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Carolina Clash at Fayetteville Motor Speedway - 3/26 Results (Read 2565 times)
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Carolina Clash at Fayetteville Motor Speedway - 3/26 Results
03/26/16 at 10:49pm
Carolina Clash Super Late Models
Fayetteville Motor Speedway
March 26, 2016

Dennis Franklin Leads Last Lap to Garner Fayetteville Win
Ed Gibbons Memorial Race provides thrilling finish between Franklin and Milliken

by Mark Huey
FAYETTEVILLE, NC (March 26) - As forecasted throughout much of the week, Saturday's weather was supposed to be perfect. Unlike last week's event at Lancaster, the weather threat was near zero percent for Saturday. However, when Saturday rolled around, Mother Nature had written a completely different story. Rain threatened the event for most of the day, with a heavy shower accenting pre-race activities. Actually, for some drivers, the rain was an added benefit to help make create a racier track. Yet, for the second week in a row, several cars fell victim to mechanical problems, overheating engines, tire failures, and this week - crashes.

Earl Pearson, Jr. of Jacksonville, FL appeared for the event since the Lucas Oil Series was idle for Easter weekend. He was fastest in hot laps, but was not able to clinch the fastest qualifier for the event. That nod went to Roanoke Rapids, NC "Wild Child" Willie Millken, who was the only one of 28 entrants to crack the 16 seconds bracket during time-trials, at 16.823.

Milliken took the lead on the opening lap in a battle with Earl Pearson, Jr, but a caution in turn one halted the event. The second attempt was to the advantage of "The Hurricane" with a second caution halting the event once again. This time a serious crash involving Casey Barrow, Doug Sanders and Johnny Pursley caused damage to their machines. All were able to continue, but Sanders and Barrow pitted after lap two, along with Kyle Pierce, who had engine problems. While Milliken was able to maintain the lead, more cars fell out with mechanical issues, including Tim Allen, Roger Lucas, Kevin Wilson, and Jeff Smith.

The most serious incident of the evening involved the point leader Ross Bailes. Transferring into the feature by virtue of a heat race win, Bailes was battle with Dustin Mitchell on lap 14 when the cars came together in turn two. Bailes car slowly slid up and over the turn two bank, but the transition off of the banking caused his car to slow-roll onto its top. Bailes was okay, but he and Mitchell were both out by lap 19. After a long green-flag run, Milliken appeared to be on his way to victory.

After taking the signal for two laps to go, Milliken approached the backstretch with a different look. His #1 Price Construction Longhorn seemed to be loosing grip and appeared to lose momentum entering turn three. Franklin quickly closed and capitalized on it. Milliken took the white flag and found his chance on the bottom as Milliken drifted high in turn two. Rambo powered past Milliken and held off a turn three charge to collect the win by 0.788 seconds. Chris Ferguson, Earl Pearson, Jr. and Donald Bradsher all provided the fans with some great racing for the rest of the top five.

Hard Charger of the Race Anthony Sanders notched his best finish of the season with a 6th place run from his 19th place starting position. Dean Bowen collected a 7th place finish and inherits the lead in the Carolina Clash point standings. Another rookie to Carolina Clash racing Greg Clark finished 8th, while Johnny Pursley and Forrest, VA driver Mark Parks, driving the JC Clary automobile rounded out the top 10.

Entering the Fayetteville race, Ricky Weeks was on his way to a successful return to Carolina Clash racing, but an engine problem during the qualifying was discovered and Weeks left the scene before the heat races and did make the feature.

Defending champion Ben Watkins of Rock Hill, SC continues to experience early woes with a 12th place finish, having retired from the event just past halfway. Watkins and Rookie of the Year driver Brett Hamm were both having strong runs until pulling off after 29 laps.

After three consecutive weeks of racing, the will go on a hiatus until May 7, 2016 with a return to Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC for the first of four stops there in 2016.

1 5 2 Dennis Franklin Gaffney, SC Longhorn
2 1 1M Willie Milliken Chadbourn, NC Longhorn
3 3 22 Chris Ferguson Mount Holly, NC Longhorn
4 2 1 Earl Pearson Jr Jacksonville, FL Longhorn
5 4 93 Donald Bradsher Burlington, NC Longhorn
6 19 421 Anthony Sanders Spartanburg, SC
7 9 15 Dean Bowen Whiteville, NC Rocket
8 18 39 Greg Clark Stanley, NC Rocket
9 11 09 Johnny Pursley Clover, SC
10 17 89 Mark Parks Forest, VA Mastersbilt
11 6 18 Brett Hamm Newberry, SC Longhorn
12 7 16 Ben Watkins Rock Hill, SC Longhorn
13 20 10 Scott Shirey Swansea, SC
14 14 D8 Dustin Mitchell Princeton, NC
15 12 87 Ross Bailes Clover, SC Longhorn
16 10 17 Tim Allen Kannapolis, NC Longhorn
17 22 79 Roger Lucas Benson, NC
18 21 618 Kevin Wilson Stoneville, NC
19 13 00 Jeff Smith Dallas, NC
20 8 281 Kyle Pierce Statesville, NC Rocket
21 15 42 Doug Sanders Springwood, NC Rocket
22 16 98 Casey Barrow Savannah, GA Rocket

2016 Point Standings
1 15 Dean Bowen 292
2 87 Ross Bailes 272
3 09 Johnny Pursley 270
4 22 Chris Ferguson 254
5 93 Donald Bradsher 247
6 2F Dennis Franklin 244
7 18 Brett Hamm 226
8 421 Anthony Sanders 206
9 1W Ricky Weeks 201
10 16 Ben Watkins 174
11 39 Greg Clark 160
12 618 Kevin Wilson 151
13 17 Tim Allen 144
14 7 Josh Langley 142
15 42 Doug Sanders 139
16 1M Willie Milliken 103
17 22* GR Smith 94
18 1P Earl Pearson, Jr. 94
19 1C Kenny Collins 89
20 15M Chase McCormick 88
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