Influx of Drivers Kick Off Winter Flurry Season at AMS
Sixty-two U.S. Legends and Bandolero cars took to the quarter-mile Thunder Ring at Atlanta Motor Speedway to kick off a brand new season of Winter Flurry racing on Saturday afternoon. The Week 1 event featured six racing divisions, seven feature races and many new and familiar faces to AMS.
Amber Fleeman, a veteran Legends driver in the Semi-Pro Division in her sixth season of racing, entered the race with cautious optimism and a side of confidence in pursuit of her second career Winter Flurry victory.
"Just like any season, it's always good to start strong," said Fleeman before climbing into her car. "It's good to build some respect on the race track. That's the biggest thing, because we've had a few issues here in past seasons, but I think we're doing a lot better."
Driving the blue No. 98 car, Fleeman has seen marked improvement each year since sliding behind the wheel of a Legends car and hopes to put together consistent finishes as she chases a championship.
"I have quickly learned that the best strategy is just to race yourself, race the race track," she said. "Get as fast as you can and everything else kind of falls together instead of worrying about what everybody else is doing. I've done that a lot. If you can make a fast lap and you can keep your nose clean, you're probably going to win at some point. With time comes speed."
Starting on the outside of the second row in the Semi-Pro Division feature, Fleeman ran into a bit of trouble early but recovered nicely. After restarting towards the back of the field, the Georgia Tech sophomore gradually made her way back into the top-5 in the final laps.
Meanwhile, Stockbridge's Jensen Jorgensen showed a strong performance from the start, leading the field for the first 17 laps. It looked like Jorgensen would cruise to the checkered flag until engine trouble forced him from the race on the 18th lap. From there, Kaden Honeycutt of Bret City, Texas took over the lead and led the final three laps for his first Winter Flurry win. Following Honeycutt were Dylan Murry of Cumming and Brandon Brock of Hampton. Fleeman recovered to finish fourth.
In the Masters/Pro Division, pole-winner Tina Johnson of Senoia led each of the first five laps before Mason Massey of Douglasville and Jimmy Henderson of Conyers surged past her in Turn 2 of the sixth lap for the first and only lead change of the race. Massey led the final 15 laps for the victory and was followed by Henderson, Johnson, Robbie Woodall of McDonough and Gainesville's Jeff Holden, who rounded out the top-5.
A clean Chargers Division Feature saw Dawson Fletcher of Canton lead flag to flag for the victory. Canon Cochran of Ringgold, Robert Cheney of Jonesboro, Cameron Whitener of Monticello and Miranda Meredith of Locust Grove rounded out the top-5 in order.
Week 1 of the Winter Flurry season also marked an important milestone for a handful of Bandolero drivers with budding potential. Seven drivers shed their rookie stripes and made the jump from the Beginner Bandolero Division to advanced divisions as the green flag dropped on the new season. Max Hennebaul of Monroe, Carden Cochran of Ringgold, Ryan Younginer of Jonesboro, Audrie Ruark of Suwanee, Dawson Fletcher of Canton, Corey Heim of Marietta and River Allen of Hiram all advanced on Saturday.
In the Outlaws Division, Lawson Ingold of Social Circle took the pole and led the first eight laps before a spin in Turn 2 allowed Connor Younginer of Stockbridge to take the lead on the ensuing restart. Younginer led each of the final 12 laps for the victory despite late charges by both Corey Heim and Savannah's Gauntt Hudgins. Heim finished second and Hudgins finished third, while Carden Cochran and Trey Tadrzak of Stockbridge rounded out the top-5.
In the Bandits Division feature, Bowersville's Clay Thompson took the pole and used a fast car and consistent driving to lead all 20 laps of the race. Following Thompson, Audrie Ruark, Noah Dominy of Greensboro, River Allen and Max Hennebaul finished in order.
The Beginner Bandolero Division saw 17 drivers in two feature races. In the first race, Atlanta's Andrew Dollar took the pole and steadily built a lead, breaking away from the pack and leading the first 14 laps. An untimely spin for Dollar opened the door for Samantha Bart of Cumming to slide into the lead, where she stayed for the final six laps and a Winter Flurry win.
In the second Beginner Bandolero Division feature, it was a tale of three chapters. Covington's Cameron Potter led from the pole for the first eight laps before a spin in Turn 2 allowed Savannah Bart of Cumming to take the lead. Her lead lasted all of seven laps before Blaze Crawford made a clean pass on the Lap 16 and never looked back to polish off the victory.
Winter Flurry continues with Week 2 on Saturday, Dec. 12. Infield admission is available for spectators wishing to watch Winter Flurry racing, and passes may be purchased at the Security Command Building near the Speedway's main entrance. Infield passes are $12 for adults, $5 for ages six through 11, and children ages five and younger are admitted for free.
To test drive your own Legends machine, or for more information about Legends racing, call Legends of Georgia director Ken Ragan at (770) 707-2977 or visit www.legendsofga.com.
Complete Winter Flurry Week 1 results:
1. Mason Massey (Douglasville); 2. Jimmy Henderson (Conyers); 3. Tina Johnson (Senoia); 4. Robbie Woodall (McDonough); 5. Jeff Holden (Gainesville); 6. Mark Swan (Dunwoody); 7. Tony Armbruster (Covington); 8. Phillip Young (Dallas); 9. Randy Shubert, 10. Pat Sellers (Stockbridge); 11. Dennis Hecht (Hoschton); 12. Wes Potter (Covington); 13. Dennis Aiken (Villa Rica); 14. Bill Whatley (Snellville); 15. Barry Bowen, 16. James Meredith.
1. Kaden Honeycutt (Bret City, TX); 2. Dylan Murry (Cumming); 3. Brandon Brock (Hampton); 4. Amber Fleeman (Dacula); 5. Bailey Woodall (McDonough); 6. Jensen Jorgensen (Stockbridge); 7. Nicholas Waters (Senoia); 8. Hunter Wright (Lebanon)
1. Dawson Fletcher (Canton); 2. Canon Cochran (Ringgold); 3. Robert Chaney (Jonesboro); 4. Cameron Whitener (Monticello); 5. Miranda Meredith (Locust Grove); 6. Johnathan Timms (Calhoun)
1. Clay Thompson (Bowersville); 2. Audrie Ruark (Suwanee); 3. Noah Dominy (Greensboro); 4. River Allen (Hiram); 5. Max Hennebaul (Monroe); 6. Ryan Younginer (Jonesboro); 7. Dawson Fletcher (Canton); 8. Nathan Jackson (McDonough)
1. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge); 2. Corey Heim (Marietta); 3. Gauntt Hudgins (Savannah); 4. Carden Cochran (Ringgold); 5. Trey Tadrzak (Stockbridge); 6. Lawson Ingold (Social Circle); 7. Blaise Maddox (Locust Grove); 8. Ricky Springer (McDonough); 9. Hayden Swank (Woodstock)
Beginner Bandoleros Division Race 1:
1. Samantha Bart (Cumming); 2. Michael Gannon (Canton); 3. Gage Roberts (Milledgeville); 4. Wilder Etheredge (Albany); 5. Dawson O'Connor (Stockbridge); 6. Andrew Dollar (Atlanta); 7. Will Griffis (Homerville); 8. Ashton Whitener (Monticello); 9. Keaton Hendrix (Homerville); 10. Shelby Ruark (Suwanee)
Beginner Bandoleros Division Race 2:
1. Blaze Crawford (Fayetteville); 2. Annabelle Mohwish (Cumming); 3. Cameron Potter (Covington); 4. Savannah Bart (Cumming); 5. Blayne Harrison (Bastin, VA); 6. Mikie Mohwish (Cumming); 7. Logan Nalley (Canton)