Smith edges Rambo for Wythe Fastrak victory
RURAL RETREAT, Va. (May 25) — David Smith of Inman, S.C., topped Dennis Franklin of Gaffney, S.C., in a photo finish at Saturday’s Fastrak Racing Series event at Wythe Raceway, earning $2,000 as the high-banked half-mile oval hosted the second round of Fastrak’s Triple Crown weekend.
Smith, a former Fastrak touring champion, beat Franklin at the finish by .045 seconds in earning his first touring series victory of the season.
Hometown driver Brandon Umberger finished third in the 40-lap race, while Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., recovered to finish fourth after suffering a flat tire while running fourth early in the race. Lancy Reynolds of Max Meadows, Va., rounded out the race’s top five finishers.
Davenport sailed out to the top spot on the race’s initial start with Franklin and Smith in the hunt to run him down. The first caution appeared when Cody Cook spun solo off turn four. And another yellow waved when Chris Chandler spun sideways in turn one.
The ensuing restart set up a Team AES Racing battle between teammates Davenport Franklin. Taking to the high side on lap six, Franklin overtook his AES Racing teammate in completing the pass exiting tour two.
Franklin's set sail over the field until Davenport brought out a caution with flat tire. Davenport hurried to the attention of his pit crew in the hot pit area and just made it back on the track in time to take up the tail of the field on the restart.
The middle portions of the race saw a 20-lap green flag segment as the entire field chased Franklin’s No. 2 Barry Wright Race Car.
The race’s final caution appeared with three laps remaining when a tangle between Jordan Dill and Ryan Atkins collected Tim Byrd, sending Byrd hard into the outside wall. Both Dill and Byrd were taking to a local hospital for observation following the accident, but both drivers were released Sunday morning with only minor injuries.
The late caution set up a dramatic three-lap dash to the finish. Franklin gave the second-running Smith the opening he was looking for when he slid high exiting turn on the final lap. The two drivers raced side by side into the final corners, with Smith winning the drag race to the finish line by mere inches.
Fastrak @ Wythe: (1) David Smith, (2) Dennis Franklin, (3) Brandon Umberger, (4) Joanthan Davenport, (5) Lance Reynolds, (6) Ron Parker, (7) Corey Gordon, (8) Michael Smith, (9) Ryan Atkins, (10) Taylor Hicks, (11) Chris Chandler, (12) Austin Kirkpatrick, (13) Teddy Tate, (14) Cody Cook, (15) Tim Byrd, (16) Jordan Dill, (17) Jensen Ford, (18) Mark Sant.