"2010 was a great season, I won the national USAC Jr. Animal Championship and finished third in the Jr. Honda division, remarked eight-year-old CRI driver Tyler Clem. "We will be competing one last year in 2011, in the same two divisions, along with running Bandos in Florida. The highlight of 2010 was my two A-main wins in my dad's home state of Indiana, at the Kokomo Jr. Honda and the Lakeville Jr. Animal." And the low-lights were early in the season, when I got taken out two different times by lapped cars, with only a few laps to go while leading. But, we regrouped and overcame those setbacks to finish strong."
Tyler Clem, the checkered flag lap is becoming increasingly more familiar.
CRI drivers Tyler Clem and Michael Atwell are developmental drivers for Stewart-Haas Racing, the NASCAR racing team owned by Tony Stewart and Gene Haas.
Tyler's dad is Bubba Clem, team owner of K&N sponsored Clem Racing, Inc. (CRI). CRI is a Florida-based .25 Midget Race Team owned by Bubba Clem with Dan Atwell and car chief Mike Tidwell.
"CRI clinched five championships last season and we were in serious contention for a sixth," announced Clem on his national Bubba the Love Sponge radio show. "To be able to pick up five and possibly six points series championships in one year with two drivers is a very rare accomplishment," added Clem on his radio program. "Crew chief Dan Atwell and I are very proud, and I'm sure that 'the Big Man,' Tony Stewart, is too."
The CRI drivers Tyler Clem and ten-year old Michael Atwell have both been selected as developmental drivers for Stewart-Haas Racing, the NASCAR racing team owned by Tony Stewart and Gene Haas.
According to Bubba, after speaking with Stewart on the phone, he and Stewart will go over 2011 racing plans for the Stewart-Haas developmental driver when they see each other in Homestead, Florida in a few weeks.
"I'm so thankful, and I know Michael and Tyler are thankful as well, to have Tony's endorsement. He was the first owner to endorse a .25 Midget driver in a developmental program, and now Dale Earnhardt, Jr. may be following suit, as well. Tony is always on the leading edge of finding great talent, as evidenced by his USAC open wheel guys, who are the best in the business," added Bubba.
CRI has plans to branch out in 2011, racing in USAC's National Series, and perhaps they will even start testing some bigger, full-size cars on asphalt and dirt, along with picking up another driver in the Florida area.
Bubba also announced that nine-year-old Trevor Taylor from Zellwood, Florida will drive the number 7 CRI car next year.
"I couldn't be happier with both of CRI's drivers," said Bubba. "So much so that we added Trevor here in Florida, and he will be joining Tyler in Bandos, and Michael will be competing in full-sized trucks in the rookie division at Punta Gorda (Florida). All three kids will run the USAC generation next national .25 series as well."
Bubba is also currently scouting a female teenage driver, located in the Midwest, to possibly drive a few races for CRI in some of the USAC National events.
"We start Saturday February 26th in Punta Gorda," said Bubba. "Trevor and Tyler in Bandos, and Michael in rookie trucks..."
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