Hughs, a 35-year-old aerospace mechanic, said he hadn't been closer than the grandstands to a racing car in 15 years. "It was an amazing experience," he said. "I knew I could drive a Late Model car if given the opportunity but never found myself with an extra $100,000 in my pocket. This summer I will be racing and the best part is the Competitive Edge Race Series has a $10,000 championship point fund. I could make money at this!"

Hughs, a Circle Track subscriber for the past 16 years, said he knows he "won't become the next Dale Jr. or Kevin Harvick, but this summer I'll feel like a professional driver when all I have to do is show up with my helmet and driving suit and go racing."

Competitive Edge Racing School can be reached at 800/699-7080 or on the World Wide Web at

ASA's Clanton Breaks Victory RecordJoey Clanton broke seven-time American Speed Association national champion Mike Eddy's record for consecutive victories to open a season on May 5 when he won the 300 at Florida's Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola.

It was the fourth consecutive checkered flag for the third-year veteran to open the 2002 ASA Racing Series season. Clanton's victory, his eighth in 44 career starts, broke the record he shared with Eddy, who won three straight events to start the 1995 season. The Michigan legend turned the hat trick at Columbus, Toledo, and Indianapolis that year.

"It's incredible to break a Mike Eddy record," said Clanton. "To think it hasn't been done in 35 years means a lot to me and winning at Five Flags in ASA is like a Snowball Derby (traditional stock car event held at the track)."

After leading for 745 of 800 laps through the first three events, Clanton found the going a lot tougher on the abrasive racing surface at the half-mile oval in Florida's Panhandle region. Temperatures in the upper 80s, under mostly sunny skies, forced five drivers to abandon their rides during the event due to fatigue.

Clanton made it five straight to open the season on May 19, winning ASA's next race at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Butch Miller ended Clanton's run at Berlin Raceway in Michigan on June 1, and Kevin Cywinski won the following week at Wisconsin International Raceway. Clanton won at Elko (Minnesota) Raceway and I-70 Speedway in Missouri to make it seven of nine. With six races left in the '02 season, Clanton had won eight of 14 and led the point standings.

Ironically, in 1995, the year of Eddy's streak, he lost the series title to Bryan Reffner.