Last lap thrills highlight 4th night of Thursday Thunder racing
Mother Nature provided perfect weather and Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thunder Ring provided the perfect setting for some spectacular last-lap clashes during Thursday Thunder presented by Papa John's.
The tone was set early in the evening during the Wallace Electric Masters Division feature. Bill Plemons Jr., already a 3-time winner in the division this season, dominated throughout - but a restart with 5 laps to go gave 2018 division champion Robbie Woodall an opportunity to grab the lead.
It appeared the pair was going to have a battle to determine the victor like they have numerous times over the last two seasons as Woodall took the white flag with Plemons right on his bumper. Then Woodall slid up the track, Plemons jockeyed to the inside, and the two got tangled up. As their cars struggled to separate, Mark Swan, of Athens, and Tony Armbruster, of Covington, swung to the outside to steal 1st and 2nd.
"I tell you what - that'll take your breath away," Swan said after the victory. "I don't like to win that way but I'll definitely take it. It's a sweet one and I'll remember it for a long time."
With the bar set for thrilling finishes, the CMS Group Environmental Services Semi-Pro Division field went all out to top it.
The race featured an incredible battle at the front of the pack between DJ Canipe and Hunter Wright, who traded the lead several times. With two laps to go, Canipe crossed the stripe first; at the white flag, Wright had wrestled the top spot away, but the battle allowed a lurking Nick Woodall to close up from 3rd and make a move of his own to the inside for the lead.
When the field took the checkered flag, it was Canton's Nick Woodall crossing the stripe first, followed by Canipe and Wright in 2nd and 3rd.
"They were racing hard at the end and I was in the right spot at the right time," Woodall, of Canton, said after picking up his first win in the 2019 Thursday Thunder season. "Thankfully I had a car at the end there that could win it."
The highly competitive VP Racing Fuels Pro Division produced its fourth different winner in four races so far in 2019. After celebrating with his sister Taylor in victory lane last week, Stockbridge's Jensen Jorgensen dueled wheel-to-wheel with a hungry William Plemons III on a late restart, edging ahead on the final lap to put his car in victory lane.
"I hated seeing that caution come out because I had the race won," Jorgensen said. "I appreciate William racing me clean there. That was some of the cleanest, hardest racing I've done in a long time.
"We were rubbing tires around the whole entire track so that was fun! If that wasn't a show, I don't know what is."
In The Associates Group Young Lions Division feature Austin MacDonald, racing more than 1,700 miles away from his home in Canada, took the checkered flag first. MacDonald snapped a three-race win streak for Lucas Ruark, of Suwanee, who settled for 2nd.
In the Racing Radios Bandoleros Trevor Wester, of Canton, N.C., took the win in the Outlaw Division feature. Garrett Gumm, of Brooks, took his second victory of the season in the Racing Radios Bandits feature and Mitchell Flater, of Conyers, took the checkered flag first in the Racing Radios Rookie Bandolero feature. Sunny Side's Jonathan Cook earned his first win in a Legend car at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Chargers feature.
Full results from June 13 Thursday Thunder presented by Papa John's racing:
The Associates Group Young Lions
- Austin MacDonald (Pictou, NS)
- Lucas Ruark (Suwanee, GA)
- Nathan Jackson (McDonough, GA)
- Jaiden Reyna (Cornelius, NC)
- Ashton Whitener (Monticello, GA)
- Kenneth Henderson (Alto, GA)
- Michael Gannon (Canton, GA)
- Tony Yawn III (Roanoke, AL)
- Keaton Hendrix (Homerville, GA)
- Max Hennebaul (Monroe, GA)
- Timothy Watson (Panama City, FL)
- Cole Cash (Bethlahem, GA)
- Justin Campbell (Griffin, GA)
- Hunter Burns (Thomaston, GA)
- Wilder Etheredge (Atlanta, GA)
CMS Group Environmental Services Semi-Pro
- Nick Woodall (Canton, GA)
- DJ Canipe (Fallston, NC)
- Hunter Wright (Lebanon, TN)
- Lawson Ingold (Social Circle, GA)
- Blaze Crawford (Fayetteville, GA)
- Ricky Springer (McDonough, GA)
- Max Brady (Marietta, GA)
- Audrie Ruark (Suwanee, GA)
- Brandon Brock (Hampton, GA)
- Trey Tadrzak (Stockbridge, GA)
- Parker Brewer (Locust Grove, GA)
- Camden Prouty (Spanish Fort, AL)
- Jonathan Taylor (Atlanta, GA)
- Ian Hampton (Stockbridge, GA)
- Zac Bacon (Buchanan, GA)
- Ronnie Ragan (Cataula, GA)
- Pierce Brewer (Locust Grove, GA)
- Kenny Brady (Marietta, GA)
DNS. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge, GA)
VP Racing Fuels Pro
- Jensen Jorgensen (Stockbridge, GA)
- William Plemons III (Acworth, GA)
- Joshua Hicks (Senoia, GA)
- Dawson Fletcher (Canton, GA)
- Cale Hall (Griffin, GA)
- Cody Hall (Griffin, GA)
- Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge, GA)
- Gage Roberts (Milledgeville, GA)
- Ryan Rackley (Valdosta, GA)
- Davis Rochester (Lebanon, TN)
- Tony Yawn (Roanoke, AL)
- Harrison Halder (Cumming, GA)
Wallace Electric Masters
- Mark Swan (Athens, GA)
- Tony Armbruster (Covington, GA)
- Robbie Woodall (McDonough, GA)
- Bill Plemons Jr (Locust Grove, GA)
- Wade Brewer (Locust Grove, GA)
- Randy Shubert (Stone Mountain, GA)
- Aaron Croslyn (Woodstock, GA)
- Phillip Young (Dallas, GA)
- Bill Whatley (Acworth, GA)
- Dennis Hecht (Hoschton, GA)
- Kevin Vaughn (Grovetown, GA)
- Barry Bowen (Jackson Lake, GA)
- Robert Anderson (Covington, GA)
Racing Radios Bandits
- Garrett Gumm (Brooks, GA)
- Lucas Vera (Charlotte, NC)
- Carson Ruark (Suwanee, GA)
- Kyle Bacon (Buchanan, GA)
- Bryson Matthews (Dallas, GA)
- Lee Brown (Acworth, GA)
- Gianni Esposito (Dacula, GA)
Racing Radios Rookie Bandoleros
- Mitchell Flater (Conyers, GA)
- Bailey Buchanan (Senoia, GA)
- Baylor O'Neil (Grantville, GA)
- Jackson Reynolds (Marietta, GA)
- Kayli Kade (Hampton, GA)
- Briana Freeman (Bremen, GA)
- Gavin Reece (Conyers, GA)
Racing Radios Outlaws
- Trevor Wester (Canton, NC)
- Mason Maggio (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
- Carson Ramsey (Charlotte, NC)
- Bailey North (Hampton, GA)
- Tyler Newcomer (Woolsey, GA)
- Sarah Sullivan (Gulf Shores, AL)
- Clay Hocutt (Mobile, AL)
- Kelley Puckett (McDonough, GA)
- Ryan Younginer (Locust Grove, GA)
- Matthew Kade (Hampton, GA)
- Jonathan Cook (Sunny Side, GA)
- Amanda Woodall (Canton, GA)
- Lisa Scott (Dallas, GA)
The Thursday Thunder Legends Series presented by Papa John's Pizza continues with its fifth night of racing next week. Grandstand tickets for the affordable, family-friendly racing action on Thursday, June 20, cost just $5; children ages 5 and under are free.
For more information, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at 770-946-4211, 877-9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.