Franklin wins Road Show at Carolina
GASTONIA, N.C. (July 1) — Dennis "Rambo" Franklin charged from his ninth starting spot Friday at Carolina Speedway to capture Carolina Speedway’s Firecracker 40. He earned $2,000 for NDRA Road Show presented by Heintz Performance victory.
Franklin outran Steve Hendren of Rutherfordton, N.C., and hometown driver Matt Stover for the victory at the 4/10-mile oval while Zack Mitchell and Matt Long rounded out the top five.
Defending track champ Gary Puckett and fast qualifier Michael Brown started on the front row, racing side-by-side early before Brown eased ahead. Ron Parker dropped Puckett to third, and then Puckett ended up facing the wrong direction in turn three after contact with Mitchell.
With Brown out front, Hendren used the restart to move into third, then took second from Parker and began tracking the leader using the low groove.
Hendren took the lead with a pass exiting turn four, and a caution waved shortly thereafter when Parker got together with Greg Edwards in turn two. Parker, who entered the race leading the series points, limped to the pits with suspension damage.
On the restart, Hendren stayed in control while Anthony Sanders took second from a fading Brown. Franklin was in the top five and was up to third after a caution for Sanders, who slowed with body damage.
Franklin took second from Mitchell on the 28th lap, then went to work on Hendren in the race's late stages. He made the winning move with three laps remaining and Hendren settled for second.
Firecracker 40: (1) Dennis Franklin, (2) Steve Hendren, (3) Matt Stover, (4) Zack Mitchell, (5) Matt Long, (6) Gary Puckett, (7) Jay Sessoms, (8) Ken Rominger Jr., (9) Pat Lindsay, (10) Johnathan Edwards, (11) Michael Brown, (12) Jimmy Schiltz, (13) Chris Cheek, (14) Dean Bowen, (15) Ron Parker, (16) Steve Banal, (17) Anthony Sanders, (18) Ross Bailes, (19) Billy Thompson, (20) Greg Clark, (21) Alex Krohn, (22) Timbo Mangum, (23) Justin Hudspeth, (24) Ryan Atkins. Fast qualifier (among 28 cars): Brown.