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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Martin Truex Jr. was only half-joking when he said he was right where he wanted to be: leading the field to green in the second of last Thursday night's Budweiser Duel at Daytona 150-mile qualifying races.

That means, of course, that Truex was second-fastest in Sunday's Daytona 500 time trials at 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway, second to Austin Dillon's No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

Dillon won the pole for NASCAR's most prestigious Sprint Cup Series race, and he'll start from the front in Thursday's first Duel race. In this case, Truex is content to play second fiddle.

The Furniture Row Racing team that fields Truex's cars gets its engines and chassis from RCR. So, forget the notion of Truex trying to upstage the monumental story of the No. 3's triumphant return to Sprint Cup racing after a 13-year absence. After all, Truex wants to make sure he continues to get top-quality engines from RCR.

"Definitely glad I didn't knock the 3 off the pole,” Truex said with a smile. "That's all I'm going to say. We'll wait until July to get ours.”


Relay team and pole vaulter bring home titles.

Franklin High School's indoor track team attended the 2A State Championship last weekend in Winston-Salem. The team was able to bring home two state championships.

Danielle Brown won the state pole vault in the 2A indoor track and field championship held on February 8. She was able to clear 10 feet.

“Danielle's victory is the fruition of many years of hard work and sacrifice,” said Coach Jeff Howard. “I was glad to see it all pay off this weekend.”


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Thirteen years ago, Dale Earnhardt's first sports car race in a Chevrolet Corvette was the last race he completed.

Earnhardt, son Dale Earnhardt Jr., Andy Pilgrim and Kelly Collins finished fourth overall and second in the GT classification in the 2001 Rolex 24 At Daytona. A Corvette driven by Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell, Chris Kneifel and Franck Freon took first place overall.

By the end of the weekend, Earnhardt had endeared himself to his teammates, thanks not only to his talent behind the wheel but also because of the indefatigable generosity of his personality. Two weeks later, Earnhardt's life was cut short in a last-lap crash in the Daytona 500, and the motorsports world mourned.

A forceful confluence of circumstance in this year's 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway can't help but evoke memories of the Earnhardts and 2001. A new Corvette, the C7.R, is making its competitive debut in the Rolex 24, competing in the GT Le Mans class that grew out of the merger between GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series.


The Lady Panthers hosted the East Henderson Eagles Tuesday night. The crowd that filled the gym was decked out in purple for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and to participate in Tom Raby Night. Each Franklin team put on a good show for the crowd, with the women's varsity team giving the most impressive showing by demolishing the Eagles, 72-58.

The men's varsity team also added a win to their season record. Though they held the lead for most of the game, East Henderson was able to close the gap as the fourth quarter came to a close. A technical foul put the Eagles in a position to close the gap, but only one point resulted from the foul and Franklin was able to walk away with the win, 54-53.


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