With a new season of NASCAR Xfinity Series competition underway, Jeremy Clements is within striking distance of a a milestone start in his 12th full-time season in the Xfinity circuit. By taking the green flag in this weekend’s event at Auto Club Speedway, the driver of the No. 51 Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet Camaro will make his 400th career start in the Xfinity Series.
A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Clements, who grew up competing in go-karts before moving up to the Modified and Stock Series, the Late Model division and the ARCA Racing Series, made his Xfinity debut at Pike Peaks International Raceway in July 2003. By then, he was coming off a Late Model division season where he achieved nine victories and the championship at Cherokee Speedway. Driving the No. 71 Chevrolet for Young Racing, Clements started 35th and finished 31st in his debut following an early accident.
Four years later, Clements returned to the Xfinity Series and competed in the final five events of the schedule in the No. 36 Chevrolet for McGill Motorsports. His best result during the five-race span was 23rd at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October 2007.
Throughout the 2008 and 2009 racing seasons, Clements made select Xfinity starts in his family-owned team, Jeremy Clements Motorsports, while practicing and qualifying cars for Joe Gibbs Racing, notably at Kentucky Speedway in 2008 and at Iowa Speedway in 2009. Late in the 2009 season, Clements competed in six races in the No. 0 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports, where he earned a best result of 12th at Auto Club Speedway in October.
Clements started the 2010 Xfinity Series season with plans of competing in the opening three races in the No. 0 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports. After failing to qualify for the season opener at Daytona, Clements scaled back and made select starts in the No. 04 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports. Throughout the 2010 season and the 35-race schedule, he made 16 starts and failed to qualify for seven races. At Gateway in October 2010, Clements notched his first top-10 career result (10th place).
The following season, Clements competed on a full-time basis with his family-owned team, Jeremy Clements Racing, and sporting the No. 51 alongside his car. He recorded nine top-20 results with a best finish of 14th in September. Clements returned for another full-time racing role in 2012 for his family-owned team. Clements’ best results in 2012 were a pair of 10th-place finishes at Dover Motor Speedway in June and at Indianapolis. Following the 2012 season, where he finished in 14th place in the final standings, Clements surpassed 100 career starts in the Xfinity Series.
Clements started the 2013 season by finishing 33rd in the season opener at Daytona. Not long after, however, he was suspended from competition indefinitely for using a racial slur during a live interview. Missing the next two events, where Ryan Sieg drove Clements’ No. 51 car, Clements returned the following race at Bristol Motor Speedway in March and competed the rest of the 33-race schedule. His best results were a ninth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway in May and a 10th-place finish during the inaugural race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as he settled in 16th place in the final standings.
From 2014 to 2016, Clements remained as a full-time Xfinity Series competitor for his family-owned team and he notched a total of six top-10 results between the three seasons. His best runs were a fourth-place finish at Talladega in April 2016, a sixth-place result at Road America in June 2014 and a sixth-place result at Bristol in August 2016. His best points result between the three seasons was 14th in 2015. By then, he surpassed 200 Xfinity career starts.
For the first 22 races of the 2017 Xfinity Series season, Clements had recorded only one top-10 result, which was a seventh-place result at Iowa Speedway in June. The following race at Road America was where Clements rose to the occasion and shined under the spotlight as he battled rookie Matt Tifft for the win in the the final laps. On the final turn on the penultimate lap, Clements, who gained a big run to draw himself alongside Tifft, got loose and collided into Tifft as both spun through the turn. With no caution falling and both competitor not sustaining any significant damage to their respective machines, Clements was able to quickly straighten his No. 51 Chevrolet Camaro, take the lead and bolt away, where he methodically navigated around the circuit for one final lap to achieve his first NASCAR win in his 256th career start. The victory was enough for Clements and his family organization to clinch a spot for the 2017 Xfinity Series Playoffs and contend for his first NASCAR national touring series championship. For the remainder of the season, however, he finished no higher than 16th and settled in a career-best 12th place in the final standings after having his title hopes come to an end following the Playoff’s Round of 12 in October.
Between 2018 and 2019, Clements achieved a total of six top-10 results and a season-best result of fourth place at Bristol in August 2019, but he missed the Playoffs during both seasons with his best points result being 14th in 2019. By then, he surpassed 300 career starts.
After notching five top-10 results, a season-best on-track result of third place at Pocono in June and a 13th-place result in the 2020 Xfinity final standings, Clements commenced the 2021 season with a 22nd-place result at Daytona. He was able to return to the Xfinity Playoffs on a strength of seven top-10 results throughout the 26-race regular-season stretch, with his best result being sixth place at Darlington Raceway in May. After his 2021 hopes diminished due to respective finishes of 39th, 24th and 12th during the first round of the Playoffs, he went on to match his career-best result in the final standings of 12th place.
Through 199 previous Xfinity starts, Clements has achieved one victory, four top-five results, 32 top-10 results, 83 laps led and an average-finishing result of 21.0. He is coming off a 37th-place result at Daytona to commence the 2022 Xfinity Series season.
Clements is bound to make his 200th career start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Auto Club Speedway, which will occur on Saturday, February 26, at 5 p.m. ET on FS1.