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Franklin nears 100 wins

May 04, 1998|By MIKE SIRBAUGH / Staff Correspondent

On a track that was too fast for some at the Hagerstown Speedway Saturday night, a few familiar faces demonstrated how to overcome caution flags and a changing surface.

Rodney Franklin again proved he is the man to beat in the late model division, winning his fifth feature of the season in the 25-lap event. The defending champion held off determined Jeff Robinson to win for the 97th time in his career.

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Franklin started seventh and found it tough to pry the lead from Bill Palmer. After taking over first on lap 11 on the inside of turn 4, he went to the top of the track because he had Robinson to contend with.

"I took the top of the racetrack," Franklin said. "I like it up there more. Jeff gets around the bottom better than anybody that races here."

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Robinson began in the sixth position and gave Franklin a run for the money.

With the help of four caution flags, Robinson was able to stay close and keep it exciting. But he could not overtake Franklin.

"I knew I couldn't make a mistake," Franklin said. "I felt comfortable up there, and felt I could hold him off."

The Spring Championships for the other three divisions were held with participants being awarded double points.

Kevin Denton won the late model division.

In the late model sportsman division, Wayne Walls Jr. continued his early season success, claiming his fourth victory of the year. Tim Hill took the lead on the first lap but was overtaken by Walls on lap 11 and finished second in the 25-lap event.

Kim Ramer turned in his best performance to gain his first victory of the season in the 20-lap pure stock V-8 feature. Ramer took the lead on the second lap and withstood a strong charge from Kenny Dillon. Eugene Conlee finished third, followed by Doug Bennett.

"The competition is really tough this year," said defending champion Brian Miller. But Miller earned his second victory of the year and become the 4-cylinder pure stock's first repeat winner after five points races.

Miller passed Andy Holmes on turn 2 of the second lap, then won the battle with Greg Gunter for the victory.

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