Mathis Leads Winter Flurry Winners
HAMPTON, Ga. – The second week of the 2012-13 Winter Flurry racing season at Atlanta Motor Speedway provided several exciting races and a few repeat winners in both the Legends and Bandolero divisions that competed on Saturday afternoon.
Entering the day with one event in the books for the seven-week season, drivers would be looking to improve upon their week one results on Nov. 16.
Ed Clark started the afternoon’s first race out front in the Masters feature. Terry Mathis used his outside front row starting position to jump to the lead going into turn one. But Martin Snyder and Don Maness got together on the backstretch, putting the field under the caution before one lap could be completed. This yellow flag would lead to a full-field restart.
Clark used the second restart opportunity to atone for the lackluster first attempt, as he jumped out front going into the first corner. Mathis would eventually reel Clark in and run right in his tire tracks through the remainder of the first half of the race. As the two leaders took the crossed flags at the halfway point, Mathis moved inside Clark and went to the lead. One lap later, Snyder would go around in front of the leaders in turn two, bringing out the second caution.
The single-file restart produced no lead changes, as Mathis got away from Clark and the top-two would put significant distance between themselves and the rest of the field. Mathis would go on to post his first victory of the Winter Flurry season.
The Semi-Pro feature opened with Riley Thornton pacing the field. Thornton and Jay Coen, who started to the outside of the first row, raced side-by-side into the third turn, with Coen making contact and spinning Thornton.
Coen was sent to the rear of the field for causing the incident, and the field was given a full restart. Billy Stevenson would also go to the garage with damage from the wreck. Amber Fleeman would restart to the outside of Thornton, but Thornton would get out front with LJ Klemons taking second. With nine laps complete, Coen had already raced his way back to the runner-up position and began to set his sights on the leader Thornton.
It wouldn’t be enough as Thornton claimed his second-straight win in the winter season.
Chandler Smith was the pole sitter for the Bandits feature. With one lap complete, Connor Younginer and Nathan Jackson spun in turn two to bring the caution out. On the ensuring restart, the leader Smith spun entering the fourth turn following contact from Lawson Ingold, placing the field under the caution less than a lap after the restart.
Ingold was sent to the rear of the field for causing the caution, and Smith was placed back out front. On the next restart, Zach Leonhardi and Austin Geer got together in the first turn, placing the field under the third caution of the event. On the following restart, Smith was able to get away from the field, with the rest of the pack racing in a tight bunch behind him. With three laps officially logged, Geer spun exiting turn four and Leonhardi made contact trying to avoid him.
This incident would bring out another caution. Things would settle down following the restart, with Smith pulling away. With 10 laps in the books, Nathan Jackson and Abigail Marin made contact as the leaders went by them, bringing on the fifth caution period. The next restart saw Smith be heavily pressured by Leonhardi for a few laps before Smith pulled away once again.
After 15 laps, Younginer went around exiting turn two, bringing the sixth and final caution out. Smith pulled away on the restart and scored the win, going back-to-back in the first two weeks of the Winter Flurry season.
The Young Lions feature started with Grant Quinlan in the lead. On the first lap, Megan Younginer spun in the first turn, bringing out the caution and bringing on a full-field restart. On the restart, Quinlan got the lead again but received heavy pressure from Will Fagan for a few laps.
As the field took the halfway crossed flags, Fagan moved past for the lead, but Quinlan made a counter move to get the point back. Unassisted on the next lap, Blake Gaither spun to bring out the caution with 11 laps complete. Following the restart, Fagan was finally able to get past Quinlan for the top spot, with Madeline Crane following behind for the runner-up position. Crane jumped to the inside with a bold move for the lead as the leaders came to take the white flag.
The two drivers raced side-by-side for the entire final lap, with Crane clearing Fagan exiting turn four to snatch her second Winter Flurry win.
Ashton Winger paced the field down to the green flag for the Outlaws feature, and would lead early. With five laps in the books, Miranda Meredith spun in turn four, with Katelyn Weatherly spinning to avoid Meredith.
This would put the field under the yellow flag for the first time. Winger would use the restart to gain some breathing room between himself and Jenson Jorgensen, but Jenson would begin to close in and pressure Winger for the lead.
Taylor Jorgensen and Joshua Hicks would also close in on the top two, making it a four-car race for the point. With three laps left, Winger slipped exiting turn four, giving Jenson a shot at the lead. After a side-by-side battle for a couple of laps, Jenson would clear Winger and Jenson’s sister, Taylor, would get second. With 18 laps complete, Weatherly spun in front of the leaders to bring out another caution.
The restart would set up a two-lap sprint to the checkered flag. The restart proved to be the most exciting moment of the day, as Winger would dive-bomb Jenson at the starting line, moving him to the lead. Taylor would then get in the action and jump to the inside in the first turn. With the two cars side-by-side, Joshua Hicks would race to the outside of everyone and use a three-wide pass to get to the lead.
Both Jorgensens and Winger would battle three-wide for a moment, as Hicks would pull away and steal the win, his first of the winter racing season.
The Pro feature opened with Will Prance on the point. Prance and Doug Stevens pulled away from the remainder of the top-five as the field began to spread out in the opening laps. With seven laps complete, Stevens eased inside Prance and went to the lead. Stevens would move away from Prance in the ensuing laps and log his second Winter Flurry victory in as many weeks.