311 Motor Speedway
Rambo raids 311, grabs third Carolina Clash win
MADISON, N.C. (Aug. 29) — Making a dramatic pass of fast qualifier Ricky Weeks in the final laps at 311 Fastrack, Dennis "Rambo" Franklin of Gaffney, S.C., notched his third series victory of 2009 but first since April with a Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series victory. Franklin, who started fifth, earned $4,000 for the victory.
Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., was second followed by Weeks, the Rutherfordton, N.C., driver and series points leader. G.R. Smith of Cornelius, N.C., and Luke Roffers of Concord, N.C., rounded out the top five finishers at the half-mile oval.
Polesitter Dan Breuer of Mooresville, N.C., grabbed the early lead over Weeks, who set fast time but opted to started outside the front row. Weeks made an inside pass on Breuer on the backstretch of the 12th lap, three laps before Jeff Smith of Dallas, N.C., retired with his car's broken rear end.
Weeks continued to lead through the race's middle stages, including four more restarts following cautions, but things tightened up on lap 37. With Weeks, Franklin and Ferguson all bunched up, Franklin made his move and took control. Ferguson followed Franklin past Weeks and that's the way they finished in one of the closest series races of the season.
Notes: Franklin's Bloomquist Race Car is sponsored by Hamrick's of Gaffney. ... Franklin has 17 career Carolina Clash victories, third on the all-time list. ... A wild Ross Bailes-Jimmy McCormick accident slowed action in the second consolation. Bailes spun in turn two and made contact with McCormick, whose car spun like a top into the inside wall. McCormick's machine went airborne and ended up atop a 6-foot catch fence inside turn two. Neither driver was injured, but McCormick was done for the night. ... Craig Shuffield of Fayetteville, N.C., was the feature race's hard charger. ... Drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Gary East, Ray Tucker, Ronald Blankenship, Ricky Neal, Neil Welch, Keith Jacobs, Bruce Hall and McCormick. ... The series starts its playoff-style Countdown to the Cup with a Sept. 4-5 doubleheader at Carolina Speedway in Gastonia, N.C., and Friendship Motor Speedway in Elkin, N.C. Both features pay $5,000 to the winner.
Carolina Clash @ 311: (1) Dennis Franklin, (2) Chris Ferguson, (3) Ricky Weeks, (4) GR Smith, (5) Luke Roffers, (6) Scott Neighbors, (7) Ronnie Hoover, (8) Craig Shuffield, (9) Justin Labonte, (10) Ross Bailes, (11) Doug Sanders, (12) Donald Bradsher, (13) Austin Dillion, (14) Noel Tucker, (15) Tim Allen, (16) Dustin Mitchell, (17) Larry Blankenship, (18) Thomas Poole, (19) Dan Breuer, (20) Jay Sessoms, (21) Randle Chupp, (22) Jeff Smith, (23) Randy Harmon, (24) Chris Knight. Fast qualifier (among 32 cars): Weeks, 16.600 seconds. Consolation race winners: Bradsher, Allen. Provisional starters: Harmon, Poole.