In a career in racing that spans more than 30 years, NASCAR Xfinity Series Managing Director Wayne Auton enjoyed one of his favorite highlights only recently—Jeremy Clement’s Aug. 27 victory in the Johnsonville 180 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Running his No. 51 Chevrolet on a shoestring budget, Clements muscled his way past Matt Tifft on the final lap and took the first checkered flag of his NASCAR Xfinity Series career in his 256th start. That’s what Auton found so gratifying.
“You can’t go out here and buy an NFL team,” Auton said, “but you can definitely build a race car, get the right credentials, get the right driver, the right crew chief, and as the saying goes, on any given Sunday—and the reason I say that is we race Road America on Sunday—if the stars line up right, you can win one of these things.
“It doesn’t take megabucks to win one of these things, if the stars line up right.”
Auton feels Clements’ team deserves a special nod as an organization not only with a limited budget but as a team with no affiliation with a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series affiliation.
“The Clements racing operation has four guys who work on the race car. Low budget. I’m not going to say how much money they have per race, but it’s basically nothing. They go and they work hard, and it’s neat to see a team of lower budget go out and beat the big guys.
“It’s part of the sport, and I know that’s what Bill France wanted when he built NASCAR.”