Albert Clements IV of Oak Bluffs drove his yellow No. 99 Chevy Camaro to a fourth-place finish in the 35-lap Sportsman feature race during the D. Anthony Venditti (D.A.V.) Fall Classic, Saturday afternoon on the 0.33-mile oval at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk.
Clements started 11th in the field of 18, and made up ground in a hurry on the historic track, which opened in 1946 and is the longest continually family-operated race track in the U.S.
Clements moved up two spots in the first five laps, took over eighth following a caution on lap nine, and advanced to sixth after the second- and third-place cars made contact in turn one midway through the race. Clements passed two more cars on the inside over the next four laps, and restarted fourth on the outside, following the second caution of the race, with 10 laps to go. From there, he got back down to the inside and held his line to the finish.
“It went by pretty quick. We had these two cautions, and to get up to fourth was a pretty cool deal,” Clements said. “These guys have been racing every week. For a guy to come from the Island and race with them is pretty cool. The car was fast all weekend. They knew we were going to run well. [After] restarting fourth, I got down to the inside. It’s tough to run that second [outside] groove at Seekonk.”
Clements has been racing since high school, starting with go-carts, and worked on the pit crew for his father, Albert Clements III. He raced four times at Seekonk in 2018, with the DAV classic being his one event this season.
“Little Al,” as he is often called, is grateful for the help he has received from sponsors Lou Paciello of Northline Shell and John Priore of Priority Payment Systems, along with his employer, Cottage City Outdoor Power in Oak Bluffs. “It’s always a group effort,” Clements said. “It’s not like I have huge sponsors. I’ve gotten lots of help from locals, family, friends, and Island businesses.”