Week five of Atlanta Motor Speedway's Winter Flurry saw the racing ramp up in intensity on the quarter-mile "Thunder Ring" as the season approaches the final stages. New winners were crowned, repeat winners continued their early-season success and one division saw a scary wreck where everyone walked away unscathed.
The Pro feature began with Austin Hill on the pole. After a fierce battle for the first couple of laps with Casey Roderick, Hill emerged as the leader. Roderick continued to pressure Hill for the first-half of the race. On lap 13, Roderick went to the front in the first turn. Lap 16 saw Hill re-take the point. On the next lap, Roderick was able to slide back past and hold off Hill to capture the win, his first of the Winter Flurry season.
Terry Mathis paced the field to the start of the Masters feature. Mathis went wire-to-wire to claim his third victory of the Winter Flurry season. Mathis used the win to close in on points leader Tom Pistone.
The Papa John's Pizza Bandits feature opened with Connor Younginer as the starter. On the second lap, Jax Johnson spun to bring out the first caution of the event. Following the restart, Ashton Winger spun following contact with Reid Morris for the second caution. Zach Leonhardi used the restart to move past Younginer for the lead. Lawson Ingold experienced mechanical issues on lap five and the caution was displayed for the third time. Lap 15 saw Johnson spin in turn two for the fourth caution of the event. Leonhardi would hold on after the restart to post his second Winter Flurry win and close in on points leader Joshua Hicks.
Casey Willingham was the leader for the start of the Semi-Pro feature. On the first lap, Willingham and Justin Thomas made contact on the backstretch, causing the machine of Thomas to flip over the pit wall. Thomas walked away from his wrecked car without injury. The wreck caused a full-restart with Emilee Riley at the front. Luke Behnke was then able to power to the front on lap two. On lap 16, Bailey Jones spun to bring out the caution flag for the second time. Behnke would go on to post his third Winter Flurry event and extend his points lead.
The Young Lions feature opened with Will Fagan pacing the field to the green flag. Andy Hogan grabbed the lead from the outside lane and started to distance himself from Fagan. On lap 12, Woodrow Mullis and Angus Hunt got together in turn four to put the field under caution for the first time. Hogan would pull away to win his fourth event of the Winter Flurry season, his second in a row. Despite missing a race, Hogan is still in the thick of the points race via a new rule instituted for this season. Drivers will be allowed to drop one event from the points standings, which will allow racers to drop a bad finish or missed event and still remain competitive for a Winter Flurry championship. This rule change will keep the race in the points standings exiting through the end of the season.
John Curtiss was the pole sitter for the Outlaws feature. On lap 5, Christopher Clanton, Eli Bailey and Chase Purdy got together in turn four to bring out the yellow flag. Following the green flag, Taylor Jorgensen moved past Curtiss to go out front. Lap 13 saw Katelyn Weatherly spin unassisted in turn two for the second caution of the race. On the restart, Jenson Jorgensen and Devon Barnes got together racing for second place, and the caution was displayed again. With three laps to go, Clanton and Weatherly got together exiting turn four to cause the third caution of the event to be displayed. Taylor Jorgensen would hold off Devon Barnes to claim her third win of the season and extend her points lead in the division. The win was also her second in as many weeks.
The Buzz Cars feature kicked off with Brian Sutton out front. Josh Ballard spun early in the event to bring out the caution. Buddy Brewer took the lead on the restart in turn one and never looked back. Brewer would pull away to dominate the event and log his fifth Winter Flurry win, making him the only winner in the division thus far in the season.
Short-track racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 3 for week number six of the seven-week Winter Flurry season. 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.
1. Casey Roderick (Lawrenceville), 2. Austin Hill (Winston), 3. Mason Massey (Douglasville), 4. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon), 5. Justin Swilling (Cohutta), 6. A.J. Carlisi (Dalton), 7. Taylor Hull (Winston)
1. Terry Mathis (Cumming), 2. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 3. Brian Weimer (Cumming) substitute driving for James Meredith (Locust Grove), 4. Chris Bowie (Douglasville), 5. Mark Swan (Atlanta)
Papa John's Pizza Bandits:
1. Zach Leonhardi (Smyrna), 2. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 3. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 4. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 5. Reid Morris (Carrollton), 6. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge), 7. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City), 8. Chambers McGilberry (Selma, Ala.), 9. Jax Johnson (Williamson), 10. Lawson Ingold (Social Circle)
1. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 2. Michael Buckner (Conyers), 3. Jami Weimer (Cumming), 4. Bailey Jones (Nashville, Tenn.), 5. C.J. Pucko (Covington), 6. Amber Fleeman (Dacula), 7. Jay Coen (Dacula), 8. Aaron Bailey (Hull), 9. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 10. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), 11. Casey Willingham (Ball Ground)
1. Andy Hogan (Decatur, Texas), 2. Joey Padgett (Tallahassee, Fla.), 3. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 4. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 5. Will Fagan (Cumming), 6. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 7. Parker Barnes (Alpharetta), 8. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 9. Angus Hunt (Powder Springs)
1. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 2. Devon Barnes (Roswell), 3. Jenson Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 4. Dale Oliver (The Rock), 5. Christopher Clanton (Brooks), 6. Katelyn Weatherly (McDonough), 7. John Curtiss (Columbus), 8. Chase Purdy (Gallion, Ala.), 9. Eli Bailey (Johns Creek)
1. Buddy Brewer (Griffin), 2. Josh Ballard (Hampton), 3. Timmy Bishop (Jonesboro), 4. Brian Sutton (Covington)