At the outset of the 2011 race season Corey Tucker Racing and Bryan Clauson Inc. announced their return to the USAC National Sprint Car Series. Bryan Clauson, the 2010 USAC National Drivers Champion will once again be piloting the familiar K&N sponsored number 7 car. Curb Agajanian, who has a storied history in American Motorsports, will also be taking an ownership role in this new endeavor.
USAC National Sprint Car Series Racer Bryan Clauson
The number 7 entry landed on the podium two out of three races in the season opener.
Last weekend in the season opener at the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint race at Ocala Speedway, Florida, the number 7 entry landed on the podium with a solid third-place finish. The dynamic new team followed that up with a convincing victory the very next evening, as the Noblesville, Indiana, driver led the final eight laps.
"I would have never guessed that on our second night out we would have parked it in the circle picking up win number one for the season. The new Spike performed flawlessly and the Foxco Power Plant was hitting on all cylinders all night long," remarked Tim Clauson.
The third night out, Bryan was once again very much in contention, before getting caught up in an incident with 15 laps to go. Bryan's never say die attitude allowed him to pass 11 cars in 10 laps to finish 11th, and salvage a decent points night.
"It felt really good to roll out of the trailer so good, so quick," said Tim. "We felt like we had a pretty good baseline based on what we did last year, but to be one of the top three cars every time we hit the track was something we did not expect."
Clauson Racing didn't really get serious about putting this team deal together until the night before the Chili Bowl in January.
"Bryan had a couple of offers with a couple of really good teams, but we kept getting asked the same question - why aren't you doing your own thing? After awhile we started asking ourselves that too. We went to a couple of partners of ours, really just to get some advice, and they said - why not?"
"We basically built this program in the matter of a few weeks between the Chili Bowl and Florida. We are blessed with really good guys in the shop and they have an understanding of how we want to do things. Spike stepped up and got our cars built, and we were blessed that Roger and Barb Tapy of R&B Truckers wanted to get involved, and had a couple of engines ready to roll. So, it was really just a matter of working hard, gathering pieces and parts, and getting them together."
Tim explains that the first night out was really a just a get-acquainted night for him, Bryan and the new car. But they discovered they were very fast from the practice session on, and they even had a real shot in the first race, as they ran down the leaders, but a lapped car got in the way and first and second got away. During their get-acquainted gathering they had wisely opted to stay on the safe side and not beat themselves.
"The second night we gained on it, we got a little more aggressive with the set-up and Bryan got more comfortable, and we just kind of rolled around there really nice," said Tim. "Bryan did a great job of finding the track. And actually the third night might of been the best we had down there, but we got caught up in another's mess going for the lead."
"We changed a lot of our program from where we were in 2009," continued Tim. "We changed chassis, we went with the new Spike cars. The guys at Spike have built our Midgets over the past few years and we have been extremely fast with them. They were getting into the Sprint Car game, and it made sense to try and keep our programs all in the same place. They build safe, fast, racecars, and they are always there when we need them."
"In 2009 we also had great support from Gaerte race engines, but with the addition of R&B Truckers, and their association with Foxco, we made the change to their engines. We were really happy with the performance of the engine program in Florida, and really look forward to getting on some tracks that are more familiar to us. One thing that didn't change was our use of K&N Filters and products on the Midget and Sprint Car."
"Our goals for 2011 are very simple, win races and win the USAC National Championship, in both the Midget and the Sprint Car. We won last year's owner and driver championship, so when we sat down and evaluated what we needed to do to win a Sprint Car championship, and we decided that we needed was to control our own destiny."
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