The 2012 season of Thursday Thunder featured a special Fourth of July night of racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In addition to the full slate of Bandolero, Legends and Buzz Car racing, fans were treated to the Papa John’s Pizza Fireworks Extravaganza as the finale to the evening’s activities.
The Racing Radios Bandits feature began with Joshua Hicks on the pole. Right from the start, Kodie Conner and Hicks were battling side by side, with Conner taking over the top spot by lap three. Hicks made contact with Nathan Jackson’s lap down car on lap five, bringing out the caution and sending Hicks’ damaged car off the track on a hook. Conner was out front for the restart with Chandler Smith right on his tail. Smith made the pass for the lead one lap later and held on to seize the win; his third in the 2012 Thursday Thunder season.
Billy Stevenson took the green flag to set off the Semi-Pro feature. When the field completed the first circuit, Garrett Smithley had charged his way to the front. Justin Thomas stayed close to Smithley for the first 13 laps, but by lap 14, he fought his way to become the race leader. Thomas and Smithley battled lap after lap, but Thomas came out on top, snatching his first win of the summer series.
The Shane’s Rib Shack Young Lions feature got underway with Joey Padgett in the lead. Points leader Evan Bell was glued to Padgett’s bumper for the beginning of the race, but on lap six, Bell dove inside Padgett on the backstretch to make his move to the front. Bell led the remainder of the race to post his third win of the season. During post-race inspection, Bell was disqualified, turning over the win to Joey Padgett.
Chase Purdy paced the field to the start of the Outlaws feature, but one lap later Tyler Lester was the race leader. A wreck in turn two involving Purdy and Tyler Mosley brought out the caution flag on lap two. Running in fourth, points leader Taylor Jorgensen used the choose option on the restart to move up to the outside of the front row for the restart beside Lester. Taylor tucked in behind Lester on the start and she made the pass for the lead only two laps later. She dominated the remainder of the race to capture her fifth win in six Thursday Thunder starts this summer.
The Pro feature kicked off with Austin Hill out front. At the halfway point, Hill’s car had problems, sending him to the garage and turning over the lead to Taylor Hull. Hull fended off points leader Mason Massey to grab his first win of the summer.
Tina Johnson was the pole sitter for the Masters feature. On lap five, Brian Weimer passed Johnson to become the race leader. Weimer set sail on the rest of the field to collect his second win this summer.
The Buzz Cars feature opened with Zach Privette pacing the field to the green flag. On lap nine, Privette turned Brian Sutton, bringing out the caution and sending Sutton’s car to the garage. Two laps later, Privette and Gary Zajdak made contact in turn two. The caution flag and checkered flag were flown together to complete the race, giving the win to Michael Karp.
Short-track racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway Thursday, July 5 for the seventh event of the 2012 10-event series of Thursday Thunder featuring “Thirsty Thursday.” Hot dogs, 12 oz. cans of Coca-Cola products, chips and candy are just $1 with 12 oz. cans of beer for $2. 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 Five Race Results:
Racing Radios Bandits:
1. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 2. Kodie Conner (Kannapolis, N.C.), 3. Zach Leonhardi (Smyrna), 4. Connor Okrzesik (Mobile), 5. Reid Morris (Carrollton), 6. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge), 7. Lee Hodges (Valdosta), 8. Bodie Weeks (Loganville), 9. Andrue Nolen (Cantonment, Fla.), 10. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 11. Zachary Dabbs (Mooresville, N.C.), 12. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 13. Nathan Jackson (McDonough), 14. Austin Geer (Johns Creek), 15. Jonathan Martin (Ola).
1. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), Garrett Smithley (Peachtree City), 3. Myatt Snider (Charlotte, N.C.), 4. William Plemons III (Locust Grove), 5. Mike Weed (Franklin), 6. Billy Stevenson (Locust Grove), 7. Brett Hardin (Acworth), 8. Kyle Bembry (Macon), 9. Aaron Bailey (Hull), 10. Jason Lynn (Sugar Hill), 11. Jami Weimer (Cumming).
Shane’s Rib Shack Young Lions:
1. Joey Padgett (Tallahassee, Fla.), 2. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 3. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 4. Payton Ryan (Concord, N.C.), 5. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 6. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 7. Noah Cornman (Groveland, Fla.), 8. Megan Younginer (Stockbridge), 9. Trevin Aswarnauth (Loganville), 10. Will Fagan (Cumming), DQ - Evan Bell (Buford).
1. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 2. Tyler Lester (Dallas, N.C.), 3. Christopher Clanton (Brooks), 4. Tyler Mosley (McDonough), 5. Eli Bailey (Johns Creek), 6. Jacob Heafner (Dallas, N.C.), 7. Katelyn Weatherly (McDonough), 8. Chase Purdy (Gallion, Ala.), 9. Dale Oliver (The Rock), 10. Jenson Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 11. Alton Clark (Newnan), 12. Miranda Meredith (Locust Grove).
1. Taylor Hull (Winston), 2. Mason Massey (Douglasville), 3. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon), 4. Austin Hill (Winston), DQ - Donovan Ponder (Orlando, Fla.).
1. Brian Weimer (Cumming), 2. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 3. Terry Mathis (Cumming), 4. Skip Nichols (Albany), 5. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 6. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), 7. Don Chandler (Macon), 8. Mark Swan (Atlanta), 9. Phillip Young (Dallas), 10. James Meredith (Locust Grove), 11. John Tucker (Douglasville).