Week two of Atlanta Motor Speedway's Winter Flurry saw intense racing on the quarter-mile "Thunder Ring" and drivers beginning to position themselves in the seven-week season's points standings.
With a new rule change allowing drivers to drop one event from the 2011-2012 Winter Flurry points standings, this year's edition of the series looks to deliver exciting competition all the way to the end of the seven-week season in March.
The Masters feature opened with Terry Mathis pacing the field to the green flag. On lap six, Chris Bowie spun in turn two to put the field under the yellow flag. On the restart Mathis, eased away from Brian Weimer to maintain the lead. Tom Pistone gained the second position a couple of laps later and began to pressure Mathis. Mathis held on to collect the victory. However race was not without its fireworks, as Carl Cormier spun and flipped over coming to take the checkered flag. He would exit his car without injury.
Joshua Hicks began the Papa John's Pizza Bandits feature out front. Ashton Winger hung onto the second position but Zach Leonhardi quickly began to pressure Winger for the spot. On the third lap, Austin Geer spun in turn three to bring out the caution. On the restart, Hicks again escaped the field cleanly. On lap eight, Daylon Martin got loose exiting turn two and made contact with the wall, sending him to the pits. The next restart saw Leonhardi make the pass on Winger for the second position. Hicks would pull away to post the victory, his second of Winter Flurry.
The Semi-Pro feature kicked off with Luke Behnke on the pole. Hub Talbot spun in turn one to bring out the caution. This led to a full double-file restart that saw Behnke again hold the lead spot. Behnke would receive heavy pressure from Justin Thomas but was able to maintain the point. On lap 10, C.J. Pucko spun exiting turn two to put the field under the yellow flag. Lap 12 saw a spin by Michael Buckner to bring out the third caution of the event. Tyler Armstrong spun in turn one on lap 15 to place the field under the yellow again. Behnke maintained the lead on the restart and slid away from the field to score the checkered flag.
Andy Hogan was the pole sitter for the Young Lions feature. On lap seven, Trevin Aswarnauth spun exiting turn four to place the field under the first caution of the event. The restart saw Hogan receive heavy pressure from runner-up Evan Bell. Bell got loose to allow Alex Coffey ease by, but Bell reclaimed his spot in the next corner. The bumping allowed Hogan to pull away from the field. Hogan would maintain his lead and claim the win in the event. The win would be Hogan's second in a row during Winter Flurry.
The Morley Company Outlaws event had Taylor Jorgensen pacing the field to the green flag. On lap three, Alton Clark spun to bring the yellow flag out. On lap 5, Megan Younginer and Mark Younginer spun in turn two to place the field under the second caution of the event. On lap 10, Devon Barnes spun trying to take fourth place and the field went under caution for the third time. On the restart, both Younginer racers spun again in turn two and the caution was displayed. On the restart John Curtiss made the pass to take the second position. Exiting turn four, Clark and Devon Barnes got together, causing Clark to spin and the fifth caution to be displayed. Exiting turn four on lap 14, Eli Bailey spun alone to bring out the yellow. Through all the cautions, Jorgenson led wire-to-wire to capture the checkered flag.
Mason Massey took the green flag to get the Pro feature started. The event was run without issue and Massey led every lap to log the win, making him the only winner in the Pro division so far in Winter Flurry.
The Buzz Car feature started with Josh Ballard as the leader. In the first turn, Scott Kasparek slid past Ballard for the lead. The next lap, Buddy Brewer eased past Kasparek for the lead in the same spot on the track. With the feature shortened to 10 laps, Brewer led the remainder of the event to grab the win. The win marked Brewer's second win during the Winter Flurry season.
Following the afternoon's racing action, the 2011 Thursday Thunder Awards Banquet was held inside the speedway's media center. Each division's top five points finishers were honored and several special awards were handed out. The special awards included: Most Improved Driver: Joshua Hicks, Bandolero Rookie of the Year: Devon Barnes, Legends Rookie of the Year: Grant Crane, Top Dog of the Year: Abigail Marin, Family Award: Nichols Family, Joey Logano Breakthrough Driver of the Year: Parker Barnes, Reed Sorenson Most Popular Driver: Alex Coffey, David Ragan Sportsman of the Year: Riley Thornton, President's Award: Tina Johnson.
Short-track racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, Jan. 14 for week number three 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. Terry Mathis (Cumming), 2. Tom Pistone (Mooresville, N.C.), 3. Brian Weimer (Cumming) substitute driving for Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 4. Skip Nichols (Albany), 5. Bruce Silver (Davidson, N.C.), 6. Mark Green (Owensboro, Ky.), 7. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 8. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), 9. Chris Holcomb (Alpharetta), 10. Don Chandler (Macon), 11. Chris Bowie (Hampton), 12. Mark Swan (Atlanta), 13. Carl Cormier (Davidson, N.C.), *Charles Rayhall (Acworth), *Michael Sauer (Atlanta)
*Attempted to qualify
Papa John's Pizza Bandits:
1. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 2. Zach Leonhardi (Smyrna), 3. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 4. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 5. Reid Morris (Carrollton), 6. Chambers McGilberry (Selma, Ala.), 7. Lawson Ingold (Social Circle), 8. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge), 9. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City), 10. Daylon Martin (Cleveland, Tenn.), 11. Austin Geer (Johns Creek)
1. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 2. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), 3. Cory Parham (Travelers Rest, S.C.), 4. Michael Buckner (Conyers), 5. Matt Snider (Charlotte, N.C.), 6. C.J. Pucko (Covington), 7. Tyler Armstrong (Senoia), 8. Casey Willingham (Ball Ground), 9. Emilee Riley (Jasper), 10. Amber Fleeman (Dacula), 11. Hub Talbot (Smyrna)
1. Andy Hogan (Decatur, Texas), 2. Joey Padgett (Tallahassee, Fla.), 3. Alex Coffee (McDonough), 4. Will Fagan (Cumming), 5. David Schilling (East Greenbush, N.Y.), 6. Parker Barnes (Alpharetta), 7. Ryan Shattuck (Islamorada, Fla.), 8. Austin Cindric (Mooresville, N.C.), 9. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 10. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 11. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 12. Angus Hunt (Powder Springs), 13. Trevin Aswarnauth (Loganville), 14. Kyle Hunsinger (Dacula), 15. *Evan Bell (Buford)
*Disqualified due to failing post-race inspection, no points awarded
Morley Company Outlaws:
1. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 2. John Curtiss (Columbus), 3. Jenson Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 4. Devon Barnes (Roswell), 5. Alton Clark (Newnan), 6. Eli Bailey (Johns Creek), 7. Mark Younginer (Stockbridge), 8. Megan Younginer (Stockbridge)
1. Mason Massey (Douglasville), 2. Evan Swilling (Cohutta), 3. Austin Hill (Winston), 4. Doug Stevens (Williamson), 5. Taylor Hull (Winston), 6. Bubba Harry (Griffin), 7. Sean Rayhall (Winston), 8. Greg Lang (Davidson, N.C.), 9. A.J. Carlisi (Dalton), 10. Donald McIntosh (Dawsonville)
1. Buddy Brewer (Griffin), 2. Tim Brotzge (Griffin), 3. Scott Kasparek (Sharpsburg), 4. Josh Ballard (Hampton), 5. Timmy Bishop (Jonesboro)