More Winners In Atlanta’s Thursday Thunder

Thursday Night Thunder action at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (AMS photo)
Thursday Night Thunder action at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (AMS photo)

HAMPTON, Ga. — The Thunder Ring sprang to life on Wednesday night for the second round of Thursday Thunder presented by Papa John’s Pizza as a handful of drivers collected their first victory in their respective divisions.

The Racing Radios Rookie Bandoleros opened up the round two action with Kerbi Mueller posting her first career win at the Thunder Ring during Thursday Thunder.  Mueller held off Bailey Buchanan, who finished second, and Baylor O’Neil, who was third, for the victory.

In the Associates Group Young Lions feature race, Lucas Ruark won his second consecutive feature race of the year and extended his lead in the division point standings. Ruark started on the inside of the second row and jumped door to door with pole sitter Ashton Whitener on the opening lap of the race.  Whitener got tangled up with Austin MacDonald on lap six and fell to the back of the pack allowing Ruark to pull away from the field for the win.

Carson Ramsey earned the win in a heated Racing Radios Outlaws feature.  Ramsey started fifth, but was able to move to the front of the field by the fourth lap.  Two laps later, Trevor Wester got past Ramsey for the lead. Glued to the back bumper of Wester for eight laps, Ramsey made a last lap pass to take the the checkered flag.

In the Wallace Electric Masters feature, Bill Plemons held off Robbie Woodall over the final two laps to earn his second consecutive feature win of the season.  Plemons started on the outside of the front row and was able to slide down in front of Tony Armbruster who was on the point on the first lap to take the lead.  A late caution helped Woodall move up to second and set up the two lap shootout between the top two finishers in the division from a year ago.

Last year’s Young Lion’s champion Ryan Rackley notched his first win the VP Racing Fuels Pro Division in just his second start amongst the best competition in Legend cars.  Bumping and banging with Joshua Hicks on the white flag lap, Rackley was able to slide to the inside of Hicks coming out of turn four and won the drag race down the frontstrch for the win.

“We qualified so bad,” said an excited Rackley after the victory, “and we started ninth and we were able to drive through the field and get the win. I was going to be happy getting a top five and then everybody was getting shoved out and I was just filling in and filling in. Then the top two started racing each other hard and I just filled in the gap and passed them.”

Rackley qualified seventh and ended up on the inside of row five in the ninth position following the Pro Qualifying pick.  Taylor Jorgensen started on the pole and dominated the early part of the race and was vying for the win until she got shuffled out of the lead with three laps left and couldn’t get past the front runners of Rackely and Hicks.

Max Brady was the beneficiary of a last lap caution to help him earn his first career win at the Thunder Ring in the CMS Group Environmental Services Semi-Pro feature.

“This is my first ever Thursday Thunder win,” said and excited Brady. “I’ve been racing here for four years and I’ve gone through a lot of struggles with these things and this just means a lot. I just don’t know what to say.”

Brady was chasing Audrie Ruark, who led every lap of the race until she got spun exiting turn four on the final lap of the feature.  DJ Canipe came home second and Rickey Springer was third while Ruark finished ninth.

The Racing Radios Bandits closed out the action with the final feature race of night as Lucas Vera dominated the action leading all 20 laps for the win.  Vera outgunned Jacob Brindley from the outside pole to take an early lead on lap one and never looked back as he claimed his first win of the season. Cody King, Carson Ruark, Garrett Gumm and Kaleb Brandley battled hard for third with three wide racing across the strip with three laps to go.  It was King who earned the podium finish as he pull ahead of the trio and crossed the strip in third.