HAMPTON, Ga. – With double feature racing raising the stakes for all drivers, intense action was on full display during Weeks Five and Six of Thursday Thunder on the quarter-mile “Thunder Ring” at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
During the course of the night, multiple feature races saw side-by-side racing and photo finishes as drivers went for the checkered flag.
Zach Leonhardi started things off as he led the first Bandits feature to the green flag, holding the top position for most of the race before a pair of cautions set up a five-lap sprint to the finish. In a thrilling three-way fight for the win, Leonhardi inched ahead for the victory in a three-wide finish to beat out Connor Younginer and Chandler Smith.
Ryan Howell led the first Beginner Bandits race, comprised of the newest Bandolero drivers at Thursday Thunder, before being overtaken by Tristan Meredith. Meredith went on the capture the win.
Madeline Crane was on the point as the green flag fell to start a combined first feature between Pro and Masters drivers. William Plemons III led three laps into the race, gaining an advantage of a handful of car lengths. Contact between Tina Johnson and Bill Plemons, Jr., coming out of turn two brought out the caution with four laps remaining. Plemons held the lead on the restart before a caution with two laps to go set up an additional restart. Contact between multiple cars on as the field went through turns one and two reset the field for a final dash to the finish. William Plemons III survived the restart with Masters drivers Skip Nichols and Mike Kennedy finished second and third overall.
Joshua Hicks led the way as the first Outlaws feature began prior to Ashton Winger seizing the lead just prior to the halfway point of the 20-lap race. The field restarted with six laps to go after a caution. Contact between Alton Clark and Christopher Clanton brought out the yellow flag, and Winger led with four laps remaining. Winger held the lead he rest of the way to win with Chase Purdy finishing second.
R.S. Senter took advantage of the pole position to begin the first Allred Family Dentistry Semi-Pro feature, pacing the field before a caution was displayed at the race’s halfway point. Division points leader Riley Thornton made a charge to pass on the outside on the restart, sparking a three-way fight for the lead between Thornton, Senter and Brett Hardin. Hardin led as the field restarted with seven laps to go in the race. A three-car accident going into turn one on the restart reset the field for another restart. Hardin held onto the advantage before Thornton got past him with four laps to go and led the rest of the race to capture the checkered flag.
After Woodrow Mullis led at the beginning of the first Fun Junction Young Lions feature, William Byron got past him during the opening laps. Byron maintained his advantage to lead the rest of the way with Tripp Gerrald finishing second.