HAMPTON, Ga. – Legends and bandolero drivers took major steps toward season points championships during weeks eight and nine of Thursday Thunder at Atlanta Motor Speedway. With double features giving drivers twice the opportunity to gain points, numerous races featured door-to-door action and drivers racing two and three-wide for positions.
Racing action began with William Byron leading the first Fun Junction Young Lions feature to the green flag. Payton Ryan moved into the lead on the fourth lap, making an inside pass in turn one with Byron falling back to third behind Woodrow Mullis. Ryan pulled away for his third feature win of the season with Woodrow Mullis finishing second.
Chandler Smith began the first bandits feature race on the pole position. The caution flag flew on the first lap as a result of a multi-car accident in turn four. Smith maintained his advantage on the restart. Surviving multiple restarts, Smith led as the caution flag was displayed with five laps remaining. Smith led the rest of the way to earn the win, holding off a furious charge by Zach Leonhardi.
Ryan Howell led the beginner bandolero feature to the green flag, going on to capture the checkered flag in a 15-lap feature race among the newest bandolero drivers at Thursday Thunder.
William Plemons III was on the point as the first pro feature took the green flag. Joey Padgett moved into the lead on the third lap but was overtaken by Kason Plott a lap later. A caution with seven laps to go closed the field up with Plott restarting to the inside of Plemons. Plott took command on the restart, leading by a handful of car lengths, going on to lead the remainder of the race to win with Padgett finishing second.
Spencer Moseley was on the point as the first Masters feature began before Tina Johnson took the lead on the first lap. Following a caution, Johnson and Skip Nichols pulled away from the rest of the field on the restart with Johnson holding a slight advantage. After a caution with nine laps to go, Johnson continued to lead with Nichols in close pursuit. In the end, Johnson was victorious for the second feature race in a row.
Ashton Winger began the first Outlaws feature on the pole position. The caution flag was displayed two laps into the feature as Winger led coming off the restart and remained the leader as the caution flag few with five laps to go. Winger surged ahead of two and three-wide racing for position behind him as the caution flag flew.
A two-car spin on the restart placed the field in a single-file formation for another restart. Jensen Jorgensen took advantage, taking the lead on the inside as cars raced three-wide for the lead down the backstretch. Jorgensen’s win is his second win in the past three feature races.