The opening night of the 15th season of Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Thursday Thunder short-track racing series featured two first-time winners and one competitor who continues to make history in the record books.
The race action was closer than ever with the addition of a new double-file start rule where competitors got to choose which lane they wanted to restart in, allowing for tighter racing.The Masters feature began with Terry Mathis on the pole.
There was a ton of jostling on the first lap with Skip Nichols out front after the gaggle of cars sorted out. On lap two, Tina Johnson made contact with Brian Weimer, causing both cars to spin out. Nichols was dominant, leading every lap to post the win. Nichols continues to add on to his record of holding the most Thursday Thunder wins over the 15-year history, now with 36 victories.
Chandler Smith paced the field to the start for the Racing Radios Bandits feature. Zach Leonhardi and Smith swapped the lead, however Leonhardi got loose and lost track position. The 2011 Racing Radios Bandits champion Joshua Hicks made the pass for the top spot on lap 14. Smith fought hard, but was unable to get by Hicks who logged the win, his seventh in his Thursday Thunder career.
The Semi-Pro kicked off with 2010 Semi-Pro champion William Plemons III out front. Plemons was flawless and broke away from the pack to lead every lap and score his 10th Thursday Thunder victory.
The Racing Radios car, driven by Riley Thornton, took the green flag to set off the Shane’s Rib Shack Young Lions feature. On lap three, Evan Bell shot by Thornton starting from the outside front row after a restart following several cautions. Thornton battled back on lap six to reclaim the lead. Thornton held on to capture his first ever Thursday Thunder win.
The Outlaws feature started with Taylor Jorgensen as the leader. Taylor was the class of the field, leading every lap to claim her first Thursday Thunder victory.
Bubba Harry was the pole sitter for the Pro feature. On lap three, 2011 Shane’s Rib Shack Young Lions champion Mason Massey got a nose on the inside of Harry to snatch the top spot. Massey drove away from the field to collect his first Thursday Thunder Pro victory and his 16th in his Thursday Thunder career.
The Buzz Cars feature started with Allen Nolan as the leader. On lap two, Tim Brotzge raced his way to the front. Buddy Brewer shoved Brotzge out of the way to become the leader. Brewer led the remaining circuits to collect the win.
Short-track racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Thursday, June 14 with a special “Thirsty Thursday” event where the concession stands will feature a dollar menu. Hot dogs, assorted candy, chips and 12 ounce cans of Coca-Cola products will be offered for $1 and cans of beer for $2. The Pro Stock Hobby cars will join Thursday Thunder next week for a special feature race. Tickets for the affordable, family-friendly racing series costs just $6 for adults, $2 for children ages six through 11 and is free for children ages five and younger. Gates open at 6 p.m., heat races start at 6:15 p.m. and feature races start at approximately 7:50 p.m. For more information, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
For more information on Buzz Cars racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Events Department at (770) 946-3954.
To test drive your own Legends machine, or for more information about Legends racing, call Legends of Georgia director Dwight Pilgram at (770) 707-2977 or visit www.legendsofga.com.
Week One Race Results:
1. Skip Nichols (Albany), 2. Terry Mathis (Cumming), 3. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 4. Brian Weimer (Cumming), 5. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 6. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), 7. Mark Swan (Atlanta), 8. James Meredith (Locust Grove).
Racing Radios Bandits:
1. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 2. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 3. Austin Geer (Johns Creek), 4. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City), 5. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 6. Zach Leonhardi (Smyrna), 7. Jonathan Martin, 8. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge), 9. Lee Hodges (Valdosta), 10. Reid Morris (Carrollton).
1. William Plemons III (Forsyth), 2. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), 3. Mike Weed (Franklin), 4. Myatt Snider (Charlotte, N.C.), 5. Garrett Smithley (Peachtree City), 6. Jay Coen (Dacula), 7. Billy Stevenson (Locust Grove), 8. Jami Weimer (Cumming), 9. C.J. Pucko (Covington), 10. Brett Hardin (Acworth), 11. Amber Fleeman (Dacula), 12. Hub Talbot (Smyrna), 13. Aaron Bailey (Hull), 14. Jason Lynn (Buford), DNS - Kyle Bembry (Macon).
Shane’s Rib Shack Young Lions:
1. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 2. Evan Bell (Buford), 3. Will Fagan (Cumming), 4. Grant Quinlan (Detroit, Mich.), 5. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 6. Kaz Grala (Westborough, Mass.), 7. Grant Crane (Zebulon), 8. Trevin Aswarnauth (Loganville), 9. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 10. Joey Padgett (Tallahassee, Fla.), 11. Andy Hogan (Decatur, Texas), 12. Megan Younginer (Stockbridge), 13. Payton Ryan (Jonesville, La.), 14. Alex Coffey (McDonough).
1. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 2. Christopher Clanton (Brooks), 3. Alton Clark (Newnan), 4. Jenson Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 5. Eli Bailey (Johns Creek), 6. Chase Purdy (Gallion, Ala.), 7. Grant Crane (Zebulon) substitute driving for Tyler Mosley (McDonough).
1. Mason Massey (Douglasville), 2. Ryan Gandee (McDonough), 3. Bubba Harry (Griffin), 4. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon), 5. Jake Cole (Kerney, Mo.), DQ - Steven Cantrell (Concord, N.C).
1. Buddy Brewer (Griffin), 2. Tim Brotzge (Griffin), 3. Brian Sutton (Covington), 4. Allen Nolan (Hartwell), 5. Josh McIntyre (Stockbridge), 6. Timmy Bishop (Sharpsburg).