Winning streaks were snapped and multiple drivers achieved groundbreaking wins during week seven of Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder summer short track racing series.
R.S. Senter and Woodrow Mullis were denied victory in their divisions for the first time this season while Zach Leonhardi, Will Martin and Taylor Jorgensen claimed their first legends car victories of their Thursday Thunder careers.
The thrilling racing action began with four feature races that were postponed from last Thursday due to inclement weather.
Taylor Jorgensen led the Allred Family Dentistry Semi Pro feature to the green flag before Will Martin claimed the lead on the third lap. He led until the caution flag was displayed on the ninth circuit of the feature. Jay Coen, driving for Aaron Bailey, elected to start on the outside of the first row on the restart before Martin, R.S. Senter and Jorgensen retained the top three positions. Martin led the rest of the way to get the win and became the first driver other than Senter to claim a win in the division this season.
Woodrow Mullis paced the first Young Lions feature to the green flag and held the advantage until a caution on the 14th lap. Mullis led Zach Leonhardi to the restart and maintained his position the rest of the way the claim his sixth feature win in a row. Leonhardi held off Christopher Clanton to finish second.
The first Beginner Bandits feature began with Samuel Oliver in the lead. Following a multi-car incident on the opening lap, Blaise Maddox assumed the lead and went on to pick up the victory.
Mike Kennedy was at the head of the field for the W.P. Plemons III and Associates Group Insurance Inc. Pro feature as it began. William Plemons III took the lead on the first lap and led flag to flag for the win.
Ryan Howell paced the field to green flag to begin the main set of feature events as the Bandits began their 20-lap race. Chandler Smith, who took a quick lead prior to an early caution, continued to show the way as Austin Geer claimed the second position. A caution just prior to the halfway point tightened up the field, allowing Connor Younginer to get past Geer for second place. A late caution set up a green-white-checkered finish, giving Younginer a final chance at a win. Smith, however, prevailed to pick up his seventh feature victory in as many races in the division.
With Robbie Woodall at the point, the Estes Services Masters feature began. A caution on the second lap closed the field up with Woodall and Tina Johnson leading the way. In a four-car battle for the lead, Skip Nichols muscled his way to the front on the fourth lap. After a caution on the sixth lap, Nichols restarted with former NASCAR competitor Joey Clanton, substitute driving for Scott Moseley, to his outside. Woodall took advantage of the inside line to move into second place. Nichols staked his way ahead of the field before a caution at the race's halfway mark tightened up the frontrunners. Following another quick caution, Nichols, racing the inside line, retained the lead before inching ahead to capture his third win of the season. Clanton finished second ahead of Tina Johnson. The victory also allowed Nichols to remain in the lead in the division points standings.
"Starting off from the next-to-last row, I got a good start," Nichols said. "I got some luck and got use to the 'choose' rule and was able to stay on the outside and take the lead."
The Allred Family Dentistry Semi Pro feature started with Amber Fleeman leading. Aaron Bailey moved to the front of the field on the second lap before relinquishing the lead to R.S. Senter. A mechanical issue under the hood of Amber Fleeman's car brought out the red flag on the sixth lap of the feature. Two laps after the restart, Taylor Jorgensen powered to the lead and held off Will Martin to win as Jorgensen claimed her first Thursday Thunder legends car win.
"First win in a Legends car, I wanted this one bad. It feels great to be here," Jorgensen said.
The Young Lions feature got underway with Zach Leonhardi holding the top spot. Leonhardi took advantage of his starting position, taking a multiple car-length lead. Division points leader Woodrow Mullis slipped back early on and battled back to pass Christopher Clanton just prior to a caution flag with four laps to go. Leonhardi held the lead ahead of Mullis before a caution one lap later, setting up a restart with just three laps left. Leonhardi held his ground, withstanding a challenge on the outside by Dylan Murry and staving off a charge by Mullis. With the win by Leonhardi, Mullis' seven-feature race Thursday Thunder winning streak was snapped.
Hannah Bell paced the field as the 15th Street Pizza and Pub Outlaws feature began. Chase Purdy made a pass for the lead on the second lap before facing heavy pressure for the top spot from Jensen Jorgensen. A caution on the seventh lap bunched up the field. Purdy and Jorgensen distanced themselves ahead of the rest of the competition following the green flag just prior to another yellow flag, this one at the race's halfway mark. Purdy outlasted Jorgensen to come away with the win.
The Beginner Bandolero feature race started with Blaise Maddox leading. He went on to win, prevailing ahead of a hard-charging Trey Tadrzak.
The W.P. Plemons III & Associates Group Insurance Inc. feature was the final race of the night. Paul Kelly of Pendergrass came away with the win.
Feature Race Six Results
1. Blaise Maddox (Locust Grove), 2. Trey Tadrzak (Stockbridge), 3 .Roy Hayes (Erie, PA), 4. Wilder Etheredge (Albany), 5. George Hayes (Erie, PA), 6. Gauntt Hudgens (Savannah, SC) 7. Samuel Oliver (The Rock), 8. Hayden Swank (Woodstock).
W.J. Plemons III Associates Group Insurance Inc., Pro
1. William Plemons III (Locust Grove).
Allred Family Dentistry Semi-Pro
1. William Martin (Douglasville), 2. R.S. Senter (Oakwood), 3. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 4. Amber Fleeman (Dacula), 5. Jay Coen (Dacula), driving for Aaron Bailey (Burlington, NC), 6. Bailey Woodall (McDonough), 7. Miranda Meredith (Locust Grove).
1. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 2. Zach Leonhardi (Cartersville), 3. Christopher Clanton (Brooks) 4. Dylan Murry (Cumming), 5. Blake Gaither (Nashville).
Feature Race 7 Results
1. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 2. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge), 3. Nathan Jackson (McDonough), 4. Ryan Howell (McDonough), 5. Austin Geer (Johns Creek).
Estes Services Masters
1. Skip Nichols (Albany), 2. Joey Clanton (Brooks), driving for Scott Moseley (McDonough), 3. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 4. Don Maness (Duluth), 5. Robbie Woodall (McDonough), 6. Terry Mathis (Cumming) for Bill Plemons, Jr. (Locust Grove), 7. Phillip Young (Dallas), 8. Martin Snyder (Kennesaw), 9. Tony Armbruster (Covington), 10. Wes Potter (Covington), 11. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta) driving for Mark Swan (Dunwoody).
15th Street Pizza and Pub Outlaws
1. Chase Purdy (Gallion, Al.), 2. Jensen Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 3. Kamera McDonald (Keller, Tx), 4. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 5. Hannah Bell (Raleigh, N.C), 6. Hayden Swank (Woodstock), 7. Jonathan Cook (Sunny Side), 8. Lexi Gay (Canton).
1. Blaise Maddox (Locust Grove), 2. Trey Tadrzak (Stockbridge), 3. Wilder Etheredge (Albany), 4. Roy Hayes (Erie, PA), 5. Samuel Oliver (The Rock), 6. Gauntt Hudgens (Savannah, SC) 7. George Hayes (Erie, PA), 8. Makenzie Woodall (McDonough),
W.J. Plemons III Associates Group Insurance Inc., Pro
1. William Plemons Jr. (Locust Grove), 2. Paul Kelley (Pendergrass)
Allred Family Dentistry Semi Pro
1. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 2. William Martin (Douglasville), 3. R.S. Senter (Oakwood), 4. Jay Coen (Dacula), driving for Aaron Bailey (Burlington, NC), 5. Bailey Woodall (McDonough), 6. Miranda Meredith (Locust Grove), 7. Amber Fleeman (Dacula).
1. Zach Leonhardi (Cartersville), 2. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 3. Christopher Clanton (Brooks) 4. Dylan Murry (Cumming), 5. Blake Gaither (Nashville).
Tickets for the affordable, family-friendly racing series costs just $6 for adults, $2 for children ages 6 through 11 and is free for children ages 5 and younger. For more information, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
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.