Clanton working on truck deal

By Anthony Rhoads

Joey Clanton might be driving a truck this year.

The Jonesboro native is currently working on a deal to race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the 2004 season.

Clanton said Wednesday he hopes to sign a contract within the next week or so to race in the truck series.

Clanton got a taste of running in NASCAR last season as he competed in 18 NASCAR Busch Series events with Brewco Motorsports.

He had one top-five finish and was one of the leading rookies on the circuit but before the season ended, he and Brewco parted ways. One of the things Clanton regrets about last year was that he didn't get the chance to race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in last fall's Busch race.

"I missed out on it and that was disappointing," he said. "I would love to race on my hometown track. I definitely want to race in Atlanta; hopefully we'll get a shot this year."

Clanton also plans to race in some American Speed Association event this year and might run in the ASA race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in October.

"It's a great series to be a part of," Clanton said. "It's a fun series and it's a stress reliever for me."

Last year, Clanton won the only ASA race he competed in – the season finale in Nashville.

In 2002, Clanton won the ASA national points championship after winning nine races. That year, Clanton won the first five races of the 20-event season.

In 2001, he finished third in the ASA standings and in 2000, he won the ASA Pat Schauer Rookie of the Year Award.

The ASA has served as a stepping storne for many NASCAR drivers such as Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth and Darrell Waltrip.

Clanton started racing when he was 16 and competed on dirt tracks on Georgia and Alabama. He made the move to asphalt tracks in 1992, competing at such tracks as Senoia Speedway.

After graduating from Georgia Tech with a mechanical engineering degree in 1999, he raced in Thursday Thunder, Atlanta Motor Speedway's summer racing series and in Lowe's Motor Speedway's Summer Shootout series.

n McDonough's Doug Stevens plans to race in some ASA and ARCA races this year. The 1995 Forest Park High School graduate has won four Pro Division points championships at Thursday Thunder.

Stevens has also raced in the Allison Legacy Series.

He currently owns and operates Advanced Technology Motorsports in Lovejoy.

n Reed Sorenson, a Woodward Academy senior, plans to race a full ASA schedule this season. He also has a developmental NASCAR Busch Series contract with Chip Ganassi. He plans to race in select Busch series events and run several Busch testing sessions in 2004.

Last season, Sorenson finished fourth in the ASA points standings and won the rookie of the year award.

Sorenson has also won Legends championships at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte.

On top of all the racing he plans to do in 2004, Sorenson also looks to attend the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Sorenson is a Peachtree City resident but his race team office is based out of Forest Park.