Fayetteville Motor Speedway
Bowen takes finale, but Franklin wins Clash title
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 13) — Dean Bowen of Whiteville, N.C., did everything he could to try and wrest the series championship from Dennis Franklin of Gaffney, S.C., but he fell short by 15 points Saturday in the finale of the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series.
Bowen led all 50 laps of the Clash Bash at Fayetteville Motor Speedway's 4/10-mile oval, but Franklin's fifth-place finish secured his first championship on the 11-year-old circuit. Bowen was still rewarded with a $5,000 payday and the Rookie of the Year title on the tour.
Ray Tucker of Greensboro, N.C., finished second followed by last year's champion Jeff Smith of Dallas, N.C. Dustin Mitchell of Pine Level, N.C., was fourth and Franklin rounded out the top five, guaranteeing his $10,000 crown.
Among accidents that drew caution flags was an early tangle among Brian Ledbetter, Chuck Smith, Jay Sessoms and Dale Hammond in turn four. Soon thereafter Steve Blackburn spun in turn two, collecting Smith, Gary Mabe, Kerry King and Chris Ferguson. A lap-eight pileup included Timmy Blackwell, Hammond, Ferugson, King and Blackburn.
Notes: Bowen's Rocket Chassis is sponsored by Williamson & Son Farms and Bowen Tire & Alignment. ... Bowen notched his third career Carolina Clash victory. ... Bowen also won the season opener on March 20 at Carolina Speedway in Gastonia, N.C. ... Champ Dennis Franklin finished with 2,441 point, topping Bowen (2,246) by a 15-point margin. ... Franklin ran as high as second but began slipping back midway through the race. ... The race served as a tribute to late car owner Jack Starrette, who died earlier this season. ... Craig Shuffield lost a motor on the first lap and pulled off the track. ... Drivers failing to make the feature lineup at Fayetteville: Kyle Pierce, Mike Evock, Andrew Brock, Ronnie Boykin and Michael Mason. ... The postseason banquet is schedule for Jan. 29 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. ... Fayetteville tentatively announced plans for a $7,500-to-win unsanctioned event on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 26-27.
Clash Bash: (1) Dean Bowen, (2) Ray Tucker, (3) Jeff Smith, (4) Dustin Mitchell, (5) Dennis Franklin, (6) Travis Hair, (7) Jay Sessoms, (8) Gary Mabe, (9) Dale Hammond, (10) Timmy Blackwell, (11) David Taylor, (12) Travis Yow, (13) Donald Bradsher, (14) Brian Ledbetter, (15) Scott Shirey, (16) Ricky Weeks, (17) Steve Blackburn, (18) Chuck Smith, (19) Michael Marlowe, (20) Chris Ferguson, (21) Justin Labonte, (22) Kerry King, (23) Chris Meadows, (24) Craig Shuffield. Fast qualifier (among 29 cars): Meadows, 17.195 seconds. Heat race winners: Ferguson, J. Smith. Consolation winner: C. Smith. Provisional starters: Marlowe, Shuffield.