Atlanta Motor Speedway’s 13th season of Thursday Thunder got underway with all divisions being inverted after the heat races, with the last place finisher starting the field for the first-time in the series’ history, and produced exciting racing with the heat-race winners having to work their way from the back to the front.
After a nine-year hiatus from Thursday Thunder competition, Williams Plemmons III held the pole position for the Dixie Home Crafters Semi-Pro feature. There was much beating and banging going on behind Plemmons allowing him a sizeable lead by lap five. On lap 12, Kyle Kitchens flipped over after contact with Chase Grizzle in turn two; fortunately, Kitchens walked away from the wreck. The caution closed the gap for the restart with Plemmons still on the point. Another caution set the field for a green-white-checkered finish. Plemmons held on to claim his first win in the Dixie Home Crafters Semi-Pro class and his second Thursday Thunder feature win.
The Marco’s Pizza Bandits feature began with Jensen Jorgensen out front, but by lap one, Woodrow Mullis was the race leader. On lap four, Alex Coffey put his nose on the inside of Mullis in turn two to take the lead. Coffey pulled away from the field to grab his first-ever Thursday Thunder victory.
Anderson Bowen took the green flag to get the Young Lions feature underway. On lap one, Brady Boswell stuck his nose on the inside of Bowen in turn four to make the pass for the top spot. One lap later, Sean Rayhall made the exact pass on Boswell for the lead. In his first Thursday Thunder start, Rayhall posted the win.
The Roadsters feature started with Ed Clark as the leader. The remaining cars were leaning on each other, allowing Clark to pull away. On lap 11, Nichols caught Clark and made the pass into turn one for the point position. Nichols went on to capture his second Thursday Thunder career Roadster win.
Mark Younginer paced the field to the green for the J.J. Morley Outlaws feature. By lap two, John Holleman worked his way to the top spot. Madeline Crane stayed glued to the back of Holleman’s bumper, but Holleman maintained the lead and seized his second Thursday Thunder career victory and his first in the J.J. Morley Outlaws class.
Bill Plemmons, Jr. was the pole sitter for the Masters feature. At the halfway point, leader Plemmons and second-place Nichols tangled in turn two, sending them both to the rear of the field and allowed Rick Geddes to inherit the lead. Geddes held on to log his first Thursday Thunder Masters feature win.
The OCP Angus Farms Pro feature had Doug Stevens leading the field to the start. Stevens put on an impressive performance, pulling away from the field and leading most of the race. But with three laps to go, Donald McIntosh made a clean pass in turn one for the lead after giving Stevens a series of bumps. McIntosh completed the remaining circuits to score his first career Pro Thursday Thunder win.
Thursday Thunder returns to Atlanta’s “Thunder Ring” on Thursday, June 10 with potato sack races for the intermission activity. Adult tickets are $5 and children ages six to 11 are just $1, while ages five and under are admitted free of charge.
To test drive your own Legends machine, or for more information about Legends racing, call Legends of Georgia director Peter Horne III at (770) 707-2977 or visit www.legendsofga.com. For more information on Atlanta Motor Speedway events, including Thursday Thunder, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
Week 1 Results:
Dixie Home Crafters Semi-Pro:
1. William Plemmons III (Smyrna), 2. Jake Armstrong (Senoia), 3. Jordan Coker (Powder Springs), 4. Amber Colvin (Tallahassee, Fla.), 5. Mike Weed (Franklin), 6. Garrett Smithley (Peachtree City), 7. Chase Grizzle (Dahlonega), 8. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 9. Bill Stevenson (McDonough), 10. P.J. Alexander (Covington), 11. Mark Swan (Atlanta), 12. Jerry Silvers (Calhoun), 13. Kyle Kitchens (Hampton).
Marco’s Pizza Bandits:
1. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 2. Reed Hatchet (Knoxville, Tenn.), 3. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 4. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 5. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 6. Jensen Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 7. Ashton Smith (Harolson), 8. Ryan Massaro (Gadsen, Ala.), 9. Zachary Leonhardi (Smyrna), 10. Ashton Clark, 11. Abigall Marin (Peachtree Story), 12. Joe Wilder (Marietta).
1. Sean Rayhall (Winston), 2. Brady Boswell (Watkinsville), 3. Mason Massey (Winston), 4. Spencer Boyd (St. Louis, Mo.), 5. Anderson Bowen, 6. Charlie Gresham (Griffin), 7. Evan Bell (Buford), 8. Kason Plott (Marietta), 9. Cameron Hadley.
1. Skip Nichols (Albany), 2. Taylor Hull (Winston), 3. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 4. Adam Gay (Dublin), 5. Brian Meredith (Locust Grove).
J.J. Morley Outlaws:
1. John Holleman (Winston-Salem, N.C.), 2. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 3. Joey Padgett (Tallahassee, Fla.), 4. Taylor Jorgenson (Stockbridge), 5. Tyler Mosley (McDonough), 6. Jayme Dickerson (Dawsonville), 7. Dylan Reid (Winston), 8. Mark Younginer (Stockbridge), 9. Parker Barnes (Alpharetta).
1. Rick Geddes (Newnan), 2. Darryl Holmes (Nashville, Tenn.), 3. Clay Young, 4. John Ponzio (Tyrone), 5. Larry Friddle (Greenville, S.C.), 6. Skip Nichols (Albany), 7. Don Chandler (Macon), 8. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), 9. Bill Plemmons, Jr. (Greensboro), 10. Ed Clark (Peachtree City).
OCP Angus Farms Pro:
1. Donald McIntosh (Dawsonville), 2. Doug Stevens (Williamson), 3. Jimmie Henderson (Conyers), 4. Justin Swilling (Cohutta), 5. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon), 6. Chad Finchum (Knoxville, Tenn.), 7. Kyle Plott (Marietta), 8. Taylor Hull (Winston), 9. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 10. Ryan Gandee (McDonough), 11. Evan Swilling (Cohutta), 12. Adam Gay (Dublin), 13. Adam Welch (Midland, N.C.).