Thursday Thunder


HAMPTON, Ga. — Week seven of Atlanta Motor Speedway’s short-track racing series, Thursday Thunder, showcased two drivers winning for the first time this season, one which snapped a another competitor’s streak of six consecutive wins.

The Papa John’s Bandits feature opened with Zach Leonhardi pacing the field to the green flag. Devon Barnes made the pass for the top spot coming to the completion of lap one. On lap 18, Joshua Hicks drove his way past Barnes to take the lead and the eventual win. Hicks extended his points lead with his fifth win in seven starts this season.

Tyler Armstrong was the pole sitter for the Semi-Pro feature. Luke Behnke was out front after the first circuit. Behnke led every lap to capture his second win of the 2011 Thursday Thunder season.

The Young Lions feature kicked off with Matt Pappa out front. Contact between Austin Garvey and Anderson Bowen brought out the caution on lap seven. The restart on lap eight featured Pappa and points leader Mason Massey on the front row. Massey and Pappa swapped the lead back and forth until the caution flag flew due to contact in turn two involving Woodrow Mullis, Will Fagan and Bowen. On the restart, Pappa and Massey continued their battle. Pappa’s line was a little wide coming off turn two on lap 14, so Massey took advantage and stuck his nose to the inside of Pappa to make the pass for first-place. Massey seized his fifth win in seven starts and retained his points lead.

Ed Clark was the leader for the start of Roadsters feature. On lap three, Skip Nichols muscled his way to the front. Nichols led every lap to collect the win; his sixth Roadster win in seven starts this season. Nichols logged his 37th career Thursday Thunder win; still the most in series’ history.

Taylor Hull took the green flag to set off the Pro feature. On lap one, Sean Rayhall took over the lead. With two laps to go, Hull battled back to move to the front and snatch the win; his 10th career Thursday Thunder victory.

The Buzz Cars feature began with Alan Nolan substitute driving for Tim Brotzge on the pole. Josh Ballard was out front by the completion of lap one. Scott Kasparek moved to first on lap six. Kasparek logged his second Buzz Car feature win of the summer.

The Masters feature got underway with Bill Plemons, Jr. in the lead. Plemons led every lap to collect his first Thursday Thunder win this summer.

The Morley Company Outlaws feature launched with Madeline Crane on the pole. Starting from the third position, Christopher Clanton spun off turn one on the start, causing a multi-car incident. Crane was out front for the restart. Crane held off the challenge by undefeated Parker Barnes to snap his streak of six-consecutive wins. She posted her second career Thursday Thunder trophy.