Atlanta, Week Five
HAMPTON, Ga. — The fifth week of competition of Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Thursday Thunder featured eight classes of short track racing showcasing a driver posting his first win, another remaining undefeated and a veteran continuing to set records.
Camron Ray was the pole sitter for the Young Lions feature. On lap four, Evan Bell made the pass for the top spot. By lap 11, point-leader Mason Massey had worked his way to the second position after starting in 13th. Three laps later, Massey became the point man. Massey held on to win his 12th Thursday Thunder career feature.
The Roadsters feature opened with Mark Swan pacing the field to the green flag. On the first lap in the first turn, Ed Clark made a daring move to become the race leader. After several laps in a side-by-side battle with points leader Skip Nichols, Clark fell to the second spot. Clark got his nose to the inside of Nichols and the two again battled each other door-to-door, but Nichols was the victor, collecting his 35th career Thursday Thunder trophy, the most in series’ history.
The Morley Company Outlaws began with Jensen Jorgensen out front. By the time the field completed the first circuit, Amber Fleeman was the race leader. On lap seven, points leader Parker Barnes assumed the lead and led the final 13 laps to seize the win. Barnes remains undefeated in his class, winning five weeks in a row.
The Pro feature got underway with Cody Haskins in the lead. By the second lap, Taylor Hull advanced to the point. Points leader Sean Rayhall and Hull put on a show for the fans, swapping the lead back and forth and racing nose-to-tail lap after lap. The finish came down to a drag race with Rayhall winning by half a car length. Rayhall captured his third Thursday Thunder win in 2011.
The Masters feature launched with Mike Kennedy on the pole. Something must have broken in Kennedy’s car, because the entire field blew by him at the start. Ed Clark raced his way to the lead by lap two. Terry Mathis got a nose to the inside of Clark on lap five to become the race leader. Mathis pulled away to post his fourth career Thursday Thunder Masters feature win.
The Buzz Cars feature kicked off with Scott Kasparek out front. Kasparek was hungry for his first win, fending off the other competitors to claim his first Buzz Car victory.
Connor Younginer took the green flag to set off the Papa John’s Bandits feature. Chase Evans was the leader after lap one, but on lap two, Devon Barnes shot to the front. Points leader Joshua Hicks raced his way to the lead by lap four. A late race caution bunched up the field. Despite a challenge by Devon Barnes, Hicks crossed the finish line first. Hicks continued his impressive season, with four wins in five starts.
The Semi-Pro feature started with Stroker Coker as the leader. On lap two, William Plemons III muscled his way to the lead. Plemons led all by one lap to score his fifth career Thursday Thunder feature win.