Franklin outduels Ferguson for Shrine victory
GASTONIA, N.C. (Aug. 14) — Pole-starting Dennis Franklin of Gaffney, S.C., survived a battle with ninth-starting Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., to win the Super Late Model portion of the 40th annual Shrine 100, earning $3,000 for his first Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series victory of the season. | Slideshow
Franklin and Ferguson engaged in a tight battle for the lead over a 20-lap stretch. When the frontrunners faced lapped traffic exiting turn three, they made contact and Ferguson spun off turn four, then headed for the pits after 31 of 35 laps.
Franklin restarted out front to lead the final four laps and win the Shrine Race for the third time in his career.
Wayne Hughes of Ghent, W.Va., scored a second-place finish for his best career performance on the series. Ross Bailes of Clover, S.C., was third while 17th-starting Ricky Weeks of Rutherfordton, N.C., and Jeff Smith of Dallas, N.C., rounded out the top five finishers.
Ferguson was scored 11th in the final rundown while Luke Roffers of Conford, N.C., who entered the event leading the series points, finished ninth after being involved in a first-lap accident on the backstretch and pitting several times.
Johnny Pursley was in the middle of the first-lap accident, and his car sustained major damage as it tumbled down the backstretch. No injuries were reported.
Notes: Franklin’s Barry Wright Race Car is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by AES Racing. ... The event drew more than 5,000 spectators for an event that benefits Shriner’s Hospitals for Children through the Gaston County Shrine Club. ... Brandon Overton retired after being involved in a turn-one accident. ... Ricky Weeks earned the Safety-Kleen Hard Charger honors with his 17th-to-fourth run. ... Ron Parker won the night’s Crate Late Model feature .... Drivers not starting to the Carolina Clash main event: Jon Thornburg and Gary Mabe.
Shrine 100: (1) Dennis Franklin, (2) Wayne Hughes, (3) Ross Bailes, (4) Ricky Weeks, (5) Jeff Smith, (6) Michael Marlowe, (7) Mike Gault, (8) Brian Ledbetter, (9) Luke Roffers, (10) Doug Sanders, (11) Chris Ferguson, (12) Travis Yow, (13) Robbie Bailey, (14) Thomas Hedgpath, (15) Joey Coulter, (16) Scott Autry, (17) Tim Allen, (18) Zack Mitchell, (19) Dustin Mitchell, (20) Jay Sessoms, (21) Brandon Overton, (22) Andrew Smith, (23) Johnny Pursley, (24) Kyle Pierce. Fast qualifier (among 26 cars): Franklin, Consolation race winners: Yow, Coulter.