Bowen Brings Home First Career Clash Win in Carolina Opener

By: Alex Cummings  

GASTONIA, N.C. - March 21. Dean Bowen was able to outrun the other 23 starters in the tenth annual "Skyler Trull Memorial" at Carolina Speedway to bring home his first ever career Carolina Clash victory.

 “This victory is a big accomplishment for me, anytime you win in the Carolina Clash Series, you have accomplished something because these drivers are some of the best,” said Bowen shortly after taking the win in his Williams and Son Farms and Bowen’s Tire sponsored Impala. “I’m looking forward to defending next weekend at 311, I hope the guys are ready because I’m going to make a run for the Championship this year. We have a great car and a great team.”

Leading the 24 car starting field to the green flag was last season’s rookie of the year winner, Chris Ferguson, with the outside pole held by was this season’s rookie of the year contender, Donald Bradsher. At the drop of the green, Ferguson was able to motor his way to the lead until lap 10 when his steering linkage broke and he had to retire from the event.

This gave the top spot to the #15 of Bowen, whoe would race nose to tail with Dennis “Rambo” Franklin and Jeff Smith for the next 14 laps until another caution flag flew. On the restart, a major accident on the front stretch involving Justin Labonte andLuke Roffers sent them spinning out of control into the inside wall. Neither car was able to return to the racing action.

On the restart, Bowen was able to motor away to the win, while the fight for the second position was getting hot and heavy during the final laps between Franklin and Smith. The two cars ran side by side through the corners for the entire last ten laps, with Franklin being able to come away with second ahead of Smith, Ricky Weeks, and Jo9hnny Pursley.  

The hard charger award went to G.R. Smith, who started shotgun on the field in the 24th position after blowing an engine in practice and having to change motors during the night. Smith was able to finish the race in the eighth position.

The hard luck award went to the #22 of Chris Ferguson for his tough luck when he broke on lap 10 while leading the race. Heintz Performance put up $250 to the fastest qualifier, which was Chris Ferguson (15.358 secs.) who donated the money to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Heat winners were Ken Schrader and Jay Sessoms.

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