S.C.’s Clements to compete in NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs

Driver Jeremy Clements with his wife, Courtney. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

 

Jeremy Clements’ #51 Goodson Construction/Fox Sports 98.3 Chevrolet race car, CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

By Hunter Thomas

The Fourth Turn.com

For the second time in his career, Spartanburg native Jeremy Clements will compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. The last time that Clements made a run for the championship was in 2017. He finished out that season with a win at Road America, and he ended up 12th in the series standings. So far this year, Clements is winless; however, he has amassed seven top-10 finishes prior to the start of the NASCAR Playoffs. That statistic is a team best, and he will enter the Playoffs with momentum on his side. “It has been hard work all year really, to get to where we’re at and have consistency,” Clements said. “Three races right off the top of my head that we kind of shot ourself in the foot and could have been a lot better, but things happen. It’s a long season, and I’m really proud of our effort for sure. Being where we’re at right now is really cool to me, being a small team and battling these big teams every weekend. It’s really tough.” Clements’ best finish so far this season came on Mother’s Day weekend at Darlington Raceway, when he crossed the finish line in sixth. As the season progressed, Clements fought hard for top-15 and top-10 finishes, but the team’s performance on Labor Day weekend in the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway is what really solidified a spot in this year’s Playoffs. He drove the No. 51 R.E. Goodson Construction/Fox Sports 98.3 Chevrolet to an eighth-place finish at the track Too Tough To Tame. “Darlington is such a fun, challenging track to battle on,” Clements said. “I’m so glad that we get to race there twice a year, there and Atlanta. Places where you really got to get up on the wheel and attack are a lot of fun. But they’re challenging too, and they’ll bite you. “Getting to race there is such a privilege. I was proud of our effort. We started off and got the car better and better and then put ourselves in a position there at the end to run and come across fighting for sixth and seventh, and we ended up eighth.” Clements said, “All we can do is put ourself in that position and see what happen. When we’re right there with those big teams like that and we’re the first small team, that’s a really good day. Top-10s are big to us, and they’re hard to come by, too.” Following Darlington, Clements had a solid top-10 effort going for him at Richmond Raceway, but he spun late in the race and finished a disappointing 26th. This past weekend, he survived Bristol Motor Speedway with a 13th-place effort, and now the team is ready for the unpredictable first round of the NASCAR Playoffs. “The first round is really unpredictable,” Clements said. “There are three tracks that are just all totally different, so looking at them, I don’t know. You’ve got a mile-and-a-half at (Las) Vegas, and you’ve got obviously Talladega, which is as unpredictable as they get and then the Charlotte ROVAL, which we saw last year can be unpredictable, too. We raced in torrential rain.” Clements said, “Anything can happen, and I feel like we’re one of the teams that as long as we don’t screw ourselves up and put ourselves in any bad position or anything like that, I think we could get through it, really. You see a lot of these guys self-destruct and kind of take their selves out. Especially the late-race stuff that they do.” Clements has been competing full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2011, so he is certainly a veteran driver; however, the team is family owned, and that comes with its own set of challenges. This season, the team is going to finish out the year basically with no blank cars, because sponsorship was solidified. That is quite an accomplishment for a team that only has about four full-time employees and eight race cars. Just being able to make the NASCAR Playoffs and obtain a little extra TV time and media exposure goes a long way in keeping current partners happy and attracting new sponsorship to the team. “I think it’s obviously wonderful for our partners for sure,” Clements said. “That’s what we want. It’s what they want. It has been a goal for everybody this year to make the Playoffs and to get them the extra attention will be great, and it has been a wonderful year for new partners with JCR (Jeremy Clements Racing).”

Author: Rachel Howell

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