Quarter Master's Clutch Performance of the Month
Who Came Through in The Clutch This Time?
As Decided by the Staff of Speed51.com
Performing in the clutch is what seperates a winning driver from the rest of the pack.  Flexing muscle at the right time is something that true talents posess.  Often luck plays a big role in winning versus losing, but being able to squeeze just enough strength out at the perfect opportunity is what separates winners from losers.  Performing in the clutch doesn't necessarily mean winning, however; it's all about making the most from what you've got.

That's why Quarter Master, providers of winning clutches & driveline components to racers from Super Speedway to the Bullring, from IRL to Rally, from NASCAR to the "Weekend Warrior," is proud to honor a weekly "Clutch Performance of the Month" from the short track ranks of America.  Each month, an esteemed panel of short track industry insiders will vote on which drivers came through in the clutch.  The driver or team with the most votes will then be the "Clutch Performance of the Month."  At the end of the 2011 season, the driver or team that received the most votes throughout the season will then be the "Clutch Performer of the Year" and will be awarded a clutch kit from Quarter Master, valued at $3,500 - just like the 2008 Quarter Master Clutch Performer of the Year winner Eddie MacDonald, the 2009 winner Jeff Fultz and the 2010 winner Johanna Long.

This installment of the "Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Month" goes to ...
Kenzie Ruston
CRA Super Series

When you're a female racing in a predominantly-male sport, everything you do is magnified.  Every pass, every bump and every quote is analyzed or scrutinized perhaps more than when the boys do it.  Kenzie Ruston has dealt with that as well, if not better than anyone else can at just 20-year old considering the pressure.   Her performance in 2011 has shown her improvement from speedy success in Late Models and strong runs in ARCA.

Ruston showed just how far she had come in her racing career in a recent trip to Lucas Oil Raceway (IN) for the Fall Brawl; a trip that resulted in a historic weekend.

Ruston became the first female to set fast time in a CRA Super Series event and then became the first to pull into victory lane in a CRA Super Series race.

The former Legends Car National Champion rode into victory lane with her Ankney Trucking, MelMark Pipe & Supply #39, beating the likes of Hantz, Campbell, Elliott , Blaney and others. Her first win was no fluke and it was not against a weak field thus giving her the honors of Clutch Performer of the Month, according to our panel.

Ruston started seventh after the invert and hung around the top spots all day, but never was able to take the lead.  As the race went on she settled into the second spot and began to run down Boris Jurkovic for the lead. She was catching him when the 53 car's fuel tank went dry with three laps to go, giving her the lead.   She held on for the win over the final laps.  

Ruston's Clutch Performance on the track was followed by another one in the award department.  The votes came funneling into Speed51.com this week and Ruston earned this victory by beating out fellow Super Late Model driver DJ Shaw by a single vote.  Shaw wrecked his NASCAR K&N Pro Series car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NH) and was unable to make the race there, but he rebounded to win the PASS Super Late Model event the next night at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH).


DJ Shaw (PASS) - Rebounded from NHMS K&N East wreck & DNQ to win PASS North show the next night
Steve Carlson (ASAMT) - Tied legendary Joe Shear with eighth Nat'l Short Track Championships win
Bubba Pollard (SLM & PLM) - Seventeen-time winner in 2011 throughout the Southeast
Eddie MacDonald (ACT) - Won NHMS ACT Invitational for a second time
Todd Szegedy (NWMT) - Using late-season victories to creep back into NASCAR WMT championship battle
Darrell Wallace, Jr. (NKNPSE) - Winner at Dover and leapfrogged into second in final point standings
Andy Seuss (NWSMT) - Won Caraway Southern Tour show to keep pace with his teammate for title
Chad Finley (JEGS) - Second-place finisher to Colt James in JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event at Lucas Oil
Kyle Benjamin (PLM) - Won 50 lap race at Mobile at the Age of 14
LW Miller  (NWSMT) - Beat Stadium Regulars at the "Madhouse"

Quarter Master salutes Kenzie Ruston on this month’s Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Month award.

Chuck Gonzalez Photo
Chuck Gonzalez Photo