Atlanta Motor Speedway's newest short-track racing class, Buzz Cars, made it's exhibition debut following an INEX-sanctioned short-track race on the track's quarter-mile "Thunder Ring" on Sunday.
The debut featured a group of Buzz Cars, minimally-modified, four-cylinder stock cars, competing in a shortened exhibition feature after Legends and Bandolero racers competed for INEX points. Claiming the win in an event surrounded by both fan and competitor intrigue, Michael Carp of Woodstock was victorious in the first Buzz Cars exhibition.
Following the exhibition event, the Buzz Cars division will next be integrated into the points racing action at Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder, the track's summer short-track racing series, on June 2.
In addition to marking the debut of the Buzz Cars, Sunday's racing action was also the final off-season event on the "Thunder Ring" in advance of the 2011 Thursday Thunder season. The race offered competitors valuable competition track time prior to the season.
Carson Ferguson started on the pole to begin the Bandits feature race and he promptly stretched his lead to more than 20 car lengths by utilizing lapped traffic as soon as the fifth lap. However, a series of mid- to late-race cautions regrouped the field before Ferguson again shot ahead after the restart. Unthreatened in the final circuits, Ferguson claimed the victory in the Bandits feature after leading wire-to-wire.
Kevin Foisy held the pole position for Masters feature race in his first appearance on Atlanta's "Thunder Ring." Challenged by Bill Plemons, Jr. from the outside pole position on the start, Foisy settled into the lead exiting Turn 2. But by using a bump on the seventh lap, Plemons sent Foisy spinning exiting Turn 4 and took the lead. With second-place Terry Mathis unable to catch Plemons, Jr. in the waning laps, the Locust Grove-resident would go on to take the win.
The Outlaws feature began with Parker Barnes, the 2010-11 Winter Flurry Outlaws class champion, holding the advantage, but contact with Riley Thornton in Turn 1 resulted in a massive pileup involving half the field. Madeline Crane claimed the lead following the restart with Taylor Jorgensen and John Curtiss in close tow. With Jorgensen and Curtiss battling for second, Crane steadily pulled ahead of the pack and would go on to take the win.
Luke Behnke paced the field to the green flag to start the Semi-Pro feature race and pulled ahead from the pack with William Plemons III trailing behind in second. With Williams III pulling off the track on lap 15 due to a mechanical issue, Behnke would lead each lap en route to taking the checkered flag.
Mason Massey won the pole position to start from the front in the Young Lions feature race and quickly jumped ahead of the pack. Massey, a three-time Young Lions winner during the 2010 Thursday Thunder season, led every lap to take the win.
Taylor Hull paced the Pro class to the green flag and jumped to a quick lead before a caution on the fifth lap tightened the field. Hull again leapt ahead of the pack, but Casey Roderick soon closed the gap and dove to the inside on the 12th-lap to take the lead. With Hull and 2010 Thursday Thunder Young Lions champion Sean Rayhall unable to catch Roderick in the final laps, the 25-time Thursday Thunder winner claimed the victory in the off-season event.
Short-track racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Thursday, June 2 for the first date of the 2011 Thursday Thunder summer short-track racing series. 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. 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.
April 10, 2011 Race Results:
1. Carson Ferguson (Charlotte, N.C.), 2. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 3. Reed Hatchett (Knoxville), 4. Devon Barnes (Roswell), 5. Zach Leonhardi (Smyrna), 6. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 7. Chase Evans (Auburn), 8. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City), 9. Austin Geer (Johns Creek), 10. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge).
1. Bill Plemons, Jr. (Locust Grove), 2. Terry Mathis (Cumming), 3. Kevin Foisy (Clayton, Ontario), 4. Mark Swan (Atlanta), 5. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), 6. Chris Holcomb (Alpharetta), 7. James Meredith.
1. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 2. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 3. John Curtiss (Columbus), 4. Parker Barnes (Alpharetta), 5. Jenson Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 6. Alton Clark (Newnan), 7. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 8. Christian Thom (Peachtree City), 9. Amber Fleeman (Dacula), 10. Christopher Clanton (Brooks).
1. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 2. Corey Gordon (Charlotte, N.C), 3. Casey Willingham, 4. Mark Younginer (Stockbridge), 5. C.J. Pucko, 6. William Plemons III (Forsyth).
1. Mason Massey (Douglasville), 2. Anderson Bowen (Suwanee), 3. Grant Crane, 4. Evan Bell (Buford), 5. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 6. Joey Padgett (Tallahassee, Fla.), 7. Woodrow Mullis (Hobiken), 8. Will Fagan (Cumming).
1. Casey Roderick (Lawrenceville), 2. Taylor Hull (Winston), 3. Sean Rayhall (Winston), 4. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon), 5. Brady Boswell (Watkinsville), 6. Matt Haufe (Claytin, Ontario), Justin Swilling (Cohutta).