STARS Union results

UNION, KY - RIS - Steve Francis, of Ashland, KY dominated the field Saturday night as he led from wire-to-wire in the "11th Annual Ralph Latham Memorial 100" at Florence Speedway and pocketed the $10,000 winners check Driving the ...

UNION, KY - RIS - Steve Francis, of Ashland, KY dominated the field Saturday night as he led from wire-to-wire in the "11th Annual Ralph Latham Memorial 100" at Florence Speedway and pocketed the $10,000 winners check

Driving the Rocket/Draime/Action Auto Mart/Don Salley-Ashland Oil Agent Camaro, Francis took the lead at the start with Steve Landrum, John Gill, Bob Pierce and Steve Barnett in tow. The defending STARS Champion checked out on the field and was never seriously challenged for the entire 100 laps around the 1/2 mile clay oval. Behind him the action was intense as Pierce moved by Gill for third on lap 20 and then on lap 25 passed Landrum to take over second.

From the rear half of the pack, and coming on like gang busters were Jack Boggs and Mike Bolzano. By lap 29 Boggs was in third and just three laps later he was around Pierce and into second. All the time Bolzano was patiently following. Boggs set off to chase down Francis, who by this time had a 10 car length lead.

Midway through the race, Pierce seemed to lose the handle on the race track and slid back as far as fifth as both Gill and Tim Hitt were able to get by. But he fought back and soon was back in the third spot and closing on Boggs, who in turn was only one car length behind Francis. Fate then decided to take a hand as on lap 76 Pierce pulled off the track with a broken transmission and on lap 88 Boggs suddenly slowed with a broken axle. That left Bolzano in second and despite his best efforts with a car that was not handling right following some earlier damage to left front tie-rod, he was unable to run Francis down and finished in second. Gill took third with Hitt fourth and Barnett fifth.

There were 41 cars on hand for the race, Pierce setting the fast time of 16.978 seconds around the half-mile. Heat race winners were Rick Aukland, Darrell Lanigan and Hitt while Francis won the ISKY RACING CAMS Fast Dash and Don O'Neal won the PRO SHOCKS 'B' Main.

John Kaiser, Racing Information Systems

Results of the 11th Annual Ralph Latham Memorial 100

Pos  #   Driver                  Laps    Money   Notes
1.  #15  Steve Francis           100     10,000  Running
2.  #E1  Mike Bolzano            100     5,000   Running
3.  #75  John Gill               100     3,000   Running
4.  #68  Tim Hitt                100     2,000   Running
5.  #89  Steve Barnett           100     1,500   Running
6.  #1H  John Holt               100     1,450   Running
7.  #1CJ C.J. Rayburn            100     1,350   Running
8.  3G   Troy Green              100     1,200   Running
9.  #18  Steve Landrum           100     1,100   Running
10. #28  Kevin Claycomb          100     1,000   Running
11. #1X  Brian Asbury            99      900     Running
12. #B4  Jack Boggs              98      800     Running
13. #12  Rick Aukland            98      700     Running
14. #25  Mike Benedum            96      700     Running
15. #71  Delmas Conley           91      650     Suspension
16. #71R Rod Conley              83      550     Axle
17. #32  Bob Pierce              76      500     Transmission
18. #9   Mike Jewell             63      500     Accident
19. #51  Brandon Green           61      550     Oil Line
20. #77  Barry Bragdon           61      550     Accident
21. #71o Don O'Neal              43      550     Fuel Line
22. #1B  Jerry Rice              35      500     Handling
23. #29  Darrell Lanigan         25      500     Carburetor
24. #15B Brian Birkhofer         10      500     Steering

Time of Race: 1 hr 5 mins Cautions: 8 Fast Qualifier: Pierce 16.978 secs Lap Leaders: Francis Rookie of the Race: Benedum

1997 STARS Point Standings 1. Steve Francis Ashland, KY 3750 2. Tim Hitt Weston, WV 3030 3. Mike Bolzano Parkersburg, WV 2720 4. Rick Eckert York, PA 2580 5. Rod Conley Wheelersburg, OH 2170 6. Steve Shaver Parkersburg, WV 2130 7. Charlie Swartz Garyson, KY 1810 8. Delmas Conley Wheelersburg, OH 1710 9. Bart Hartman Zanesville, OH 1640 10. Barry Bragdon Wheelersburg, OH 1630

1997 STARS Rookie of the Year Point Standings 1. Mike Benedum Bristol, WV 1480 2. Ryan Markham Ashland, OH 600 3. J.R. Keifer Bedford, PA 50

1997 STARS PRO SHOCKS 'B' Main Point Standings 1. Ryan Markham Ashland, OH 1230 2. Mike Johnson Imperial, PA 770 3. Chuck Harper Beverly, WV 630 4. Delmas Conley Wheelersburg, OH 570 5. Scott Hartley Ravenswood, WV 290

1997 STARS Feature Winners Steve Francis 2 Donnie Moran 2 Gary Stuhler 2 Keith Nobisch 1 (np) Steve Shaver 1 Booper Bare 1 Ronnie Johnson 1 Davey Johnson 1 Tim Hitt 1 Randle Chupp 1 Jack Boggs 1 Bart Hartman 1 (np)non point event

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Donnie Moran , Rick Eckert , Brian Birkhofer , Mike Johnson , Steve Francis