PELETIER, NC – Reigning track champion Brandon Clements is hoping to pick up his first victory of the 2019 season in Sunday’s WITN Memorial Classic at Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway.
Clements, 28, from Swansboro, North Carolina, has finished second in the last two Limited Late Model races. Last year, he picked up five wins and the track championship. This year, the two runner-up results have been the highlight. Clements feels confident that he will return to victory lane at least once in Sunday night’s Limited Late Model doubleheader.
“it’s definitely been an up and down year,” Clements said. “Last year we had such a great year, right out of the gate. This year, we’ve seemed to struggle but I think we’ve got everything turned around now. We found a few issues with some suspension parts and we’re looking for two wins on Sunday. I think we’ve got the car to do it.”
After having luck on his side in 2018, this season has been almost opposite for Clements, in both Late Models and Mini-Stocks. In the most recent race at Carteret County, Clements was sidelined midway through the Mini-Stock feature with mechanical problems while holding on to a big lead.
“Motors keep blowing up, camshafts breaking, getting involved in wrecks,” Clements remarked. “It hasn’t got us down though. You’ve got to take the good with the bad. Last year, we had such good luck. Had a couple things that fell our way that probably shouldn’t have. This year has been trying with bad luck but I think we’re headed in the right direction.”
In the first race of the season, Clements was involved in a wreck, starting his championship defense in a hole he is still trying to climb out of.
“I still think we can win the championship,” Clements stated. “Get our luck turned around here. We’ve had good, solid runs but the wreck the first race of the year set us back points wise. We finished in the back that race but have finished second every race since. I think, if we keep some good, strong runs coming, we’ll march back to the front.”
Clements has not won a race since October 2018 in any discipline – a lengthy winless streak for the driver who has won more feature races at Carteret County Speedway than any other driver. A victory on Sunday, which would end a seven-month drought, would be meaningful to Clements and his team.
“I think we forgot what victory lane feels like,” Clements commented. “It would mean a lot for us to get back there and get our season turned around. It would be a boost in momentum as well. The competition this year seems to have stepped it up a little bit, but I do feel like our car has been off. I don’t feel like everyone else has been much faster, I think we just fell off.”
So far, in 2019, three different winners have won in three Limited Late Model races and the competition has seemingly been elevated compared to previous seasons. Sunday night’s Memorial Classic will feature another competitive field.
“Having good competition will make it tougher to win but we like when the competition comes in,” Clements explained. “I feel like Carteret’s one of the hardest tracks to win at. I think we’re going to have a car good enough to win, I really do. I feel very confident.”
The Limited Late Model division will bookend the feature racing program with 50 lap races in Sunday night’s WITN Memorial Classic presented by Moore’s Old-Tyme Barbeque, Chicken & Seafood. The green flag will wave at 7:15pm. Tickets are $15 for adults while kids 10 and under get in free.