Atlanta Motor Speedway's short-track racing series, Thursday Thunder, featured two back-to-back winners and one driver continuing to make history with the most series wins during week two of competition.
The Pro feature began with Austin Hill on the pole. On lap three, four-time Pro champion Doug Stevens, who was substitute driving for Sean Rayhall, got a nose on the inside of Hill in turn two to become the race leader. In the end, Stevens took the checkered flag, but the win was scored to Rayhall. It would have been Stevens 28th Thursday Thunder feature win.
Ed Clark started out front for the Masters feature. Clark was untouchable, leading every lap to pick up his second career Thursday Thunder Masters win. In his post-race interview, Clark attributed his win to AdvoCare's new energy drink, Spark. AdvoCare is the sponsor of the Sept. 4 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the AdvoCare 500.
The Papa John's Bandits feature kicked off with Ashton Winger as the point man. Chandler Smith and Winger swapped the lead in the early laps, but Joshua Hicks maneuvered his way to the front. The race was shortened due to several lengthy caution periods, but Hicks held on to log his second-straight Thursday Thunder win.
The 2009 Outlaws Champion Luke Behnke was the pole sitter for the Semi-Pro feature. Behnke was strong, leading every lap to collect the win.
Scott Kasparek paced the field to the green for the Buzz Car feature. On the second lap, Kasparek went into turn one too hot and Alan Nolan inherited the lead. Dave Sherman marched to the front on lap seven. The Buzz Car field was tight, with every car seeming to get into each other. By the halfway point, Gary Zajdek was out front, but Sherman battled to take the lead back and the snag the win.
The Young Lions feature opened with Benjamin Rhodes in the lead. On lap three, 2008 Bandits Champion Mason Massey shot to the top spot. Massey held off Rhodes who was glued to his bumper to claim is 10th Thursday Thunder victory.
The Roadsters feature got underway with Ed Clark as the leader. Skip Nichols shot to the front early on. Nichols led the remaining circuits to capture his 31st career Thursday Thunder win and continued to pad his record of having the most Thursday Thunder wins in the series history.
Madeline Crane took the green flag to set off the Outlaws feature. Crane slid high in turn four on lap 12 allowing points leader Parker Barnes to take the lead and the eventual win, posting back-to-back victories in weeks one and two.
Short-track racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Thursday, June 16 for the week three of the 2011 Thursday Thunder summer short-track racing series. Next week is Elves Night Out where any vertically-challenged adults (less than 5'2" tall) get in free. Tickets for the affordable, family-friendly racing series costs just $6 for adults, $2 for children ages six through 11 and is free for children ages five 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.
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. Doug Stevens (Lovejoy) substituting for Sean Rayhall (Winston), 2. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon), 3. Austin Hill (Winston), 4. Taylor Hull (Winston), 5. R.S. Senter (Oakwood).
1. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 2. Bill Plemons, Jr. (Forsyth), 3. Terry Mathis (Cumming), 4. Skip Nichols (Albany), 5. Mark Swan (Athens), 6. Chris Holcomb (Alpharetta), 7. Tina Johnson (Senoia).
Papa John's Bandits:
1. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 2. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 3. Ronnie Osmer (Pearl River, La.), 4. Jacob Heafner (Dallas, N.C.), 5. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City), 6. Chase Evans (Auburn), 7. Chambers McGilberry (Selma, Ala.), 8. Devon Barnes (Roswell), 9. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge), 10. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 11. Reid Morris (Carrollton), 12. Austin Geer (Johns Creek), 13. Zach Leonhardi (Smyrna).
1. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 2. William Plemons III (Locust Grove), 3. Mike Weed (Franklin), 4. Casey Willingham (Ball Ground), 5. Tyler Armstrong (Senoia), 6. Jordan Coker (Powder Springs), 7. Michael Buckner (Conyers), 8. C.J. Pucko (Covington), 9. Mark Younginer (Stockbridge), 10. Hub Talbot (Smyrna).
1. Dave Sherman (Monroe), 2. Michael Karp (Woodstock), 3. Gary Zajdek (Covington), 4. Taylor Hull (Newnan) substitute driving for Josh Ballard (Hampton), 5. Scott Kasparek (Sharpsburg), 6. Alan Nolan (Hartwell), 7. Buddy Brewer (Griffin).
1. Mason Massey (Douglasville), 2. Benjamin Rhodes (Louisville, Ky.), 3. Grant Crane (Zebulon), 4. Evan Bell (Buford), 5. Will Fagan (Cumming), 6. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), 7. Austin Garvey (McDonough), 8. Anderson Bowen (Suwanee), 9. Camron Ray (Hernando, Fla.), 10. Tye Mihocko (Peoria, Ariz.), 11. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 12. Jami Weimer (Cumming), 13. CJ Husley (El Paso, Texas), 14. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 15. Trevin Aswarnauth (Loganville), 16. John Tullis (Dacula).
1. Skip Nichols (Albany), 2. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 3. Taylor Hull (Winston), 4. James Meredith (Locust Grove).
1. Parker Barnes (Roswell), 2. John Curtiss (Columbus), 3. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 4. Tyler Mosley (McDonough), 5. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 6. Jenson Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 7. Kaz Grala (Westborough, Mass.), 8. Alton Clark (Newnan), 9. Amber Fleeman (Dacula), 10. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 11. Christopher Clanton (Brooks), 12. Christian Thom (Peachtree City).