The Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series returned to Carolina Speedway on Tuesday night for the annual Shrine 100 event. At the end of the 30-lap feature, a familiar face was back in victory lane in Gastonia as Dennis “Rambo” Franklin scored the win, his sixth in that event.
The event usually brings a massive crowd to the track and Tuesday was no different. The proceeds from the event are also donated to the Shriners Hospital for Children. Both of those things make the Shrine 100 a special race.
Franklin, an underfunded driver, put on a dominant performance, at times stretching his lead out to almost three seconds over the nearest competitor.
Performances like that are special for Franklin, but on a night that’s about doing charitable deeds for the less fortunate, Franklin said he feels extremely lucky.
“I just have enough money to keep going,” he said. “I’m not poor by any means. I’m fortunate enough to race.”
Tuesday’s race featured a long run in the middle portion, but a couple of cautions in the closing laps. Franklin had a three-lap shootout to hold off second-place runner Johnathan Edwards.
The single-file restarts in the late stages helped Franklin as he was able to power away from Edwards uncontested.
Edwards was able to come home in second while Adam Yarbrough finished third, Ben Watkins finished fourth and Jeff Smith rounded out the top five.
Watkins received the Speed51.com Hard Charger Award for passing eight cars on the night. Watkins started 12th and finished fourth in the 30-lap feature.
The next time the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series will hit the track will be on September 1 at South Carolina’s Lancaster Speedway.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Carolina Clash Shrine 100
Carolina Speedway, Gastonia, North Carolina