Chandler Smith’s bid to set a new Thursday Thunder record for most consecutive wins in a season bounced away on lap 11 of the Bandits feature in week nine at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Smith lost a tire in turn two on lap 11 that brought out a caution flag. With the Bandits feature race time limit expired, the race ended with a green-white-checker finish. Clay Thompson earned the win as he held off Connor Younginer and Austin Geer over the final three laps for the win.
Smith entered the night tied with former Thursday Thunder competitor and current NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano for most consecutive feature race wins at Thursday Thunder in one season at eight. He was at the front of the field and on pace to set a new record at nine before Smith encountered trouble just past the half way mark of the race.
In a caution filled Estes Services Masters feature race, Tina Johnson of Senoia earned her first victory of the season. Johnson started from the second position but was able to drive past Tony Armbruster of Covington in turn one on the first lap and ride to the win. Armbruster faded to the back of the field as Scott Moseley of McDonough, Bill Plemons Jr. of Locust Grove and Skip Nichols of Albany moved up behind the leader. Johnson was able to hold off the hard charging trio over the closing laps for the win.
“That was awesome,” said Johnson when asked about earning her first feature win of the season. Her excitement couldn’t be contained as she was appreciative of the fan support. “I want to thank the fans, you guys are awesome.”
With a fourth place finish, Nichols’ lead at the top of the Masters division shrunk to five points over Moseley with the season finale set for next Thursday.
Hayden Swank of Woodstock paced the field to the green flag in the 15th Street Pizza and Pub Outlaws feature. Kamera McDonald of Keller, TX moved to the lead in turn two on the first lap. Division leader Jensen Jorgensen of Stockbridge and Chase Purdy of Gallion, AL pressured McDonald over the next four laps before the pair slipped to the front of the field on lap four. Jorgensen held off Purdy over the remainder of the race to earn his sixth feature win of the season.
The Allred Family Dentistry Semi-Pro division began with Jeff Holden of Gainesville in the lead at the drop of the green flag. Taylor Jorgensen of Stockbridge started from the inside of the second row but was able to slip to the lead as she pushed Holden to the outside on the first lap. At the front of the field, Jorgensen extended her lead on lap eight to half a lap. A battle for second place ensued between R.S. Senter of Oakwood and William Martin of Douglasville over the final eight laps but neither could gain any ground as Jorgensen won her second feature race of the season.
Blake Gaither started from the point in the Young Lion’s feature. Zach Leonhardi began from the outside pole but moved to the lead as he drove past Gaither on the first lap. Woodrow Mullis rode in second after two laps as he wove his way through the field after he started near the back of the pack. On lap 10, Mullis was able to slide to the inside of Leonhardi in turn four to take the lead. Mullis held off Leonhardi over the last half of the race as the pair drove away from the rest of the field.
Wilder Etheredge of Albany earned his first feature win of his career in the beginner Bandolero feature. Blaise Maddox finished second as he challenged Etheredge for the lead throughout the race. Gauntt Hudgins finished third.
W.J. Plemons III Associated Group Insurance, Inc. Pro feature saw Williams Plemons III capture the checkered for his sixth win of the season. From the inside of the second row, Will Martin of Douglasville was able to move into second place midway through the race but was unable to get past Plemons III.
Feature Race Nine Results
15th Street Pizza and Pub Outlaws
1. Jensen Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 2. Chase Purdy (Gallion, AL), 3. Hannah Bell (Raleigh, NC), 4. Kamera McDonald (Keller, TX), 5. Lexi Gay (Canton), 6. Jonathan Cook (Sunny Side), 7. Hayden Swank (Woodstock)
Estes Services Masters
1. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 2. Scott Moseley (McDonough), 3. Bill Plemons Jr. (Locust Grove), 4. Skip Nichols (Albany), 5. Mark Swan (Dunwoody), 6. Robbie Woodall (McDonald), 7. Phillip Young (Dallas), 8. Martin Snyder (Kennesaw), 9. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), 10. Tony Armbruster (Covington)
1. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 2. Zach Leonhardi (Cartersville), 3. Christopher Clanton (Brooks), 4. Dylan Murry (Cumming), 5. Blake Gaither (Nashville)
Allred Family Dentistry Semi-Pro
1. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 2. R.S. Senter (Oakwood), 3. Will Martin (Douglasville), 4. Amber Fleeman (Dacula), 5. Aaron Bailey (Burlington), 6. Brandon Brock (Hampton), 7. Miranda Meredith (Locust Grove), 8. Jeff Holden (Gainesville)
1. Clay Thompson (Powersville), 2. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge), 3. Austin Geer (Johns Creek), 4. Nathan Jackson (McDonough), 5. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 6. Lawson Ingold (Social Circle), 7. Ryan Howell (McDonough)
1. Wilder Etheredge (Albany), 2. Blaise Maddox (Locust Grove), 3. Trey Tadrzak (Stockbridge), 4. Gauntt Hudgins (Savannah), 5. Dawson O’Conner (Stockbridge)
W.J Plemons III Associates Group Insurance Inc. Pro
1. William Plemons III (Locust Grove), 2. Will Martin (Douglasville), 3. Zach Leonhardi (Cartersville), 4. Paul Kelley (Pendergrass), 5. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 6. Bill Plemons Jr. (Locust Grove), 7. Mark Swan (Dunwoody)
Tickets for the affordable, family-friendly racing series costs just $6 for adults, $2 for children ages 6 through 11 and is free for children ages 5 and younger. For more information, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
Track PR – Photo – Tom Francisco, Speedpics.net