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Kickin The Tires

Jeremy Clements shocked, thrilled about 3rd-place Pocono finish

Photo by Nigel Kinrade Photography

By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer

When the carnage was over in Sunday’s Xfinity Series race from Pocono Raceway… well, the race was over.

After what was a wreck-filled day in the Pennsylvania mountains, Jeremy Clements emerged as the series’ top underdog, finishing third in his family-owned No. 51 Chevrolet.

The result, his best of the season and fourth career top five, was also his first top-five finish since placing fourth at Bristol in August 2019.

“It was awesome,” Clements said. “I didn’t think we’d get that good of a run. It’s definitely a surprise, really awesome.”

With a race record nine cautions Sunday at Pocono, the race followed a similar theme from the morning’s Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, which also saw various accidents across all three turns.

“I didn’t know if our race was going to be like the Truck race with all the chaos,” he said. “When it started going that way, I thought, ‘We need to survive. That’s A. And then B., we need to get a good finish.’ I thought for sure we’d get a top 10, but not a top three, wow. I’m really surprised and happy at the same time.

“I was hoping the [Nos.] 98 and 10 would just wreck each other so I could win.”

Though that didn’t happen, Sunday was a nice pay-off for a team that has scratched and clawed through the coronavirus pandemic. The result was his third top 10 of the year and second since the sport’s return last month.

“Just showing up and racing like this is definitely difficult for a team like us,” he said. “We have zero engineering, no sim, no nothing. You just guess.

“We weren’t that great today but we did make the most of it. We capitalized on that last restart. We dug ourselves a hole at the beginning of the year with blowing up, getting wrecked. This is definitely what we needed to get back up there.”

One Comment

  1. Pat Rape

    June 29, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Congratulations and good luck for the next one!

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