Franklin Scores 42nd Carolina Clash Victory At Lancaster
Lancaster, South Carolina (8/4/18) - "Man I love this place! It's fast and always a great place to race."
These were the words of an ecstatic Dennis Franklin as he hopped down from the roof of his Schwartz Chassis, Clements powered #2 as he parked it in Burns Ford-Mercury Victory Lane at the Lancaster Motor Speedway for the 42nd time in Carolina Clash history, his sixth Clash feature win at the 1/2 mile paper clip in Lancaster, SC.
Michael Brown qualified on the pole and picked up the $100 Parks Heating & Cooling Parks Way Fast Time Award with a time of 19.284 seconds. Zack Mitchell qualified second and started alongside Brown on the front row, as the feature lineup was set from time trials.
The opening lap of the event was a thriller with Brown missing his mark entering turn three as Ben Watkins powered around exiting turn four, with Zack Mitchell in pursuit. 2015 Clash champion Ben Watkins led the first nine laps of the feature before Zack Mitchell, the 2017 Clash champion, began putting the heat to the #16. After a near side-by-side pass under the flag stand to complete lap 11, Mitchell and Watkins collided in turn one, with both cars sliding to a stop bringing out a caution. Watkins took his car pit side for repairs, while Mitchell resigned to the pits for the rest of the event.
Pole sitter Michael Brown inherited the race lead on lap 12 and continued to pace the field over the next 14 laps. Ross Bailes debuted in the GR Smith #22 car and was running in the top five until a right rear tire was cut forcing him to the pits for a new Hoosier. Bailes would return to the event and encounter a nasty hit with the turn three wall, sending the #22 XR1 Rocket airborne before stopping on the track at halfway.
Series newcomer Brian Carswell of Connelly Springs, NC, found early success in Carolina Clash action with a fourth-place qualifying spot. Nicknamed "Meathead," Carswell raced among series regulars Anthony Sanders and Adam Yarbrough and returning competitor Jonathan Edwards, along with Dennis Franklin, who had quietly marched his way into third from his sixth-place starting spot. By way of a restart, Franklin powered around Jonathan Edwards just after halfway and began stalking race leader Michael Brown over the next four laps. On lap 27, Franklin found a hot line around the rim of Lancaster Speedway exiting turn four and was hooked to the bumper of Brown entering turn one. Brown faded high in the corners and Franklin launched off the bottom of turn two to assume the race lead.
Meanwhile, Ben Watkins began marching back to the front from his repairs and was running fifth just after halfway. The final three laps of racing were among the most exciting of the night, with Franklin pulling away to a three-second lead, while the action for second and third was intense. Watkins, Carswell, A. Sanders, and Edwards were criss-crossing one another as the white flag was shown. Watkins powered to the bottom of Carswell and Sanders, with the three making contact off turn one. Somehow they were able to save their sliding cars through turn two, with Watkins taking over second from Carswell.
Dennis Franklin picked up the feature win by 4.527 seconds over Ben Watkins, Brian Carswell, Anthony Sanders and Jonathan Edwards. Franklin was also the www.speed51.com
"Hard Charger of the Race" and collected the $51 bonus for his efforts improving five spots from his 6th place starting spot.
Lancaster Speedway 8/4/18 Race Results
1. 2 Dennis Franklin
2. 16 Ben Watkins
3. 17 Brian Carswell
4. 421 Anthony Sanders
5. 32 Jonathan Edwards
6. 57 Adam Yarbrough
7. 42 Doug Sanders
8. 03 David Yandle
9. 33 Chuck Smith
10. 66 Mark Dysart
11. 29 Larry Grube
12. 24B Michael Brown
13. 2R Reid Windham
14. 5 Mac Huey
15. 22 Ross Bailes
16. 4 Mike Huey
17. 31 Billy Thompson
18. G2 Kevin Godwin
19. 57M Zack Mitchell
20. 33Y David Yandle Jr
Car Count: 20
Parks Heating & Cooling Fast Qualifier: Michael Brown 19.284
Lap Leaders: Watkins (1-11), Brown (12-26), Franklin (27-40)
Feature Winner: Dennis Franklin
Speed51.com Hard Charger: Dennis Franklin, Started 6th
Safety Kleen Hard Luck Award: Billy Thompson
Carquest / Clarendon Highest ROY Finisher: Adam Yarbrough
Time Of Race: 50:07
For more information on the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series visit the Series online at www.carolinaclash.com
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The Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series is sponsored by Heintz Performance, American Racer, Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, Clarendon Auto Parts, CarQuest Auto Parts, Franklin Signs And Graphics, Big A's Custom Graphics, Performance Plus, Safety Kleen, Parks Heating & Cooling, Racing Electronics, TRT Trailer Sales, Thomas Clarke Performance, and Speed51.com .