Clanton looking to rebound

From staff reports

Jonesboro native Joey Clanton is looking to rebound after a 32th-place finish in last week's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in Daytona.

Clanton and the Key Motorsports racing team went into the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 with the same expectations as the other entrants in the Craftsman Truck Series, to win.

Clanton claimed a 30th starting position in qualifying and it wasn't long after the green flag flew that Clanton moved up to 10th place.

"This truck was on a rail," stated Clanton. "This had to be the best handling ride I've ever driven."

Clanton was penalized a lap for pitting outside the box under a yellow flag pit stop. After falling back to 31st, he got the lap back under the "Lucky Dog" rule. Clanton hooked up with Bobby Hamilton and they worked their way through the field quickly. Clanton soon found himself back in the top 20 when he was in an accident.

"I'm not sure who started the incident I haven't seen the replay but I know the 16 and the 88 got together and then the flood gates opened up," said Clanton. "I feel really bad for the guys in the shop; they worked all winter even Christmas to get this truck ready."

Curtis Key, owner of the No. 40, was impressed with the team.

"This was the first time the truck had ever seen a race track," Key said. "These guys took it from a last place practice time to a 10th place machine, for a rookie team to come here and run like we did, it's a great feeling."

Key Motorsports is currently without a sponsor for the No. 40 truck.

"We proved that we could run in the top 10, and we are sponsor less, there were five trucks with primary sponsors, that went home," Key said. "This is one race out of 25, and we will bounce back for Atlanta in March."

Clanton competed in 18 Busch Series races last year for Brewco Motorsports, posting one top-five. He raced full American Speed Association schedules from 2000-2002, winning rookie of the year in 2000 and the ASA national championship in 2002.

On the web: www.joeyclanton.com, www.ckeymotorsports.com, www.nascar.com.

Palmer named Grand Marshal for AMS race

Golf great Arnold Palmer has been named the Grand Marshal for the March 14 Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Winner of 92 professional golfing championships, Palmer will give drivers the command to start engines on race morning. It's a far cry from what he'll be doing several weeks later in Augusta, where Palmer will tee off for his 50th Masters tournament at Augusta National. Not only will Palmer help start the Golden Corral 500, but he will also be in the Golden Corral 500. Not driving, of course, but emblazoned on the No. 88 Dale Jarrett UPS/Arnold Palmer: Tribute To A Legend car.