ChangeClanton Blitzes Super Late Model
Field at Little Valley
By DAVE SULLY
LITTLE VALLEY, NY – Super Late Model star Shane Clanton, from Zebulon,
GA, winner of the 2012 $100,000 “Dream” at Eldora, the crowning
achievement of his career, and author of 20 World of Outlaws victories
among 100 plus SLM wins over his 20 year career, took no prisoners at
Little Valley Speedway on Sunday, August 24th.. He thoroughly dominated
a stout field to win the 30 lap feature in front of a large crowd on a
perfect night for racing. The soon-to-be 39 year old Clanton, whose
father-in-law is Little Valley legend, Ron Davies, grabbed the lead on a
an early restart, diving under Dick Barton and Dan Stone in turn two.
From there he showed why he is a world class competitor, as he
immediately drew away from the field, opening a half lap margin by the
end of the event, which went caution-free after the initial bobble.
The race became a battle for second, which was a dandy, featuring many
time champ Barton, “Hollywood” Mike Knight, and Bump Hedman, which
lasted many laps, with Barton finally prevailing in a great effort. At
the line, it was Clanton in another time zone, followed by Barton,
Knight, Hedman, and Greg Oakes to complete the top five in the starting
field of 17.
In Victory Lane, Clanton, who was coming off of a banner season in 2013,
where he carded 4 wins, 23 top fives and 40 top tens, banking 191, 000
in the process, observed, “Barton slipped getting in on that restart
there, left the bottom open, and I just took advantage of it. This car
is phenomenal. I'm just lucky to be driving it. We've struggled a lot
this year and we're turning our program around. Ron Davies, my car owner
and father-in-law gives us everything we need to win races. We've just
had the set-up off a little bit all year. This is a new car. We changed
a lot of stuff and it's working.”
The 20 lap Crate Late Model event, the Bill Law Memorial, featured a
spirited duel between former 360 Late Model standout Bryce Davis, from
Hornell, and current 360 and Crate LM pilot John Waters, with Davis
ultimately coming out on top. Waters took the early lead from his third
place starting spot, with Davis, who started eighth grabbing second on
A caution on lap 5 set the stage for a prolonged battle where the two
swapped the lead several times and raced side by side for prolonged
periods before Davis finally took the lead for good on lap 12. From
there, he opened a substantial lead and then withstood a lap 15 caution
to claim the victory. Jeremy Wonderling made a fine run from 12th to
Davis declared, “It was a lot of fun racing with Johnny. He always races
clean. We went side by side for quite a while, and we never touched. I
knew I was faster than he was,\ and I would win, if I could get ahead.”
The 20 lap 360 Late Model Feature went to Mike Wonderling, from
Wellsville. The veteran former SLM driver, who has three sons who also
race, started on the outside pole and took the lead at the drop of the
green from Scooter Pangrazio. He was never headed, holding off John
Waters on two restarts during the event. Waters went for broke on the
final restart on lap 19, getting outside of Wonderling, but got too high
and slapped the wall in turn two, ending his bid and allowing Bruce
Miller to finish in the runner-up spot.
Wonderling offered, “I changed the car from when we were here in the
spring, and it's made it a lot better. Starting spot really counts
heavy, but this car has a lot of motor. It was my son Jeremy's motor
last year and it hops well. I sort of looked for Waters to try me on the
inside. I wasn't going to move off the bottom unless somebody tried to
pass me on the outside.”
Kyle Bedell, from Randolph, made what was arguably the pass of the night
to win the 20 lap E-Mod Feature. After moving from sixth to third on a
lap four restart, Bedell found the outside to his liking and began
pressuring SLM veteran Dutch Davies, driving his nephew Dan's car this
night. After a trip or two to the outside, Bedell found grip going into
turn two on lap ten and made a dazzling pass of Davies and leader Vic
Vena to take the lead. From there he had to contend with a late race
challenge from Brent Rhebergen, who got a great run off the final turn,
with Bedell winning by less a than a car length.
Of the winning move, an ecstatic Bedell declared, “I got a little loose,
but there's a couple of spots where it just got hooked up on the right
rear. Earlier in the night, there was nothing on top. Everyone was
lifting a little early on the bottom, and I thought if we could get
something to stick on the top, it's going to be there. It was a little
tricky the first two times I tried going outside of them, but then we
caught the cushion just right. It took off.”
Finally, veteran Andy Michael, a multi-time Little Valley champ, from
Alleghany, prevailed over Don Wolfer to win the 12 lap Street Stock
Feature, but not before a little bumper tag. Michael took the lead on
the eighth lap when Wolfer pushed in turn four and then Michael drove
away over the final laps.
Michael said, “I bumped the 92 car (Wolfer) there once in turn one. I
apologize for that. It was a little slick going in the corner. I had the
brakes locked up, but I still hit him.” As for some contact on the
winning pass, he insisted, “That was just a little tap. No big deal. He
was having trouble in four.”
NOTES: SLM favorite Ron Davies made his first appearance behind
the wheel, driving his son-in-law's back-up car, since his ill-fated
trip to Lernerville last year, which resulted in the worst crash of his
career. He certainly didn't look out of place. It's unknown when, or if
he'll race again..............Ron's brother, Dutch did double duty.
Beside driving his nephew Dan's E-Mod, he piloted David Scott's No. 3
Super Late Model, because Scott was committed to run at Eriez...........The
final event of Little Valley's rain-shortened season is the Super Late
Model/358 Modified Doubleheader, scheduled for Saturday, September 13th,
with a rain date of September 14th.
Super Late Models: (30 laps) - 1. Shane Clanton, 2. Dick Barton,
3. Mike Knight, 4. Bump Hedman, 5. Greg Oakes, 6. John Lacki, 7. Dutch
Davies, 8. Brent Rhebergen, 9. Brian Fardink, 10. Terry Porter, 11. Boom
Briggs, 12. Jason Dupont, 13. Ron Davies, 14. Kirk Bradley, 15. Michael
Oakes, 16. Chad Ruhlman, and 17. Dan Stone. Heat winners were Stone,
Briggs, and Clanton.
Crate Late Models: (20 laps) – 1. Bryce Davis, 2. John Waters, 3.
Jeremy Wonderling, 4. Adam Sixt, 5. Zack Carley, 6. Brad Mesler, 7.
Brian Knowles, 8. Chad Silleman, 9. Bruno Mowery, 10. Dustin Smith, 11.
John Haggerty, 12. Garrett Mott, 13. Kevin Hill, 14. Jason Knowles, 15.
Ward Schell, 16. Andy Michael, 17. Ike Fenton, 18. Brady Wonderling, and
19. Doug Ricotta. DNS: Damien Bidwell. Heat winners were Michael, Davis,
360 Late Models: (20 laps) – 1. Mike Wonderling, 2. Bruce Miller,
3. Steve LaBarron, 4. Jon Rivers, 5. Scooter Pangrazio, 6. John
Zimmerman, 7. Buck Payne, 8. Jay McConnell, 9. Steve Dixon, 10. John
Waters, 11. Mikey Wonderling, 12. Butch Talbot, 13. DJ Krug, and 14.
Greg Hallett. Heat winners were Waters and Miller.
E-Mods: (20 laps) - 1. Kyle Bedell, 2. Brent Rhebergen, 3. Rich
Michael Jr., 4. Vic Vena, 5. John Woodward, 6. Jeff Johnson, 7. Joshua
John, 8. Nathan Hill, 9. Tim Peterson, 10. Justin Craddock, 11. Carl
Bollinger, 12. Steve Samuelson, 13. Dutch Davies, 14. Mike Samuelson,
15. Steve Dixon, and 16. Randy Hall. Heat winners were Bedell and
Street Stocks: (12 laps) - 1. Andy Michael, 2. Don Wolfer, 3.
Levi Watson, 4. Ted Moroeman, 4. (tie) Brett Marlatt, 6. Ted Mascho, 7.
Rob Stromecki, 8. Joe Chamberlain, 9. Jason Schoonmaker, and 10. Matt
Smith. DNS: Brad Ullman. Heat winners were Ullman and Michael.