Clinton, September 26, 2013 -- Clinton Raceway will host its final program of the Summer Meet this Sunday featuring the track’s annual Charity Driver’s Challenge.
This year’s event will pit the top eight local drivers against each other in the 12-race competition. One of the new faces will be that ofwho ended up third overall in the seasonal driver standings.
“It was my first time driving full time in Clinton and I was very pleased with how things went,” said McClure. “I was fortunate that a lot of guys had the confidence to use me regularly and I picked up some nice horses to drive. It’s a great track to race at because they want to race there and do a lot to promote the sport.”
McClure, who just celebrated his 23rd birthday, followed his father Lormer into the sport at a young age and knew early on that he wanted to drive horses as soon as he was old enough.
One of his earliest drives came on family horse Southwind Vavoom, a speedy trotter who raced at the top level both North and South of the border and earned just shy of $250,000 with a mark of 1:52.4 taken at Pompano Park.
“He is by far the classiest horse I’ve ever driven,” admitted McClure. “He took me places I shouldn’t have been when I first started – like winning races at Woodbine and The Meadowlands. I didn’t fully appreciate him at the time but I sure do now.”
McClure is on pace this season to equal or surpass his career-best yearly totals of 81 wins and $547,000 in earnings. Impressive, considering there are having been fewer racing opportunities and reduced purses in the province throughout the year.
He spends much of his days throughout the week working a full-time construction job, but the rest of his time and energy is focused on racing and on improving his skills in the race bike at tracks like Clinton, Grand River and The Raceway in London.
So, what does he expect this Sunday?
“Well, you know it will be an aggressive day of racing with that format and I consider myself a guy that likes to play off the speed, so I hope I can capitalize a few times,” he said. “It is really going to be different driving a full line-up of horses that you don’t know much about. I think driving each horse to their ability is the challenge and will probably be the key to doing well.”
Joining McClure in Sunday’s Challenge will be fellow competitors, , , , ., and .
This year will mark the 33rd year that Clinton has hosted the Driver Challenge and the third time that it has been held as a fundraising effort for Childcan, an organization which supports families who are dealing with Childhood Cancer diagnosis.
In the past, the Challenge has raised more than $250,000 for local charities, local clubs and organizations.
As part of the day’s activities there will be a Twoonie Auction, Silent Auction, Barbecue and Bake Sale with all proceeds going towards Childcan. Happy Hands of Wax will be on hand creating wax impressions, and Beaver Meadow Stables will have horses and a carriage giving wagon rides during the day.
First post on closing day is 1:30 p.m. and for more information, visit www.clintonraceway.com.