(Special to Lonnie Wheatley)
The race cars are prepped and ready to hit the track. And so are the three drivers as Clauson-Marshall Racing is set to pursue the 2017 USAC National Midget championship.
The potent three-car team features Tyler Courtney, Shane Golobic and Justin Grant, each of whom goes after a first USAC National title. Courtney and Grant both picked off preliminary feature wins at this January’s Chili Bowl Nationals with all three finishing among the top 15 in the championship finale.
The title pursuit begins with the Second Annual Shamrock Classic at Du Quoin’s Southern Illinois Center on Saturday night, March 18.
“I am really proud of the lineup we have assembled for our inaugural season,” team co-owner Tim Clauson commented. “While our original plan was to run a two-car team for the championship with Tyler and Shane, the opportunity to add Justin was one we just couldn’t pass up.”
Clauson goes on to say, “All three of the drivers have won in our cars, and now to have a team that will allow them the chance to compete for a championship is very exciting. All three drivers are professional race car drivers and the type of people we want our development drivers to look up to.”
Courtney is no stranger to the team, having worked with the Clauson’s in the past to earn his first shot at Midget racing several years ago. Familiar with the team’s approach, Courtney was a natural fit for the CMR team aboard the Driven2SaveLives No. 7bc.
“I’m really excited for this season and to contend for my first national midget championship,” Courtney comments. “We have a solid group of guys with a lot of momentum on our side from the winter season that hopefully transfers into this season. It’s gonna be a great year with two really good teammates and one really solid team.”
A winner of both Sprint Car and Midget races under the tutelage of Tim Clauson and last year’s Inaugural Shamrock Classic in a car prepared by Clauson and Tyler Ransbottom, Fremont, California’s Shane Golobic will take the wheel of the Matt Wood Racing/Clauson-Marshall Racing Elk Grove Ford No. 17w.
“I am excited and thankful for a full season behind the wheel of the Matt Wood Racing/Clauson Marshall 17w,” Golobic says. “I enjoy racing with Matt, Tim, Tyler, and the rest of the CMR team and I have no doubt that we will be very successful in 2017.”
The partnership with Matt Wood Racing carries over from the Chili Bowl. “To me, this team should be called ‘We loved Bryan Racing’,” Wood states. “I’ve never met a person that impacted my life the way Bryan did.
“I’m honored to have an opportunity to represent Bryan and be affiliated with the Driven2SaveLives campaign,” Wood continues. “This USAC midget season will be the best ever. It’s no secret that the road to the USAC Midget championship goes through Keith Kunz Racing. With this lineup of drivers and the talent of Tim Clauson, I predict next year it goes thru CMR/MWR”.
Filling out the potent Clauson-Marshall Racing USAC Midget stable is Justin Grant, a California native like Golobic who led the CMR team at the Chili Bowl with a fifth-place finish in the finale. Grant will wheel the CMR No. 39bc.
“The addition of a driver like Justin, whose passion for the sport is second to none and who really came through for us at this year’s Chili Bowl, was really an opportunity we had to make happen,” Tim Clauson explains. “I know how hard Justin has worked and sacrificed to earn his opportunities over the years. To be in a position to reward that hard work and passion is really what this team is all about.”
Grant is ready for the opportunity to pursue the USAC Midget crown. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to compete for the 2017 USAC National Midget championship with the Clauson-Marshall Racing team,” Grant says. “Between Tim Clauson’s dedication and knowledge and the Marshalls’ commitment to this team and our sport as a whole, I couldn’t ask for better people to work with.
“Having a seat in the 39BC Midget will provide me not only a chance to race for wins and a championship title, but also an opportunity to learn from a great team and talented teammates both on and off the race track,” Grant says. “Clauson-Marshall Racing is highly professional, as well as very family oriented and I am honored to be a part of it as we chase wins, a championship and hope to honor Bryan’s memory.”
Richard Marshall is eager to see the CMR team take to the track in 2017.
“After seeing the teamwork displayed by these guys at this year’s Chili Bowl, I could not be more excited to keep it going for the 2017 USAC championship campaign,” Marshall says. “These three drivers are winners on and off the track. They carry themselves in a way that would make Bryan proud and consequently will be great mentors for Clauson-Marshall Development drivers. I can’t wait to get to the track!”
It all begins Saturday night in Du Quoin before the 27-race slate of events resumes in April with the Kokomo Grand Prix.
For additional information regarding Clauson-Marshall Racing, be sure to check http://www.clausonmarshallracing.com/.