Results from Thursday night of Thursday Thunder Week 3 racing
Week 3 racing in the 2016 edition of the Thursday Thunder Legends Racing Series presented by Papa John's Pizza wrapped up with its second of two back-to-back nights of racing Thursday night on the quarter-mile Thunder Ring at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Among the seven winners appearing in Victory Lane Thursday night, six had already secured victories in 2016, while one, William Martin, posted his first win, taking the checkered flag in the Racing Radios Pro Division feature.
Nathan Jackson of McDonough won the pole for the second time in as many nights and led the Bandits Division field to the evening's first green flag, but it was The Clay Thompson show from then on. The Bowersville native led every lap and cruised comfortably to his fourth straight win to open the season. Jackson finished second, while Ryan Younginer of Stockbridge placed third, his best finish of the season and his second-straight top-5 performance.
The Live Oak Plantation Outlaws Division feature looked nearly identical to that of the Bandits Division and produced similar results. DJ Canipe of Fallston, North Carolina led flag-to-flag to extend his winning streak to four races, while Connor Younginer of Stockbridge finished second for the third time in a row. Ricky Springer of McDonough finished third, his best performance of the season to date, and Gage Roberts of Milledgeville and Annabelle Mohwish of Cumming followed to round out the top-5 in order.
In the Atlanta Heart Associates Semi-Pro Division, Nolan Pope of Harrisonville, Missouri prevailed over Wednesday night's winner, Jensen Jorgensen of Stockbridge, in a physical battle at the front of the pack. It was his second win of the season and his first since Week 1. Brooks, Georgia's Christopher Clanton won the pole and led the race's first lap, but he couldn't keep pace with Pope and Jorgensen, as the pair rubbed and bumped their way around the Thunder Ring in somewhat of a reprise of Wednesday's race.
Jorgensen never let Pope get more than a couple of car lengths ahead, but Pope managed to parry away each of Jorgensen's attempts at passes in the corners, and finished off the victory after leading 19 of the 20 laps. Hudson Halder of Cumming matched his Wednesday-night performance with a third-place finish, while Clanton and Jason Treschl of Lagrange finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Plemons Investments Masters Division points leader Scott Moseley used a fourth-lap pass and a fast car to lead the final 17 laps and earn his second win in two nights and his third in the season's first four races. Bill Plemons, Jr. of Locust Grove (second), Mark Swan of Atlanta (third) and Tina Johnson of Senoia (fifth) followed, each posting their fourth straight top-5 finish.
Grant Thompson of Mobile, Alabama led flag-to-flag in the Wallace Electric Rookie Bandolero Division feature, driving away in the last half of the race to finish 8.5 seconds ahead of second-place Ashton Whitener of Monticello. It was a repeat performance from Wednesday night for Thompson, while Whitener posted her fourth straight top-3 finish to open the season. Keaton Hendrix of Homerville, Stanley Hayes of Concord, North Carolina and Mikie Mohwish of Cumming finished in third through fifth-place respectively.
Brody Pope of Harrisonville, Missouri finished off a Pope-family sweep with his second victory in the Plemons Investments Young Lions Division, complimenting his older brother's earlier performance in the Semi-Pro class. It was the second such sweep of the season, matching their season-opening Week 1 efforts.
Pope led the final 18 laps to prevail over pole-sitter and Wednesday-night winner, Connor Younginer of Stockbridge. Sammy Smith racked his fourth straight top-4 with a third-place finish, while Rafe Slate of Eatonton and Hunter Johnson of Hampton rounded out the top-5.
Three different drivers took turns leading a rough and tumble Racing Radios Pro Division feature over the first nine laps of the evening's "main event" that featured current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan, but by the end, Douglasville's William Martin wheeled his way into Victory Lane as the fourth different Pro Division winner through the season's first four races.
Pole-sitter and Week 1 winner Mason Massey of Douglasville led the field through the first three laps, until Lone Star State driver Matthew Barnard moved Massey out of his way exiting Turn 4 on the fourth lap to steal the lead. Barnard led the next five laps ahead of a bumping and rubbing field of 14 Pro class cars before he himself got shoved from the top spot by Martin, who pounced on an opening to the inside of Barnard as the pair crossed the start/finish line on the 12th lap.
Martin held off the pack for the last 13 laps, fighting off challengers on no fewer than four restarts, to secure the victory.
"I'm just so happy that we were able to come out here tonight and get the job done," said Martin. "It definitely wasn't easy. That race felt like it was about five hours long."
The win was his first of the season and his third top-3 in four races. It was an important bounce-back for the veteran driver chasing a season title after a disappointing 11th place finish Wednesday night.
"I'm chasing the championship this year, so this is definitely a good start to get there."
Barnard held on for a second-place finish, his best of the season, ahead of third-place Corey Heim of Marietta and fourth-place Mike Weed of Franklin. Massey recovered to slide into the top-5 in fifth-place.
Below are the complete results from Thursday night's Week 3 racing:
1. Clay Thompson, (Bowersville, GA)
2. Nathan Jackson, (McDonough, GA)
3. Ryan Younginer, (Stockbridge, GA)
4. Kenneth Henderson, (Alto, GA)
5. Holt Halder, (Cumming, GA)
6. Michael Gannon, (Canton, GA)
7. Samantha Bart, (Cumming, GA)
8. Max Hennebaul, (Monroe, GA)
Atlanta Heart Associates Semi-Pro Division
1. Nolan Pope, (Harrisonville, MO)
2. Jensen Jorgensen, Stockbridge, GA)
3. Hudson Halder (Cumming, GA)
4. Christopher Clanton, (Brooks, GA)
5. Jason Treschl, (LaGrange, GA)
6. Amber Fleeman, (Dacula, GA)
7. Brandon Brock, (Hampton, GA)
8. David Lawrence, (Senoia, GA)
9. Robert Norfleet, (Somerset, KY)
10. Jonathan Timms, (Calhoun, GA)
11. Miranda Meredith
12. Steven Partin, (Peebles, OH)
Live Oak Plantation Outlaws Division
1. DJ Canipe, (Fallston, NC)
2. Connor Younginer, (Stockbridge, GA)
3. Ricky Springer, (McDonough, GA)
4. Gage Roberts, (Milledgeville, GA)
5. Annabelle Mohwish, (Cumming, GA)
6. Trey Tadrzak, (Stockbridge, GA)
7. Kenny Brady, (Marietta, GA)
8. Max Brady, (Marietta, GA)
9. Blaise Maddox, (Locust Grove, GA)
10. Gauntt Hudgins, (Savannah, GA)
Plemons Investments Masters Division
1. Scott Moseley, (McDonough, GA)
2. Bill Plemons Jr., (Locust Grove, GA)
3. Mark Swan, (Atlanta, GA)
4. Mike Kennedy, (Alpharetta, GA)
5. Tina Johnson, (Senoia, GA)
6. Tony Armbruster, (Covington, GA)
7. Randy Shubert, (Conyers, GA)
8. Dennis Hecht, (Hoschton, GA)
9. Bill Whatley, (Acworth, GA)
10. Robert Cheney, (Stockbridge, GA)
11. Barry Bowen, (Jackson Lake, GA)
12. Robbie Woodall, (McDonough, GA)
Wallace Electric Rookie Bandolero Division
1. Grant Thompson, (Mobile, AL)
2. Ashton Whitener, (Monticello, GA)
3. Keaton Hendrix, (Homerville, GA)
4. Stanley Hayes, (Concord, NC)
5. Mikie Mohwish, (Cumming, GA)
6. Wil Griffis, (Homerville, GA)
7. Ethan Norfleet, (Somerset, KY)
8. Savannah Bart, (Cumming, GA)
9. Wilder Etheredge, (Atlanta, GA)
Plemons Investments Young Lions Division
1. Brody Pope, (Harrisonville, MO)
2. Connor Younginer, (Stockbridge, GA)
3. Sammy Smith, (DeMoines, IA)
4. Rafe Slate, (Eatonton, GA)
5. Hunter Johnson, (Hampton, GA)
6. Cale Hall, (Griffin, GA)
7. Canon Cochran, (Ringgold, GA)
8. Cody Hall, (Griffin, GA)
9. Lawson Ingold, (Social Circle, GA)
10. Harrison Halder, (Cumming, GA)
11. Roy Hayes, (Concord, NC)
12. Davis Rochester, (Lebanon, TN)
13. Carden Cochran, (Ringgold, GA)
Racing Radios Pro DivisionPro
1. William Martin, (Douglasville, GA)
2. Matthew Barnard, (Fort Worth, TX)
3. Corey Heim, (Marietta, GA)
4. Mike Weed, (Franklin, GA)
5. Mason Massey, (Douglasville, GA)
6. Joshua Hicks, (Senoia, GA)
7. Currie Pierce, (Griffin, GA)
8. David Ragan, (Unadilla, GA)
9. Dawson Fletcher, (Canton, GA)
10. Jeff Holden, (Gainesville, GA)
11. Kaden Honeycutt, (Bridge City, TX)
12. Connor Pyle, (Concord, NC)
13. William Plemons III, (Acworth, GA)
DQ: Taylor Jorgensen, (Stockbridge, GA)
The Thursday Thunder Legends Racing Series presented by Papa John's Pizza continues with Week 4 of the eight-week summer series on Thursday, June 23.
Grandstand tickets for the affordable, family-friendly racing series are just $5, while children ages 5 and younger are free. Infield admission is available for $20, and passes may be purchased at the Security Command building near the speedway's main entrance.
For more information, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.