CONCORD, N.C. - Shane Clanton, like other drivers in the pits, began the 2015 World of Outlaws Late Model Series season with high hopes of hoisting the championship trophy for the first time in his career. Ten wins, 34 top-fives and 37 top-tens later, Clanton capped off his phenomenal year by doing what he set out to do when he captured his first series title at the Bad Boy Buggies World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
The 40-year-old driver led the championship standings from start to finish last year after starting the season with a bang by scoring a victory on the second night at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga. He then dominatedall three nights of the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.
"[Winning the championship] means a lot. It's one of those deals I can check off my bucket list," said Clanton, who became the first driver not named Josh Richards or Darrell Lanigan to win the series title since Rick Eckert did so in 2011. "I've been after it a long time and to finally get one feels pretty good."
Fast forward two months. With just weeks remaining before the series makes its return to the season opener at Screven's Winter Freeze VI on Feb. 12 and 13, Clanton has a different goal this year. He starts the season looking to become the first driver since Richards in 2009 and 2010 to repeat as series champion.
"We're excited for Screven," said the Zebulon, Ga.-native. "We won one last year, so hopefully we can run as good as we did. We're also excited to be heading back to Florida. As good as we ran there last year, hopefully we can repeat again and kick the season off with a bang and win another title."
In preparation for the upcoming season, Clanton and his team took on the Wild West Shootout at USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz.. Clanton has been using his time out West to improve his program in hopes of keeping championship form for the upcoming season. He is also trying to find free time to enjoy at home.
"We've been rebuilding and trying to get ready for another grueling season with the World of Outlaws," Clanton said. "As much as I am at home, it doesn't seem like I get much time here."
Unlike most sports, drivers in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series only have a few months to prepare for the upcoming season and enjoy their time off. Most drivers, like Clanton, choose to continue racing in the offseason to keep their programs in top shape in order to make a run for the championship.
With an all-star cast set to invade Screven and compete with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series full-time in 2016, Clanton will have his hands full as he seeks to accomplish his goal and repeat as series champion.
Tickets for Winter Freeze VI at Screven Motor Speedway are $20 on Thursday, $30 on Friday and $40 on Saturday, with kids under 12 admitted for free. All tickets are a pit pass with free parking. To find out more information, visit www.ScrevenMotorsports.com.
For more information on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com. Fans can also follow the World of Outlaws Late Model Series on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/WoOLateModels and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsLateModelSeries.
-WoO Late Models Press Release. Photo Credit: Paul Arch Photo