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CARS Late Model Stock Tour

Carteret champion Brandon Clements enters home track CARS race

Photo by: Andy Marquis

Brandon Clements has his season back on track and now he will take on the biggest challenge of his career in the Solid Rock Carriers Crystal Coast 125.

Brandon Clements, 28, from Swansboro, North Carolina, is preparing to run in the Crystal Coast 125 – something he had previously ruled out competing in.  Fresh off two consecutive wins, he opted to enter Saturday’s race, last minute, on Tuesday afternoon.

“We just put this deal together last minute with the help from a group of great people,” Clements said.  “It’s not every day you have an opportunity to run with a series like the CARS Tour and with the competition that the tour brings right in our backyard.  I feel like we have the opportunity to do some big things this weekend.”

Clements was the first driver to visit victory lane when Carteret County Speedway opened on September 6, 2015 in a Mini-Stock.  Since then, he has become the gold standard at Carteret.  In all, he has 19 career feature wins – 12 wins in a Mini-Stock and seven in a Late Model.  Now, he’s hoping to be in contention for a win on Saturday night.

“We have a car and a team that could win the thing, but the CARS Tour is stacked with the best of the best,” Clements stated.  “We would be ecstatic to be competitive and leave with all the fenders on it and the wheels pointed in the right direction.”

In 2018, Clements was dominant at Carteret County Speedway, winning five races and cruising to the track championship.  2019, however, started off on a sour note.

In the season’s first four points-paying feature races, Clements had scored only one podium finish.  The early season results were considered subpar by Clements, and crew chief Wendell Davis, after his strong 2018 campaign.

“We had a rough start to the year, fighting to get a hand on the car, parts failures, and other issues” Clements remarked.  “It made our team work harder, and going through the struggle really makes the wins feel that much better and makes you appreciate them more.”

The CARS Tour entry list features an all-star cast of Late Model Stock Car heavy hitters, including names such as Deac McCaskill, Josh Berry, Layne Riggs, and Bobby McCarty. Clements knows it would be a tall task to pull off a similar upset on Saturday night, but he will fight to flip the script anyway.

“It would mean a lot for me and my team to win such an awesome event at our home track, in front of all our fans and sponsors,” Clements remarked.  “It would be great for Late Model racing in general, and all low budget teams, if we could pull off an upset win.  Bobby [Watson] really wanted one of us local guys to run the CARS Tour race last year.  He felt like his local guys could win it.  We were not able to make the race last year, so if we are able to pull it off, it would be a huge win for Carteret, and for Bobby.

“I know he would be proud.”

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Marquis comes from St. Charles, Maryland and has a widespread background in journalism, having covered politics in Washington and Maryland as well as nearly every form of auto racing, including NASCAR, IndyCar, AMA Motocross and IHRA Drag Racing. Now living near Emerald Isle, North Carolina, Marquis covers Late Model Stock Cars and Super Late Models in the Carolinas and Virginia.

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