Grove Ford/Cancer Treatment Centers of America No. 17w winged Sprint Car team making the trek to Ohio for the All Star Circuit of Champions Ohio Sprint Speedweek at Findlay’s Millstream Speedway. The Sunday outing was one to erase from the memory banks as quick as possible.
“We weren’t very good all night. We didn’t qualify very good, we were okay but not good enough to overcome the hole that we dug.”
Ohio Sprint Speedweek action continued Monday night at Orrville’s Wayne County Speedway where Clauson bounced back into feature action with the near 50-car field.
“We didn’t qualify very good either, eighth in our group but 11th overall. We were able to have a good heat race working the low side of the track to get to fourth. We had a solid start to the feature, we were running 11th or 12th and ended up losing brakes and pulling in.”
Clauson hinted at it Tuesday night and then delivered his 24th triumph of the season by racing to victory lane in Ohio Sprint Speedweek action at Sharon Speedway.
“We were pretty strong here last year, so I feel like we have a pretty good chance at this tonight,” Clauson commented earlier in the day. “My guys worked hard on this thing all night. Sometimes we aren’t where we need to be every night, but we keep getting better and better. I just tried to get out front as fast as I could. I didn’t think I’d win a race during Ohio Speedweek, so this is pretty cool.”
2016 Circular Insanity Tour Quick Stats (Through Monday night, June 20): 86 races, 24 wins, 46 top-fives, 62 top-tens.
Wednesday – All Star Circuit of Champions Ohio Sprint Speedweek at Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, OH (Elk Grove Ford/Cancer Treatment Centers of America No. 17w winged Sprint Car)
Thursday – Susquehanna Speedway Park in York Haven, PA (Elk Grove Ford/Cancer Treatment Centers of America No. 17w winged Sprint Car)
Friday – Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek at Mechanicsburg’s Williams Grove Speedway (Elk Grove Ford/Cancer Treatment Centers of America No. 17w winged Sprint Car)
Saturday – Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek at Abbottstown’s Lincoln Speedway (Elk Grove Ford/Cancer Treatment Centers of America No. 17w winged Sprint Car)
Sunday – Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek at Spring Run’s Path Valley Speedway (Elk Grove Ford/Cancer Treatment Centers of America No. 17w winged Sprint Car)
Keep Track: Keep track of Bryan Clauson’s 2016 Circular Insanity Tour at www.bryanclauson.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bryanclausonracing/?fref=ts and on Twitter at @bryanclausoninc.
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