Interview

Clements Continues to Pave His Own Way to Success

@JClements51 is one of the many drivers hopeful for improvement as he enters his fifth season of competition in the XFINITY Series.

“I’m pretty excited,” Clements told POPULAR SPEED. “I think there’s a lot of good changes going on in the sport with the Chase for our series, and the heat races. That will spice it up some, and looking forward to seeing how that plays out.

“Just trying to make our program better so we can run better each week, so I’m just excited to see how it shakes out. Hopefully, we can have a better year than last year.”

Clements is coming off of a solid 2015 that saw him finish 14th in the standings with nine top-15 finishes, highlighted by a 10th place finish at Dover International Speedway. Renewed hope for success comes from the work the team has done over the offseason, in finding areas to improve their program.

Over the past couple of the months, Jeremy Clements Racing has worked on their cars – from handling to the engines – as well as their pit crew.

“You just have to get better in every aspect to even consider being top-10 so we’re looking at every area that we can, really,” he said.

As a result, Clements wants to realistically be in the top-15 on a weekly basis, though he hopes to break into the top-10 in some events.

“We had some places where we were really good and could run top-10, and then if you have a really good day, you could even run even better,” he said. “It’s tough – it’s the same old song and dance racing against the big teams, but we’re not going to give up, and keep trying to improve, and make ourselves better and see what we got for them.”

Clements has always been a driver to do things his way, running the organization himself with his father Tony Clements as the crew chief. It’s not the ideal situation, but certainly one he is trying to make work with the most success as possible.

“It’s not the ideal situation, but it’s what we’re dealt with because we don’t have a $1 million plus to drive for them, so we have to do it ourselves,” he said. “I’m still fortunate to be able to it, though. It’s just tough. We don’t have the money, engineering, all the people that they have.

“It can be hard and impossible to outrun them in certain places, so it’s frustrating, but at the end of the day, it’s still gratifying when you can get close to them and on some days, run right there with them and sometimes beat some of them. That keeps you going for sure.”

Clements is hoping to keep things going by being one of the 12 drivers to be a part of the Chase for the Championship.

“I think the new Chase format is great. I think it’s awesome to implement that in our series,” he said. “It just adds more excitement to our series, and what’s what we need.”

Before having a pair of finishes outside of the top-20 in last season’s final two races which knocked him to 14th in points, Clements was one of the drivers in the top-12 in points all season long. If he can run competitively once again, it could result in his most memorable season yet.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, it’s owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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