Friday, January 13, 2012

Jeremy Clements: An Incredible Race Car Driver

(Credit goes to Jeremy Clements
Racing. Sources: jeremyclements and Jeremy Clements.)
Jeremy Clements was born on January 16, 1985 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He graduated from Paul M. Dorman High school in 2003. Jeremy is the grandson of famed NASCAR owner and crew chief Crawford Clements. His family owns and operates Clements Racing Engines, a premier racing engine company that provides winning power plants for numerous dirt, Hooters Cup and ARCA teams across the nation. Jeremy said “I never went to prom or football games because my weekends consisted of racing Fridays, Saturdays and sometimes Sundays. I had friends who grew up with racing so we hung out at the track. I don’t regret any of it because that is what it took to get where I am today. Racing is my passion." Jeremy Clements is a NASCAR Nationwide Series racing professional and his passion of him wanting to race started when he was just a young boy in Elementary school.
Jeremy started his racing career in go-carts with his brother Jason. "My grandfather would take us to Buck Creek Speedway every Saturday. He was a big part of getting me involved in racing,” stated Jeremy. Jeremy earned forty-seven feature wins before successfully tackling the various ranks of dirt track racing.“ I was 14 years old when I ran my first dirt track race in mini stocks in 1999." He raced four cylinder cars in both the modified and stock series at Thunder Valley Speedway and Cherokee Speedway.
“I moved up to Super late models in 2002,” said Jeremy. He won numerous feature wins on dirt and multiple track championships in Modified Four-Cylinders and Super Late Models. After he had dirt track racing experience, he transitioned to asphalt racing.
Jeremy made his ARCA series debut at Talladega Superspeedway in 2002. He started 6th and finished a respectable 17th in the #3 Chevrolet. He started five ARCA races in 2003, earning three top 10s. Clements made his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series ( then NASCAR Busch Series ) in 2003 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Jeremy was one of the youngest drivers to ever qualify for a NASCAR Nationwide Series event (18). He started 35th and finished 31st after an early crash. After his debut in the Nationwide Series at Pikes Peak International Raceway, Jeremy did not return to the Nationwide Series until 2007.
In July 2004 Jeremy was seriously injured in a dirt late model race in Madison, NC at 311 Speedway when the torque arm broke and sent a piece of the driveshaft through the car and it about took his arm and hand off. He went through ten surgeries in a year with one of them sewing his hand to his right side hip to get a skin graft and doing bone grafts from his hip for his hand. They also took tendons from his right foot to put into his hand. That was a scary time for Jeremy because the doctors told him he would never race again. Jeremy was determined to prove them wrong because he wanted to get back in the seat and race again. One year later Jeremy drove in a dirt late model race and finished 2nd. Jeremy said "I am very grateful to the good lord for saving my hand and to be able to use it to race."
 Clements made his ARCA return in September 2005. Jeremy ran 10 races in the ARCA series in Ken Appling’s #3 Chevrolet in 2006. He earned four top 10s including three consecutive top5s. He was also Selected by General motors to Participate in a three track test with Richard Childress Racing.
(His First and only ARCA Series Victory.)
Clements had a spectacular season in 2007, earning eight top- 10s in 12 races. Jeremy earned his first and only ARCA win at Nashville Super speedway in 2007. He started 2nd and led 48 laps. Jeremy ran seven races in 2008 where he earned 5 top 10s. Clements signed with McGill Motorsports to run the last five races of the season in their #36 Chevrolet in 2007. He finished two races and had a best finish of 23rd at Lowes Motor speedway. In 2008 he attempted four races for his family owned #50 team. He qualified for two of them, earning finishes of 22nd and 30th.
Throughout 2008 he was mentioned often in the same sentences as Kyle Busch. The Joe Gibbs Racing organization has a strong belief in Jeremy and has entrusted much of their testing, practice, and qualifying efforts of Kyle Busch's No. 18 Nationwide car to Clements. Jeremy has qualified the car as high as second.
In 2009 Clements increased his focus on the Nationwide Series, attempting 13 races and making 12. He ran six races in his family owned #50 with a best finish of 16th. Shortly before the October race at Kansas Speedway in 2009, Jeremy and sponsor Saxon Group joined forces with JD motorsports to finish out the season in the #0 Chevrolet. In his 2nd race with JD , he finished a career best 12th at Auto club Speedway.
Clements drove the first three races of the 2010 season in the #0 for JD Motor sports . After missing the field at Daytona due to qualifying being rained out, his plans for the rest of the season were up in the air. The #0 team was shut down and JD moved Clements to the #04. He attempted the next two races as planned, but unfortunately he failed to qualify for both of them. Clements made his first race of the season in April at Nashville Super speedway, finishing 22nd. He attempted 19 more races , qualifying for 15 of them.
In 2011 Jeremy competed in his first full season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He finished 15th in points. He has no top-ten finishes, but he had three 14th- place finishes and ten top- twenty finishes.
In 2012 Jeremy Clements Racing will be racing the full season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Jeremy Clements Racing is still looking for sponsors. They are working very hard to get everything ready for the 2012 season.
 I had the privilege to talk with Jeremy via email and ask him a couple more questions and this is what he had to say:
“ I have wanted to be a race car driver ever since I was little. My family has been involved in racing since the 60’s so it kind of runs in our blood. “
“My dad, Tony Clements, raced in the Asphalt Late Model and Enduro 500 lap. My uncle Glenn raced go carts, motorcycles and limited sportsman. My brother Jason raced go carts and limited sportsman.”
“ The hardest part about racing is that its not all about talent. One of the biggest factors to racing is the equipment and in order to have great equipment you have to have strong sponsorship backing you. We have been very fortunate to have many great sponsors throughout 2011 and be able to be competitive with million dollar teams."
“ I love the speed, competitiveness and the rush I get from racing."
“ My favorite tracks are Bristol, Charlotte and Dover. Bristol is awesome because it feels really fast and you can race all over the track. Dover has the same feel. Charlotte is just a fun place to race with high speeds and my family and friends there being the home track. My least favorite track is New Hampshire just because it’s flat and hard to pass on.”
“My best racing memory was when I was 15 and we won both World Crown Four Cylinder Nationals at Cherokee Speedway for $16,000 and the race at Thunder Valley Speedway for $12,000 in the same week.”
“ I’m very competitive! I try to win and do my best at anything and everything I do. I’ve always been that way and don’t see it changing.”
“To be a race car drive you have got to have the guts to drive fast and around other cars. There’s a lot of hand eye coordination involved as well. The higher you go in racing the longer the races are so you have to pick and choose your battles and know when to race and when not to.”
“My biggest inspiration has to be my grandpa, Crawford Clements. I learned a lot from him and he’s the one that got me started racing and in love with the sport.”
“ My off season consists of going away on a couple vacations; skiing, Orlando PRI show and a cruise. I also catch up with family and friends and go to the race shop a lot to prepare for next season.”
“ I’m just starting to get into mountain biking so that’s really fun. I love going to the lake and riding jet skis, tubing and hanging out with friend there. I enjoy roller coasters and anything that will give you an adrenaline rush. I try and work out to stay in shape too as well as play on the racing simulator."
“ My goals for the future are to keep getting our team stronger and keep running as best we can. I would like to run Sprint Cup one day as well if the opportunity comes along. I treat every race like it’s my last so I run as hard as possible and go for the win.”
“ Being a NASCAR Nationwide Series driver is a huge privilege. I am very grateful to be able to compete at such a high level and i don’t ever taking it for granted. It could end any time and I think a lot of guys forget that. There are so many great drivers out there that would do anything to race in this series so I feel very lucky. I’ve learned a lot since my first race in the Nationwide Series when I was 18.”
“ I support a few charities that I feel strongly about. The main charities that I support are APED and Defenders for Children. I also support Food for the Poor, MRO, Back 2 Back Ministries, Perception Ministries, St. Judes Hospital, Miracle Hill Ministries and the Antonia Petrina Tersillo Memorial Scholarship fund.”
“ Social Media is a huge part in raising a fan base and keeping fans and sponsors up to date with everything going on. I have a facebook page, Jeremy Clements Racing and a Twitter account, jc_racing51. In 2011 we used social media to help raise money for our charlotte fan car and the Atlanta APFED car.”
The last thing that I asked Jeremy was what would you say to someone who would love to be a race car driver? Jeremy said “ Never give up no matter how hard it gets. Keep pushing and give 100% all the time; from driving to working on the equipment. You never know when the right person will see you.”
Jeremy has worked very hard to get were he is at today. His passion is racing and someday soon Jeremy will get his first NASCAR win.
To Jeremy Clements: Thank you very much for allowing me to ask you some questions so this article could happen, I truly do appreciate it. All of your race fans wish you the best of luck in the 2012 racing season.
 Race Fans:Come join Jeremy Clements & other NASCAR drivers for a casino night to benefit APFED. There will be casino tables, dancing, silent auction & live auction.
Valentines & Vegas
Hosted by Jeremy Clements & Racing for a Cause
To benefit APFED
When: February 11, 2012 at 7pm
Where: Embassy Suites Greenville, SC.

To learn more about Valentines & Vegas, Click on the link below.

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