Atlanta Motor Speedway’s week two of Thursday Thunder showcased two first-time winners and a 12-year veteran competitor scoring his 25th career Thursday Thunder win and making his mark in the record-books.
Garrett Smithley took the green flag to get the Dixie Home Crafters Semi-Pro feature underway. On lap four, Mike Weed made the pass for the top spot. Amber Colvin and Jordan Coker made contact in turn two on lap 13, bringing out the caution and tightening up the field. After the restart, Weed continued to inch away from the field, holding them off for the final seven circuits to seize his first-career Dixie Home Crafters Semi-Pro win.
The Marco’s Pizza Bandits feature started with Jensen Jorgensen as the leader. On the first lap, Josh Hicks and Alex Coffey blew by Jorgensen. Hicks and Coffey made contact the next lap, allowing Coffey to sneak past Hicks. Coffey pulled away from the field by half a straightaway. A spin by Ryan Massaro in turn three brought out the caution and closed the gap for the restart. Despite another caution and one-lap lead swap with Reed Hatchett, Coffey claimed his second-consecutive Marco’s Pizza Bandits victory.
AJ Carlisi held the pole position for the Young Lions feature. Mason Massey made the pass for the top spot on the first lap. Week one’s winner, Sean Rayhall, started the feature from the fifth position and by lap nine had worked his way up to the second place. Massey was fast, keeping Rayhall ten-car lengths behind him. Massey captured his first Young Lions win and his seventh-career Thursday Thunder trophy.
In the Roadsters feature, 2001 Semi-Pro and 2002 Pro champion Brandon Brilliant led the field to the start. On lap two, Adam Gay put his nose to Brilliant and bumped him to become the leader. Brian Meredith made the pass on Gay on lap 13 and held strong to grab his second-career Thursday Thunder Roadster win.
Points leader John Holleman had to be pushed off the track before the green flag ever fell for the Morley Company Outlaws feature. The race began with Dylan Reid out front. Madeline Crane made the pass for the lead on lap two. Crane quickly put some distance between her and the rest of the field and proved to be the class of the field by leading the remainder of the feature to score her first Thursday Thunder feature victory.
John Ponzio was the pole sitter for the Masters feature. Tight racing at the front caused a multi-car wreck with Don Chandler flipping his car upside-down on the first lap in turns three and four. Chandler walked away from wreck and the field was reset to take the green again. Larry Friddle became the leader on the first lap and one-lap later Skip Nichols made a similar pass to become the point man. Nichols pulled away and led the remainder of the race to post his 25th career Thursday Thunder win. This win ties Nichols with Casey Roderick for the second-most career Thursday Thunder wins in series history. Only Doug Stevens has more trophies with 27 wins.
Adam Gay paced the field to the green for the OCP Angus Farms Pro feature. Coming to lap two, Gay and Austin Hill were nose-to-nose at the start-finish line, but Hill won the battle for the top spot. Jeff Haynie kept his front bumper glued to Hill’s rear bumper and on the final lap, the two cars drag-raced to the finish with Haynie the victor. Haynie posted his first OCP Angus Farms Pro win and his 18th in his Thursday Thunder career. However, during post-race inspection, Haynie was disqualified, handing the win over to Austin Hill.
Thursday Thunder returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway’s “Thunder Ring” on Thursday, June 17 with double feature races in all divisions, with the first serving as a regional qualifier for Legends and Bandolero INEX points. 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 2 Results:
Dixie Home Crafters Semi-Pro:
1. Mike Weed (Franklin), 2. R.S. Senter (Oakwood), 3. Garrett Smithley (Peachtree City), 4. William Plemmons III (Smyrna), 5. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 6. Jacob Armstrong (Senoia), 7. Chase Grizzle (Dahlonega), 8. Mark Swan (Atlanta), 9. Mark Younginer (Jonesboro), 10. Amber Colvin (Tallahassee, Fla.), 11. Chris Bowie (Douglasville), 12. Jerry Silvers (Calhoun), 13. Brett Hardin (Acworth), 14. Jordan Coker (Powder Springs), 15. Bill Stevenson (McDonough).
Marco’s Pizza Bandits:
1. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 2. Reed Hatchett (Knoxville, Tenn.), 3. Jensen Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 4. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 5. Alton Clark (Newnan), 6. Joe Wilder (Marietta), 7. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City), 8. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 9. Zachary Leonhardi (Smyrna), DQ: Joshua Hicks (Senoia) and Ryan Massaro (Gadsen, Ala.).
1. Mason Massey (Winston), 2. Sean Rayhall (Winston), 3. Charlie Gresham (Griffin), 4. Kason Plott (Marietta), 5. Evan Bell (Buford) substitute driving for Anderson Bowen (Suwanee), 6. Cameron Hadley (Concord), DQ: A.J. Carlisi (Dalton).
1. Brian Meredith (Locust Grove), 2. Adam Gay (Dublin), 3. Skip Nichols (Albany), 4. Brandon Brilliant (McDonough), 5. Ed Clark (Peachtree City).
Morley Company Outlaws:
1. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 2. Parker Barnes (Alpharetta), 3. Taylor Jorgenson (Stockbridge), 4. Tyler Mosley (McDonough), 5. Jayme Dickerson (Dawsonville), 6. Dylan Reid (Winston), 7. Joey Padgett (Tallahassee, Fla.), ATQ: John Holleman (Winston-Salem, N.C.).
1. Skip Nichols (Albany), 2. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 3. Bill Plemmons, Jr. (Greensboro), 4. Philip Young (Dallas), 5. John Ponzio (Tyrone), 6. Rick Geddes (Newnan), 7. Larry Friddle (Greenville, S.C.), 8. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), 9. Don Chandler (Macon), ATQ: Darryl Holmes (Nashville, Tenn.).
OCP Angus Farms Pro:
1. Austin Hill (Winston), 2. Jimmy Henderson (Conyers), 3. Donald McIntosh (Dawsonville), 4. Kyle Plott (Marietta), 5. Ryan Gandee (McDonough), 6. Taylor Hull (Winston), 7. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 8. Adam Gay (Dublin), DQ: Jeff Haynie (Zebulon).