Ricky Gillespie (25) tries to hold off Kyle Dudley (4) in the first segment of the 100-lap race. Gillespie led a bunch of laps but in all three segments Dudley was able to get by and collect the points and eventually the win. (Shane Green photo)
Stage racing was introduced in the NASCAR Cup Series this season to rave reviews by fans and on Sunday night in the Memorial Day Bash Franklin County Speedway had their own version of stage racing.
Stage racing is dividing the race into segments with additional points awarded for top running cars.  The Memorial Day Bash was a three segment 100-lap event with stage breaks at lap 50 and 80 and the race conclusion on lap 100.  The race to lap 50 would have a long break with the Mini Stock race in between.  Lap 80 was simply a caution to reset the field and the race was on to the finish.
Kyle Dudley dominated the day.  He qualified on the pole and was inverted to fourth for the start of the race.  He quickly made his way toward the front before a great battle with Ricky Gillespie who was subbing for Jonathan Hall who was on vacation at the beach.  Gillespie held the lead for a while before Dudley got by him prior to the break to secure maximum points winning the first segment.
Ricky Gillespie would suffer a cut tire late and brought out a caution that would aid his father Bobby Gillespie who was having a great run but had faded back a little bit before the caution.  Bobby would stay with Dudley on the restart but he was no match for the dominant driver.  Bobby Gillespie finished second with Ricky third, Daniel Hutson fourth and Josh Leedy completing the top five in the first segment.
Dudley would once again be inverted to fourth for the start of the second segment and had to contend with both Gillespies who were both having a strong run all night.  Daniel Hutson would restart from the pole flanked by Ricky Gillespie.  They had a great start to the second segment and raced side by side for a couple of circuits around before Hutson slipped a little and let Gillespie get by.  From there the younger Gillespie once again led before Dudley took the lead prior to the end of the second segment.
Dudley once again scored maximum points for segment number two. With no invert for the final 20-lap segment Dudley continued his dominance of the night as Bobby Gillespie worked to try and get by his son Ricky but to no avail.  Ricky in his substitute role would grab a second place finish with Bobby third, Leedy fourth and Hutson fifth.
In the Mini Stock race rookie Brian Turner picked up his first win in dominating fashion over last weeks first time winner Cole Martin.  Josh Phillips finished third, Miles Markham fourth and Chad Burnopp fifth.
Jason Warsing picked up another win in the V8 Street division after taking the lead from Adam Hollingsworth who was making his first start in five seasons.  Hollingsworth had the lead but Warsing muscled his way past to get the top spot.  Hollingsworth would finish second but was disqualified for having the wrong shocks on his car as spec shocks are required in this division.  Steve Brodie inherited second with James Woods third.
Tony Housman once again dominated the U-Car division.  He easily won the 25-lap race over WJ Altizer and Mike Reed.  Altizer had started from the pole but Housman muscled his way past for the lead.  Altizer would come under fire for second position from Reed but Reed slipped up and they made contact as Altizer drove away to a second place finish.  Housman would be disqualified in post race technical inspection for his frame height being too low.  Altizer inherited the win, his first of 2017 while Reed suffered the same fate as Housman and was disqualified from his third place effort. Tyle Harrison and Jason Janney completed the top three finishers in the reset finishing order.
Franklin County Speedway springs back into action this Saturday night with the first Karnage Karnival Night of Destruction taking place at 6pm.  The Night of Destruction will feature some of the wildest events in the tracks 48-year history including a Blindfold race where the driver will race around the track with a blindfold on and a passenger directing them around.  It will also feature a $1,000 Any Car race, the first Demolition Derby at the track in over a decade, Tuff Truck Tug-of-War, Street Car Drag Racing and so much more.  It will also feature three divisions of racing including Stock 4, Flatheads and Mini Cups.
Advance tickets are available online. Advance tickets are $10 for Adults, $7 for Youths (5-12 years old) and children 4 and under get in free. Tickets at the gate will be $15 for Adults, $10 for Youths (5-12 years old) and children 4 and under get in free.
Grandstands open at 3pm with the first event slated to roll off at 6pm.  Tickets are expected to sell out early, so either get your tickets online in advance by Thursday June 1st or arrive early to ensure you get a seat.