Valerie Clements isn’t your ordinary girl next door – unless that girl goes to Clemson University and races an 8-second car in the NMRA. Just last year Valerie was named 2012 NMRA Rookie of the Year and she has made a big name for herself out on the track.
Racing since she was 8 years old in Junior Dragsters, it was only natural for the 20-year-old to start racing with the best of them in the NMRA. Her family grew up around racing, and her brother Alton Clements has been racing Renegade in NMRA for several years. He tunes Valerie’s SCT Mustang as well as his own and her dad (also Alton) does a lot of the “behind the scenes” work on the car during race time.
After receiving the NMRA Rookie of the Year for 2012, Valerie wanted to take racing to the next step with corporate sponsorship. When SCT Tuning contacted her back, it became clear that this was a match made in drag racing heaven. After talking awhile and going over the projected 2013 season, SCT elected to have Valerie represent them.
During the NMRA/NMCA Superbowl, Valerie’s SCT Mustang took a big hit against the wall after she came in contact with some oil from her car at half track during her first qualifying attempt. Shaken but not deterred, Valerie explains to us what it felt like during that moment.
“I have always wondered what it is like to get out of shape on the race track and I have even asked other racers how to prepare for such a thing. I've had to drive the car before, but never have I lost control like that. While it was happening, I couldn't believe it. And right after the fact, once I got out of the car I was still in shock of what had taken place. I felt like I didn't even have a chance to correct the direction of the car, it was like it had a mind of its own once oil was on the track,” Valerie tells us.
This NMRA season, she is already holding down second place and is ready to conquer the track during the 15th-Annual NMRA All-Ford World Finals held at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
“I am very excited! I've been looking forward to it every day since Chicago. Last year I finished in 11th place in Renegade and I said the goal for 2013 is to be in the top 5. So, if we can keep 2nd place I will be ecstatic!”
We wish you the best of luck in Bowling Green, Valerie!
Stay tuned for a full feature on Valerie Clements in an upcoming issue of MM&FF!