The fourth date of the 2010-11 Winter Flurry short-track racing season featured hot action in cold temperatures at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, as competitors banged cars on the "Thunder Ring" for needed points entering the second half of the season.
The racing was contentious on Atlanta Motor Speedway's quarter-mile short-track with just three dates remaining in the season, and many contests featured multiple wreck-induced cautions. But by avoiding calamity, two drivers – Parker Barnes in the Outlaws division and Rick Geddes in the Masters class – padded their division points lead with another 2010-11 victory.
Madeline Crane paced the field to the green flag from the pole position to start the Outlaws feature race, but was challenged immediately by Barnes. Crane moved to the outside to block Barnes and retain position, slowing Barnes' progress and allowing Alex Coffey to pass for second. However, Barnes would soon cut the gap and retake the second position on lap five. Quickly closing on Crane next, Barnes took to the inside line exiting Turn 4 to pass Crane for the lead on lap 10. Unchallenged in the remaining laps, Barnes would go on to claim his fourth-consecutive 2010-11 Winter Flurry win.
The Masters feature race began with Geddes leading the charge, trailed by John Ponzio and Terry Mathis. After contact between the trio in the opening turns, Geddes edged ahead. With Ponzio charging hard into Turn 2 on the third lap, his momentum swung his vehicle to the outside line and Mathis shot inside to pass for second. Despite inching closer to Geddes in the waning laps, Mathis was unable to completely close the gap and Geddes cruised to the checkered flag, his third win of the season.
Steven Johns sat on the pole to begin the Bandits feature race and slingshot ahead of the field before a series of early wrecks and accompanying cautions regrouped the field. Again ahead of the competition after the restarts, Johns quickly built a significant margin and Joshua Hicks and John Curtiss trailed behind battling for second, but a fifth caution would again regroup the field. Caution-free in the final laps, Johns pushed further ahead and cruised to the checkered flag for the win in his first Winter Flurry appearance.
Mason Massey held the advantage to start the Young Lions feature race. Pulling away from the field on the third lap, Massey and Justin Thomas shot ahead of the pack before consecutive cautions would erase the advantage. Massey and Thomas resumed leading after the restart, but Brady Boswell passed Thomas on the inside to take the second position. Unable to catch Massey in the remaining circuits, Boswell finished second to Massey, who won his first Winter Flurry race of the season.
Mike Weed won the pole position to lead the Semi-Pro class to the start, but Luke Behnke immediately shot to the inside of Weed in Turn 1 to take the lead on the first lap. Showing his superiority in a caution-free race, Behnke built an insurmountable lead in his vehicle and would cruise to the win in his first Winter Flurry showing of the year.
Substitute driving for 2010 Thursday Thunder Young Lions class champion Sean Rayhall, 27-time Legends winner Doug Stevens claimed the pole position to begin the Pro feature un front. Stevens maintained his lead among a tight pack in the opening laps, but Donald McIntosh nosed inside of the veteran on the fourth lap to claim the lead. Still remaining inches behind, Stevens utilized the same inside line on lap eight to pass McIntosh for the lead, followed closely by Taylor Hull who moved into second. With just a few laps remaining, Austin Hill pushed ahead of Hull for second but was unable to track down the veteran Stevens who claimed the win.
Winter Flurry action returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Feb. 12 for the fifth event of the 2010-2011 Winter Flurry season. For more information, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
Jan. 22, 2011 Winter Flurry Results:
1. Steven Johns (Forestville), 2. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 3. John Curtiss (Columbus), 4. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 5. Austin Geer (Johns Creek), 6. Alton Clark (Newnan), 7. Jensen Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 8. Zach Leonhardi (Smyrna), 9. Devon Barnes (Roswell), 10. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 11. Cody Corley (Augusta), 12. Hannah Lovett (Forsyth), 13. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City).
1. Parker Barnes (Roswell), 2. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 3. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 4. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 5. Christopher Clanton (Brooks), 6. Amber Fleeman, 7. Joe Wilder (Marietta), 8. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 9. Christian Thom (Peachtree City), 10. Megan Younginer (Stockbridge).
1. Mason Massey (Douglasville), 2. Brady Boswell (Watkinsville), 3. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), 4. Evan Bell (Buford), 5. Joey Padgett (Tallahassee, Fla.), 6. Anderson Bowen (Suwanee), 7. Woodrow Mullis (Hobiken), 8. Grant Crane, 9. Charlie Gresham (Milner).
1. Rick Geddes (Newnan), 2. Terry Mathis (Cumming), 3. John Ponzio (Hampton), 4. Chris Holcomb (Alpharetta), 5. Mark Swan (Atlanta), 6. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta).
1. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 2. Garrett Smithley (Peachtree City), 3. Casey Willingham, 4. Mike Younginer, 5. Mike Conrad (Cumming), 6. Chris Bowie (Douglasville), 7. Mike Weed (Franklin), 8. Mark Younginer (Stockbridge), DNS. C.J. Pucko.
1. Doug Stevens (Griffin), 2. Austin Hill (Douglasville), 3. Taylor Hull (Winston), 4. Billy Fulson (Winston), 5. Donald McIntosh (Dawsonville), 6. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon).