The 2011-12 Winter Flurry season-finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway saw several points races come down to the final lap of competition. Both repeat and first-time winners brought home checkered flags on the ¼-mile "Thunder Ring" as another season of Winter Flurry racing came to a close.
Zach Leonhardi was the pole sitter for the Papa John's Pizza Bandits feature. On lap six, Chambers McGilberry spun exiting turn two to bring out the first caution of the event. On the restart, Lawson Ingold spun in turn one and McGilberry made contact to place the field under caution for the second time. With five laps remaining, Connor Younginer spun in turn four to bring out the yellow flag. Leonhardi would go on to score his third win of the season. Joshua Hicks, who finished second, entered the event as the points leader and would unofficially win the points championship over Leonhardi.
The Young Lions feature opened with Joey Padgett pacing the field to the green flag. On lap five, points leader Andy Hogan eased past Padgett and took the lead. Hogan led the rest of the way to claim his fifth win and unofficially take home the points championship over Joey Padgett, who finished second in the event.
Justin Thomas began the Semi-Pro feature out front. On lap eight, Bailey Jones bumped Hub Talbot in turn three, causing him to spin and would bring out the first caution of the event. Luke Behnke, who entered the race tied with Thomas atop the points standings, closed in but it would not be enough. Thomas would post his fourth victory of the season and break the points standings tie to unofficially win the championship.
The Outlaws feature began with Jenson Jorgensen on the pole. Chase Purdy spun on the first lap in turn two, resulting in a full restart. Alton Clark suffered a mechanical failure on lap six, bringing out the yellow flag for the second time. John Curtiss used the caution to close in and made a pass for the lead following the restart. On lap 11, Jorgensen used the lapped car of Katelyn Weatherly as a pick to retake the top spot from Curtiss. Jorgensen would capture his first victory of the season while his sister Taylor Jorgensen, who entered the day on top of the points standings, came home second and unofficially claimed the points championship.
Terry Mathis paced the field to the start of the combined Masters and Pro feature. The event ran without issue, and Mathis would lead wire-to-wire in collecting his fifth win of the season. Mathis came into the race as the points leader and would hold off Ed Clark in both the race and points standings to unofficially become points champion. Mason Massey drove his machine home in third place, making the Pro division points leader the top finishing driver in that division. The finish unofficially gave Massey the points championship over A.J. Carlisi, who came home behind him in fourth.
The Buzz Car feature started with Brian Sutton as the leader. Buddy Brewer charged to the lead in turn three on the opening lap. Brewer, who unofficially claimed the points championship last week, paced the field for every lap and logged his seventh win of the season. The win gave Brewer a clean sweep of every Buzz Car feature event of the Winter Flurry season.
Short-track racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 21 with off-season Legends racing. A limited number of infield passes will be available at the Security Command building near the speedway's main entrance. Infield access costs just $12 for adults, $5 for children ages six through 11 and admission is free for children ages five and younger. Cost to race is just $25. Minors and their guardians are required to complete a minor waiver before children ages 17 and younger can enter the infield. 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.
Papa John's Pizza Bandits:
1. Zach Leonhardi (Smyrna), 2. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 3. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 4. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 5. Reid Morris (Carrollton), 6. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City), 7. Lawson Ingold (Social Circle), 8. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge), 9. Chambers McGilberry (Selma, Ala.)
1. Andy Hogan (Decatur, Texas), 2. Joey Padgett (Tallahassee, Fla.), 3. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 4. Will Fagan (Cumming), 5. Austin Cindric (Mooresville, N.C.), 6. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 7. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 8. Angus Hunt (Powder Springs), 9. Megan Younginer (Stockbridge)
1. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), 2. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 3. Williams Pelmons III (Forsyth), 4. Casey Willingham (Ball Ground), 5. Emilee Riley (Jasper), 6. Bailey Jones (Nashville, Tenn.), 7. Jami Weimer (Cumming), 8. Hub Talbot (Smyrna), 9. Jay Coen (Dacula), 10. C.J. Pucko (Covington), 11. Aaron Bailey (Hull), Amber Fleeman* (Dacula)
*attempted to qualify
1. Jenson Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 2. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 3. John Curtiss (Columbus), 4. Chase Purdy (Gallion, Ala.), 5. Katelyn Weatherly (McDonough), 6. Alton Clark (Newnan)
Masters and Pro:
1. Terry Mathis (Cumming), 2. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 3. Mason Massey* (Douglasville), 4. A.J. Carlisi* (Dalton), 5. Bill Plemons Jr. (Locust Grove), 6. Phillip Young (Dallas), 7. Chris Bowie (Douglasville), 8. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), 9. Mark Swan (Atlanta), 10. Don Chandler (Macon), 11. Michael Sauer (Atlanta), 12. James Meredith (Locust Grove)
*denotes Pro drivers
1. Buddy Brewer (Griffin), 2. Brian Sutton (Covington), 3. Timmy Bishop (Jonesboro)