The lights were back on for off-Season Legends racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and the series saw a balanced mix of dominating performances and close battles, with one finish going down as one of the closest in the history of Legends racing on the ¼-mile “Thunder Ring” at AMS.
The combined Pro and Masters feature opened with Pro driver Justin Swilling pacing the field to the green flag. Ed Clark was the top starting Masters driver in the fourth position. Swilling went wire-to-wire in holding off Mason Massey to claim the victory. Brian Weimer was the top finishing Masters driver with a fourth place finish.
Reid Morris began the Bandits feature out front. On the second lap, Chandler Smith spun in the first corner to bring out the yellow flag. On the fifth lap, Ashton Winger got into Smith battling for the top spot, spinning Smith and bringing out the second caution of the event. The spin placed Smith in the lead. With 10 laps complete, Reid Morris and Connor Younginer got together entering turn three, putting the field under the yellow flag for the third time. Two laps later, Winger spun Smith while fighting for the top spot and brought out the fourth caution. The incident sent Connor Okrzesik to the point. On the restart Morris shot past Okrzesik for the lead. With five laps left, Smith and Okrzesik got together in turn two for the fifth caution of the race. With two laps to go, Winger slid past Morris for the lead. Winger would snatch the victory by half a car length with Smith at his door when they crossed the finish line.
The Semi-Pro feature started with Luke Behnke as the leader. Behnke would lead every circuit en route to handedly posting the victory.
Riley Thornton was the pole sitter for the Shane’s Rib Shack Young Lions feature. Will Fagan raced to the point in the first corner from his starting position on the outside front row. After a ferocious battle for the top spot, Andy Hogan moved past Fagan on lap 14. Hogan would use the high line to hold off Joey Padgett in a photo finish of .016 seconds to grab the checkered flag, one of the closest finishes in Atlanta Motor Speedway Legends racing history.
The Outlaws feature had Jenson Jorgensen pacing the field to the green flag. Battling for the lead on lap three, Jenson and Taylor Jorgensen got together, spinning Jenson and moving Alton Clark to the top spot. On lap nine, Taylor Jorgensen moved past Clark for the lead. The next lap, Katelyn Weatherly spun exiting turn two for the first caution of the event. On the restart, Taylor Jorgensen and Weatherly got together battling for the lead, spinning Jorgensen and moving Clark back to the lead. On lap 12, Taylor Jorgensen and Chase Purdy got together in turn two for the second yellow flag of the event. Clark would pull away to capture the victory. Clark’s machine failed post-race inspection, and the victory was disqualified. The disqualification awarded the victory to Jenson Jorgensen. Clark protested the disqualification, and final race results are pending.
Brian Sutton was the leader for the start of the Buzz Cars feature. Sutton would dominate the event while logging the win, finishing as the only car on the lead lap.
Short-track racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 12 with off-season Legends racing, part of the speedway’s 2012 open house event. Admission is free and the open house will begin at 12:00 p.m. with Legends racing, free giveaways, activities and the opportunity for those in attendance to drive their cars on the track. For more information about Legends racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the 2012 open house, contact the AMS 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.
Pro and Masters:
1. Justin Swilling* (Cohutta), 2. Mason Massey* (Douglasville), 3. A.J. Carlisi* (Dalton), 4. Brian Weimer (Cumming), 5. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 6. Terry Mathis (Cumming), 7. Chris Bowie (Douglasville), 8. Michael Sauer (Atlanta), 9. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), Cody Haskins^ (Marietta)
*denotes Pro drivers
^attempted to qualify
1. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 2. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 3. Reid Morris (Carrollton), 4. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge), 5. Conner Okrzesik (Mobile, Ala.), 6. Chambers McGilberry (Selma, Ala.)
1. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 2. Jami Weimer (Cumming), 3. Jay Coen (Dacula), 4. C.J. Pucko (Covington), 5. Mark Younginer (Stockbridge), 6. Amber Fleeman (Dacula), 7. Aaron Bailey (Hull), 8. Jason Lynn (Buford)
Shane’s Rib Shack Young Lions:
1. Andy Hogan (Decatur, Texas), 2. Joey Padgett (Tallahassee, Fla.), 3. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 4. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 5. Will Fagan (Cumming), 6. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 7. Austin Cindric (Mooresville, N.C.)
1. Jenson Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 2. Chase Purdy (Gallion, Ala.), 3. Eli Bailey (Johns Creek), 4. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 5. Katelyn Weatherly (McDonough), 6. Alton Clark* (Newnan)
*race winner disqualified following post-race inspection, driver is protesting disqualification and final race results are pending
1. Brian Sutton (Covington), 2. Josh McIntyre (Stockbridge)