Clement capitalizes in IMCA All Star Shootout opener

Mitchell Clement turned a restart opportunity into a $1,000 Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature win Wednesday, opening night of the All Star Shootout at Southern Oklahoma Speedway. (Photo by Mike Frieri)

ARDMORE, Okla. (May 24, 2023) – He bided his time and then Mitchell Clement banked $1,000.

Clement won Wednesday’s All Star Shootout opening night feature for Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds at Southern Oklahoma Speedway, capitalize on race-long leader Troy Morris III’s bobble following a restart with nine laps to go.

“I had a really good car,” Clement said after starting ninth and working his way into the top three midway through the 25-lapper at Ardmore. “I knew I just had to be patient.”

Morris, from Bakersfield, Calif., and the current Junior National Champion points leader, drew the pole start and kept William Gould and then Josh McGaha at bay before back-to-back yellows on lap 17.

He did some of his best driving avoiding any serious contact with a tire that had come off another car and then pinballed along the front stretch while the race was under caution.

Clement earned Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying eligibility by a margin of just more than 1.7 seconds over Morris.

Texans McGaha, Matthew Day and Chris Morris rounded out the top five.

Fifty-six Modifieds were among the 112 IMCA entries on the night.

Shelby Williams and Cody Smith were $750 winners in IMCA Sunoco Stock Car and Smiley’s Racing Products IMCA Southern SportMod features, respectively.

Lance Hanson Jr. led early in the Stock Car main before falling off the pace and out of the race with mechanical issues. Gregory Muirhead took over at the point and weathered two restarts before national points leader Williams and Jeffrey Abbey both moved ahead.

Abbey’s last-lap bid came up short as Williams captured another B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational qualifier. Muirhead was third.

And Smith was in control throughout the Southern SportMod 20-lapper, pulling away before and again after multiple cautions at midway.

Dean Abbey was second, Jeff Shepperd third.

Night two is Thursday at Grayson County Speedway in Bells, Texas, where all three IMCA divisions are in action beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The All Star Shootout travels to Boyd Raceway on Friday, to Kennedale Speedway Park on Saturday and to Waco’s Heart O’ Texas Speedway on Sunday.

All five race programs will be broadcast exclusively by Shootout presenting sponsor IMCA.TV.

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