By Anthony Rhoads
It was a monumental weekend for Stockbridge's Joey Clanton.
On Saturday, Clanton finished fifth in the NASCAR Busch TrimSpa 250 at Pikes Pike International Speedway in Colorado.
It was Clanton's best finish so far in the 2003 season, his first year in the Busch Series.
"This whole week was great and hopefully we put on a good show for all of the fans," Clanton told the www.brewco.com website.
Clanton qualified 10th to start the race and posted the 13th-fastest practice times prior to the event.
Clanton drove near the front of the field for most of the race and even led two laps, the first time he has led a race this year.
"I can't tell you how much we needed a strong finish," Clanton told. "This team has worked so hard to get to this point and my hat is off to them. I struggled a little bit when I first made the transition to the Busch Series but I feel like I'm figuring the cars and the tracks out. Pikes Peak is my kind of track; it reminds me a lot of Memphis and I had a lot of success their in ASA."
Clanton will be going to another familiar track this Saturday. The Busch Series will visit the Indianapolis Raceway Park for the Kroger 200.
Clanton has experience at IRP when he raced on the American Speed Association circuit from 2000-2002.
Clanton was the 2000 ASA rookie of the year and last year, he captured the ASA national points championship.
Clanton also raced in the Southern All-Star Series and raced Legends cars at Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder series and at Lowe's Motor Speedway's Summer Shootout.
After winning the ASA championship last year by one point over ASA veteran Gary St. Amant, Clanton was poised to move up to the Busch series.
He signed with Brewco Motorsports but missed the first nine races of the Busch season.
Even though he missed the first part of the season, he is ranked 26th in the series points standings and is the second-ranked rookie this year.
In other racing news:
In 2001 Michelle Theriault became the first woman to win a season championship at Thursday Thunder when she captured the points title in the Young Lions Division.
This year, she's competing in Pro Late Model events at Lanier National Speedway.
She is currently ranked seventh in the season points standings at Lanier with one top-five and six top-10s.
Hampton's Chris Dilbeck won in the Pro Division again at Lanier Speedway on Saturday. Dilbeck has five wins this year at Lanier and has not finished outside the top-five in 10 races.
Dilbeck is first in the points standings at Lanier and is in contention for the points championship at AMS.
Stockbridge's Ty Stewart won the Modified Ministock race at Lanier, his third victory of the season.
In Saturday's racing action at Senoia Speedway, Bubba Harry won the Semi-Pro race. He is contending for the Semi-Pro points title at AMS and was the Chargers points champion last year.
Casey Roderick, the current Bandits points leader at AMS, won the Bandolero Bandits race at Senoia on Saturday.