The feature races of the final night of the 10-week Thursday Thunder season showcased several tight point battles, a first-time winner, three first-time champions being crowned and a driver making history by claiming the most Thursday Thunder titles ever.
The Masters feature opened with Ed Clark pacing the field to the green flag. On lap two, Bill Plemons Jr. passed Clark for the top spot. Thirteen laps later, Skip Nichols shot past Plemons to become the leader. Nichols would win the race, but by finishing second, Terry Mathis would secure the championship by only two points over Nichols. Mathis earned his second Masters title.
Sean Rayhall was the leader for the start of the Pro feature. The first three laps Rayhall and Taylor Hull raced side-by-side, but on lap three, Kyle Plott marched his way to the front. Hull challenged Plott for a few laps and managed to move back into the first-place position. On lap 17, Plott raced his way back to the front and three laps later, captured his first Thursday Thunder Pro feature win. Rayhall won the championship; his second Thursday Thunder title as he won the 2010 Young Lions division.
Skip Nichols paced the field to the start of the Roadsters feature. Nichols showed his strength, leading every lap and scoring his sixth Thursday Thunder championship; the most ever in series history.
William Plemons III was on the pole for the Semi-Pro feature. Plemons, who was the 2010 Semi-Pro champion, led every lap and won the race, but lost the championship by only one point to Luke Behnke, who earned his second Thursday Thunder title.
The Young Lions featured got underway with Evan Bell in the lead. Points leader Mason Massey was sporting a paint scheme honoring the late Beau Slocumb, a former Thursday Thunder competitor. By the completion of the first lap, Justin Thomas was on the point. Thomas led every lap to seize his first Thursday Thunder win of the season, which also qualified him for the Legends Invitational. Massey logged his second career Thursday Thunder championship, but his first in a Legends division.
The Papa John's Bandits feature kicked off with Joshua Hicks out front. Hicks led every lap to claim the win. The ten-year-old driver had a tremendous season, winning six of the 10 events and capturing his first Thursday Thunder title.
The Morley Company Outlaws started with Kendall Sellars as the leader. On lap seven, points leader Parker Barnes made his way to the front and never looking back to score the win. Barnes had a near perfect season, posting nine wins in 10 starts. The stellar season earned Barnes his first Thursday Thunder championship.
The Buzz Cars launched with Josh Ballard on the pole. The competitors were three-wide going into turn one, but by the completion of lap one, Scott Kasparek was out front. Eight laps into the race, a caution was displayed and to have some fun on the last night, the competitors ran the race clockwise going the opposite direction on the restart. On lap 10, Buddy Brewer made his way to the lead and snatched his first career win.
In addition to the eight feature races, track officials offered two 10-lap last chancer qualifier races, one for the Bandoleros and one for the Legends, to give more opportunities earn a spot in the Labor Day Invitational held Labor Day weekend at AMS. The top two finishers of each race earned an entry into the Labor Day Invitational.
Mark Swan took the green flag to set off the Legends Last Chance qualifier. Tina Johnson worked her way to the front by the completion of the first lap. Johnson won the race and by finishing second, Tyler Hill and Johnson will be competing in the Labor Day Invitational.
Chandler Smith started first for the Bandolero Last Chance qualifier. In the early laps, Taylor Jorgensen moved her way to the top spot. Jorgensen earned her way into the Labor Day show and so did second-place Chandler Smith.
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. Skip Nichols (Albany), 2. Terry Mathis (Cumming), 3. Bill Plemons, Jr. (Forsyth), 4. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 5. Phillip Young (Dallas), 6. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), 7. Mark Swan (Atlanta), 8. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 9. Chris Holcomb (Alpharetta), 10. Larry Friddle (Greenville, S.C.).
1. Kyle Plott (Marietta), 2. Taylor Hull (Winston), 3. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon), 4. Sean Rayhall (Winston).
1. Skip Nichols (Albany), 2. Joey Clanton (Brooks), 3. James Meredith (Locust Grove).
1. William Plemons III (Locust Grove), 2. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 3. Tyler Armstrong (Senoia), 4. Casey Willingham (Ball Ground), 5. Jordan Coker (Powder Springs), 6. Hub Talbot (Smyrna), 7. C.J. Pucko (Covington), 8. Mark Younginer (Stockbridge), DQ: Tyler Hill (Port Tobacco, Md.).
1. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), 2. Mason Massey (Douglasville), 3. Joey Padgett (Tallahassee, Fla.), 4. Grant Crane (Zebulon), 5. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 6. Will Fagan (Cumming), 7. Austin Garvey (McDonough), 8. Anderson Bowen (Suwanee), 9. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 10. Trevin Aswarnauth (Loganville), 11. John Tullis (Dacula), 12. Evan Bell (Buford).
Papa John's Bandits:
1. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 2. Devon Barnes (Roswell), 3. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 4. Zach Leonhardi (Smyrna), 5. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 6. Chambers McGilberry (Slema, La.), 7. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City), 8. Reid Morris (Carrollton), 9. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge).
Morley Company Outlaws:
1. Parker Barnes (Roswell), 2. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 3. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 4. Kendall Sellers (Kannapolis, N.C), 5. John Curtiss (Columbus), 6. Tyler Mosley (McDonough), 7. Alton Clark (Newman), 8. Amber Fleeman (Dacula), 9. Christopher Clanton (Brooks), 10. Jenson Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 11. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 12. Christian Thom (Peachtree City).
1. Buddy Brewer (Griffin), 2. Gary Zajdek (Covington), 3. Timmy Bishop (Jonesboro), 4. Michael Karp (Woodstock), 5. Josh Ballard (Hampton), 6. Tim Brotzge (Griffin), 7. Scott Kasparek (Sharpsburg).