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Fleming wins season opener at Dillon

Raleigh's Alex Fleming made a statement at Dillon Motor Speedway. The former Clash winner dominated the Jan. 5 season opener, holding off Robert Arch and besting what may have been the strongest field in UCAR Clash history. The field featured the winners of the previous four season championships and the four drivers with the most career series wins.

The biggest hindrance to Fleming was Dillon, S.C., racer Mark Dean, who qualified on the pole with a blistering 19.4-second lap. However, once the green flag flew it was all Fleming, who blasted from his front-row starting spot to an early lead.

Behind Fleming the racing was fast and furious. Last year's champion, Keith Brame Jr. of Gibsonville, N.C., started third and waged an early battle with Dean, 2010 Champion Robert Arch of Raleigh and newcomer Patrick Arch. The four-way battle would involve traded paint and lots of three-wide action, with Robert Arch slipping to second behind Fleming. His brother would climb to third, setting up a 1-2-3 finish for the Raleigh posse.

The battle continued through the field with three-wide racing between several drivers. Dillon's Marty Dean would race three-wide with Brame and the Toyota Celica of Tyler Horne in one of the race's most exciting events. The battle would end in Brame spinning, causing the race's second and final caution flag. Though there was a quick challenge from Arch, Fleming was not to be denied and pulled away to the checkered flag.

Race Facts:

The Dillon race featured three previous champions: Keith Brame Jr. (2012,2009), Duane Walker (2011), and Robert Arch (2010).

The race featured six previous Clash winners.

At least 14 of the 20 drivers who started the race won a race at their home track in the 2012 season

Walls Roofing UCAR Clash $500 To Win

1. Alex Fleming 5

2. Robert Arch 23

3. Patrick Arch 1

4. Mark Dean 78

5. Todd Langdon 5

6. Tyler Horn 28

7. Dwayne Walker 48

8. Keith Brame Jr 12

9. Jimmy Grigger 98

10. James Stroud 4

11. Chad Scott 01

12. Eric Sykes 23s

13. Greg Wood 03

14. Michael Todd 17

15. Marty Dean 7d8

16. Jesse Duke 8

17. Josh Dean 79

18. Justin Altman 6

19. Andy Norton 7