Martin, Johnson Among Feature Winners During Week Four of Thursday Thunder at AMS
The 2015 Thursday Thunder summer racing series at Atlanta Motor Speedway reached its midpoint in Week 4 Thursday night, with a full slate of racing across five different divisions. With door-to-door racing throughout the evening, drivers weren't afraid to trade paint as they began to eye the final stretch in the last half of the season.
Stockbridge's Taylor Jorgensen, who trailed Allred Family Dentistry Semi-Pro/Young Lions Division leader William Martin of Douglasville by two points entering the night, took the pole and led each of the first 19 laps in what looked like a runaway victory to open Week 4 racing.
After several cautions immediately following the green flag, Jorgensen settled in comfortably at front of the pack. But a late caution in the final stages of the race bunched the field, and Martin made his move on the final lap, overtaking Jorgensen on the backstretch to claim his second win of the season and extend his narrow championship points standings lead. Jorgensen finished 2nd, Christopher Clanton finished 3rd, Jensen Jorgensen took home a 4th-place finish, and Jeff Holden rounded out the top-5.
In the Masters/Pro Division, Tina Johnson of Senoia led flag-to-flag, cruising to her first victory of the season to break a tie atop the division standings and claim sole possession of the lead. Scott Moseley and Bill Plemons Jr. were hot on her back bumper throughout each of the 20 laps, but Johnson, the sole female in the toughest Thursday Thunder division, held her own.
"As you can see, they were all over me," said Johnson on her way to Victory Lane. "I was thinking, 'can I hold on to this?' because they're tough. God, these guys are tough.
"We race hard out here," she said. "and I just want them to race me the way I'm going to race them."
Wilder Etheredge of Albany proved again that racing success runs in the family. Grandson of Skip Nichols, the winningest driver in Thursday Thunder history, Etheredge cruised to his first Thursday Thunder victory of the season in the Beginner Bandolero feature race.
"I got loose in some turns, and I almost spun out, but I held on to it," said Etheredge in his post-race interview. "I was thinking of my speech. I was thinking of what I was going to say, because I was fighting hard."
DJ Canipe of Fallston, North Carolina led all 20 laps of a caution-free Bandits Division feature race for his second win of the season, as he assumed the lead in the points standings, eclipsing Fort Mill, South Carolina's Will Robusto. Robusto finished 4th and dropped to 2nd in the standings, while his sister, Isabella, took home a 3rd place finish. Clay Thompson was the runner up and remains 3rd in the standings.
In the Xtreme Fun on Wheels Outlaws Division, it was Weaverville, North Carolina's Ashton Higgins' turn to dominate the field. Taking the pole, he led from green flag to checkered flag for his third straight victory. Joshua Hicks of Senoia finished 2nd.
Thursday Thunder continues July 2, featuring five racing divisions with various skill levels and competition, including Bandolero cars in the Beginner Bandits, Bandits, and Xtreme Fun on Wheels Outlaw divisions and Legends cars in the Allred Family Dentistry Semi-Pro/Young Lions and Masters/Pro divisions. The summer racing series hits the quarter-mile "Thunder Ring" at Atlanta Motor Speedway each Thursday through July 23, as drivers of all ages and skill levels compete in the 18th season of quarter-mile racing at AMS.
The July 9 Thursday Thunder event will be an INEX regional qualifier.
Grandstand tickets for the affordable, family-friendly racing series cost just $6 for adults, $2 for kids ages 6 through 11 and is free for children ages 5 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.
1. Wilder Etheredge (Albany); 2. Dawson O'Connor (Stockbridge); 3. Noah Dominy (Statham); 4. Ryan Younginer (Jonesboro); 5. Keaton Hendrix (Homerville); 6. Cameron Potter (Covington); 7. Samuel Oliver (The Rock)
1. DJ Canipe (Fallston); 2. Clay Thompson (Powersville); 3. Isabella Robusto (Fort Mill, SC); 4. Will Robusto (Fort Mill, SC); 5. Blaise Maddox (Locust Grove); 6. Nathan Jackson (McDonough); 7. Ryan Howell (McDonough)
Xtreme Fun on Wheels Outlaws
1. Ashton Higgins (Weaverville, NC); 2. Joshua Hicks (Senoia); 3. Hayden Swank (Woodstock); 4. Ricky Springer (McDonough); 5. Trey Tadrzak (Stockbridge); 6. Gauntt Hudgins (Savannah); Connor Younginer (Stockbridge) (DQ) Lawson Ingold (Social Circle) (DQ)
Allred Family Dentistry Semi Pro/Young Lions
1. William Martin (Douglasville); 2. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge); 3. Christopher Clanton (Brooks); 4. Jensen Jorgensen (Stockbridge); 5. Jeff Holden (Gainesville); 6. Brandon Brock (Hampton); 7. Dylan Murry (Cumming); 8. Amber Fleeman (Dacula); 9. Hannah Bell (Raleigh, NC); 10. Sebastian Aras (Flowery Branch); 11. Nicholas Waters (Senoia); 12. Jordan Coker (Powder Springs); 13. Aaron Bailey (Burlington, NC)
1. Tina Johnson (Senoia); 2. Scott Moseley (McDonough); 3. Bill Plemons Jr. (Locust Grove); 4. Mark Swan (Dunwoody); 5. Phillip Young (Dallas); 6. Randy Shubert (Conyers); 7. Wes Potter (Covington); 8. Tony Arbruster (Covington); 9. Willie Gray (Cartersville); 10. Dennis Hecht (Hoschton)