6-TIME PASS CHAMPION JOHNNY CLARK HOPING TO TURN 2012 SEASON AROUND IN DEBUT RACE AT STAFFORD SPEEDWAY
(Stafford Springs, CT)---For most drivers, winning 2 races and sitting fourth in the points standings would be a great year. But for 6-time overall and 4-time defending Pro All-Star Series North Champion Johnny Clark, the 2012 season has been a struggle with results not up to his usual standards. But he and his team are bringing out their older car when the PASS Super Late Models come to Stafford on Sunday, August 26th in hopes that it will turn their season around.
“We’ve been struggling pretty bad this year,” said Clark. “We’re bringing out our older car that we won 3 championships in a row with and we’re going to try to get back on track with that car. We have a good motor, we have a lot of confidence in that, and we’re hoping we can do something good with the old car. We really need to turn our season around and a win at Stafford would be a huge confidence booster for the whole team. Our new car won 2 of the first 4 races and it was looking great. We don’t know what happened after that. We’ve been consistent, but running in the top-10 isn’t going to cut it in this series. You need to be in the top-5 and winning races.”
Clark and his team have been working hard to find a solution to their problems, but thusfar have been unable to find a suitable resolution. Despite their problems this season, Clark says the team is not lacking for confidence as PASS gets ready to take to Stafford for the very first time.
“If I knew what we were struggling with, we wouldn’t be struggling anymore,” said Clark. “We’ve been really quick but the car seems to go away, so we’re working on eliminating that. We’re starting to nail that down and by bringing out our older car that will help us eliminate some things. We had the old car at Thomspon and we had all kinds of speed until a part failure, so we’re hoping that the old girl will help us get back on track. We’re going into the race with a lot of confidence and we’re working hard to find what’s going on. We can’t run terrible forever and I have all the faith in the world we’ll turn it around. We’ve won 2 out of 11 races so far, it’s just not up to our usual standards. If we can squeak off a couple of wins in these last four races, I’ll feel like we salvaged our year a little, but we still don’t know what we need to do in order to do that. We’re just continuing to work hard and we’ll get it figured out.”
Like the majority of the PASS field, Clark will be racing for the very first time at Stafford, which could add to his team’s frustrations at sorting their car out. But Clark is feeling confident based on previous experiences at new race tracks and he has a unique strategy in order to help prepare him for the race.
“This will be my first time racing at Stafford,” said Clark. “The first time I came to Stafford was a flea market in 1986 and I was about 6 or 7 years old, so there’s not much I remember about the place. We’ll watch some old videos on YouTube, and some people have been comparing Stafford to Greenville-Pickens Speedway. We won the first time we went there, so I’m hoping Stafford is a lot like Greenville-Pickens. There’s some unknowns with the car setup and stuff like that, but I’m excited because any time the tour has gone to a new track where no one has a lot of experience, we usually do pretty well. I know guys like Ben and Mike Rowe and some of these guys have Busch car experience at Stafford, but I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a half-mile flat track and we usually do well at those types of tracks. “
Clark and the PASS field will have to take full advantage of the practice time they get leading up to the qualifying races and feature in order to have a comfortable setup. Clark has a good idea of where to start with his setup when he unloads his car, and is focused on what he needs to do in order to capture a 5th consecutive PASS championship.
“We have a baseline for the setup and we know its going to have speeds like Thompson, but there isn’t the banking at Stafford that Thompson has,” said Clark. “I think we’ll kind of come up with a setup somewhere in the middle. Our expectation at Stafford is to win. We have 4 races left and we’re working hard to salvage our season. Our only hope is to turn it around at Stafford. We’ve gained a ton of confidence to go to victory lane there and we’ve got to get back into the points chase. If we can turn it around at Stafford, that will give us a ton of momentum for the final few races and hopefully we can win 5 championships in a row. We’re still digging, we’re not giving up.”
The Inaugural PASS event at Stafford will consist of the PASS Super Late Models in a 125-lap race, the PASS Sportsmans and Stafford Limited Late Models in a 60-lap race, the PASS Modifieds in a 40-lap race, the 602 Dirt Sportsman Modifieds in a 40-lap feature, and the N.E. Truck Series in a 30-lap race.
Tickets for the Inaugural PASS event are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $27.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating will be priced at $30.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.