Fayetteville Motor Speedway
Leaders fall by wayside as Bowen takes Fayetteville
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (April 10) — Fourth-starting Dean Bowen of Whiteville, N.C., notched his second Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series victory of the season, rising to the top as mechanical woes struck front-row starting leaders at Fayetteville Motor Speedway. | Slideshow
Bowen, whose first career series victory came March 20 at Carolina Speedway near Gastonia, N.C., pocketed $4,000 for his 40-lap victory in the Ed Gibbons Memorial at the 4/10-mile oval. He also moved into the series points lead and plans a full-season run on the tour.
"We set out to run the whole thing and we’re going to stick to it as long as we can afford to," said Bowen, whose victory came in front of dozens of friend and family members. "As long as we’re winning, we might be able to afford to. If you run top five, you can afford to."
Dennis Franklin of Gaffney, S.C., finished second followed by Chris Blackwell of Grays Creek, N.C., Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., and 19th-starting Billy Thompson of Gastonia. Timmy Blackwell of Grays Creek crossed the line fourth but was disqualified for missing the legal weight requirement.
G.R. Smith of Cornelius, N.C., was leading when power steering woes forced him out, and five-time series champion Ricky Weeks of Rutherfordton, N.C., was leading when ignition trouble ended his run.
Reigning series champion Jeff Smith of Dallas, N.C., was among drivers collected in an early pileup in a caution-plagued race.
Bowen was worried about his car's handling at the outset, thinking it was too loose. But "once it got some heat in the tires, it was good," Bowen said. "I was happy to finish second to Ricky, but if we can get a win, I’ll take that. ... The car was real good. I just needed to run a long time without a caution."
The runner-up said he raced the whole way driving one-handed after mechanical problems struck before the green flag flew.
"On the parade lap down back straightaway, I let out of gas and it came out of gear," Franklin said. "I just had to hold it in gear the whole race."
Notes: Bowen's Rocket Chassis is powered by a Custom Race Engine and sponsored by Williamson & Son Farms and Bowen Tire & Alignment. ... Bowen's car was just three pounds over the legal minimum. .... DQ'd Timmy Blackwell was five pounds shy. ... Carolina Clash competitors break for a month before returning for a May 7-8 weekend at Cleveland County Speedway in Lawndale, N.C., and 311 Fastrak at Madison, N.C.
Carolina Clash @ Fayetteville: (1) Dean Bowen, (2) Dennis Franklin, (3) Chris Blackwell, (4) Chris Ferguson, (5) Billy Thompson, (6) Justin Labonte, (7) Travis Hair, (8) Craig Shuffield, (9) Shawn Beasley, (10) Jay Sessoms, (11) Donald Bradsher, (12) David Taylor, (13) Stephen Evans, (14) Brian Ledbetter, (15) D.J. Tyndall, (16) Ricky Weeks, (17) Tim Allen, (18) G.R. Smith, (19) Scott Shirey, (20) Jeff Smith, (21) Randy Harmon, (22) Dustin Mitchell, (23) Chris Meadows. Disqualified: Timmy Blackwell. Fast qualifier (among 29 cars): G.R. Smith, 16.915 seconds. Consolation race winners: Meadows, Allen. Provisional starters: Hair, Harmon.