Spartanburg, S.C. native, Jeremy Clements has been racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for more than 10 years now. He began his racing career at the age of seven when his grandfather started taking him to the go cart track where he would eventually pick up 47 feature wins. In 1999, Clements moved up to modified and stock four-cylinders collecting 59 wins and three track championships over the next three years. In 2002, Clements made his debut in the ARCA Series. It wasn’t until 2003 when he made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut driving the No. 3 at Talladega Superspeedway. But on July 24, 2004, Clements’ career was put in danger after he suffered an injury while driving his No. 51 late model in Madison, N.C. The torque arm broke under his car and sent a steel driveshaft darting through the cockpit, nearly removing his right hand. With hopes to regain use of his right hand, he underwent numerous surgeries and months of physical therapy. He returned to the track in July 2005 testing his mate model. Thankfully, he overcame the injury and has been competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series full time since 2011. Clements got his first win in the 2017 Johnsonville 180 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc.
A few weeks ago at Darlington I had the chance to ask Jeremy a few questions as he was walking to his car to qualify. Here is what he had to say!
1. Has it set in that you're now a winner in the Xfinity Series?
JC: Yeah, I think it must be real now because everybody keeps congratulating me, I don’t think they’re congratulating me for anything else so I think it's pretty cool.
2. Would you have ever expected your first win to be on a road course?
JC: No, definitely not because I didn't come from road course racing - to win at a road course is pretty special and they’re a lot of fun so i'm glad I was able to do it at one and I hope it's the first of many more.
3. I know you had to be extremely nervous leading the field on that last lap, describe how you were feeling!
JC: I was feeling a lot of emotion, I was mad at myself for spinning me and Matt Tifft out and then I grabbed the gear and kept going - it was just unbelievable. I couldn't believe that was actually real and we were going to win the thing. I had a lot of emotions that last lap.
4. What is one of the biggest struggles you face being a small team in Spartanburg, South Carolina?
JC: There are a lot of struggles, we don't have the funding we need a lot of the times and we race against a lot of big teams with a lot of money, support and engineering that we don't have so that's definitely it.
Until next time, Taylor