Craig Clawson, in the #27 Clawson Motorsports Van Diemen, will see a home field advantage when the F2000 Championship Series heads to Watkins Glen with the IndyCars, July 1-4. Clawson grew up in nearby Elmira, and currently is based out of the Corning area. The Series veteran, who has started every single F2000 Series race since 2006, runs a modest team with a small but dedicated and highly knowledgeable crew made up of Joe, Phil and the ever-resourceful Capt. Tom.
Clawson, a Masters Class driver, is coming off his best finish of the year, tenth at Mosport, and feels good heading into the Watkins Glen weekend
Notably, Clawson was the only one to arrive on Saturday’s Mosport false grid on rain tires, with his crew rolling the dice. As the story goes, everyone else was there on dry tires, and moments later the skies opened, leaving the rest of the grid scrambling to go to wet tires.
“We feel good after a decent result at Mosport, with one race in the top ten, it was our best finish of the year and the crew and I feel we’ve got some momentum going into Watkins Glen,” said Clawson. “We’re upbeat.”
Clawson, the only man besides Bob Wright to start every single F2000 Championship Series race since 2006, nearly missed the season finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2008. A huge crash during the first race on Saturday left his #27 in pieces, but a last minute deal to put him in a Greisiger Motorsports Van Diemen, which kept his ironman streak alive while showcasing the generosity of the F2000 paddock.
One of the hot topics heading into the weekend is the huge field expected at Watkins Glen, and while an official entry list has yet to appear from the Series, the grapevine suggests a double-digit number starting with a three.
“The increased field size doesn’t bother me a bit,” continued Clawson. “The F2000 Series is about running with the best, and you get beat by the best, but if I manage to beat a few guys I know I’ve done well. I really like the close competition since it makes you work hard.”
Last season, he logged 12th and ninth place finishes at the Glen and managed to stay out of trouble in both races.
“I like to think we have a home field track advantage at the Glen, or rather, what little advantage I’ll ever have is at the Glen,” Clawson added. “Mentally, we’re feeling optimistic after the weekend at Mosport; despite getting to know Dan Denison a little too well in the second race.”
As far as a specific goal for the weekend, Clawson said: “I think realistically, we don’t have enough points to go after winning the Masters Class title, we’d love to see some top ten finishes. We want to be out there, we started out a bit slower than usual this season, but, hey, you never know.”