Pursley Records Second Series Win at Cleveland Co.|
LAWNDALE, N.C. - Aug. 13. Johnny Pursley makes a clean sweep of Cleveland County Speedway Friday, earning his
second of the season here. Pursley sat on the pole setting a new track record of 17.664 during qualifying and was
able to lead every lap en route to the win in the Carolina Clash 40-lap, $4,000 to win feature.
“The car was fast from the get-go and we were hooked up all night” said Johnny Pursley after the race.
When the green was dropped over the starting field, Pursley was able to motor out front from his pole position
as the rest of the field was mixing it up for positions third on back when the first caution flag flew on
lap eight. Kyle Pierce spun on the inside of turn two and went off-roading through the infield. Pierce
then went pitside and never returned.
Lap 19 was the next caution when Brandon Ifft slowed coming down the front stretch and Pursley barely escaped
disaster trying to avoid the slowing car. During the caution,Ricky Weeks pulled off with a broken rearend,
pushing Weeks even further behind Dennis Franklin in points.
After Jim Rasey and Craig Shuffield each brought out the caution with flat tires, the second restart saw
thid running Jeff Smith and David Taylor both receive heavy front end damage to their cars after getting together.
On the third try at a start, Ty Dillon lost control in front of the field after inheriting third, causing
a melee' in turn four, which collected Jay Sessoms, Stephen Evans, David Taylor, Dean Bowen, and Chris
Ferguson. Evans was the only car to not return to the track.
The consecutive cautions were a huge break for sixth starting Luke Roffers, who would move from fifth to third
after Smith and Dillon had trouble. With the restart, he would battle Franklin while Pursley powered away. Everyone
else seemed to be fighting for the fourth spot, with positions four through nine virtually on top of each
The top three encountered heavy lap traffic with five laps to go, but Pursley was on a rail and wouldn’t be
caught on this night. Dennis Franklin ended up in the second position, followed closely by Roffers. Chris
Ferguson was able to race his way back through the field to fourth place after the lap 24 fiasco, as did fifth
finishing Dean Bowen.
During qualifying, 3 drivers were able to break the old track record, including Johnny Pursley, Dennis Franklin,
and Ricky Weeks.
Aug.13 - Cleveland Co. Speedway - Carolina Clash
1) Johnny Pursley, 2) Dennis Franklin, 3) Luke Roffers, 4) Chris
Ferguson, 5) Dean Bowen, 6) Jeff Cooke, 7) Jay Sessoms, 8) Ty Dillon, 9) Donald Bradsher, 10) David
Taylor, 11) Craig Shuffield, 12) Brian Ledbetter, 13) Michael Marlowe, 14) Stephen Evans, 15) Jeff
Smith, 16) Jim Rasey, 17) Brandon Ifft, 18) Ricky Weeks, 19) Kyle Pierce
George Missita photo