LEGENDS THURSDAY THUNDER: Ryan Wins the Battle; Byron Wins the War as Champions Crowned

Jacob Seelman Featured, Southeast 0 Comments

July 26, 2013 – By Jacob Seelman Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online – Hampton, Ga. — The 16th Annual AMS Thursday Thunder season wrapped up Thursday night as the newest flock of champions were crowned under an array of fireworks on the track’s quarter-mile frontstretch Thunder Ring.

In the most competitive points fight of the summer, Payton Ryan rolled to his fourth win of the season after fending off a hungry Woodrow Mullis in the closing laps. While Ryan would win the battle, the war and the championship would ultimately go to William Byron, who finished 4th, exactly where he needed to to lock up the hardware. The two, fierce competitors on track and close friends off, would share the Victory Lane spotlight and continue to showcase how tight the competition really is in Legends car racing.

Skip Nichols, a multi-season veteran of Legends car racing and AMS, earned his fifth win of the series en route to the Masters championship. The title was Nichols’ seventh Thursday Thunder championship and the victory, his 48th career feature win.

“I still enjoy getting in and out of this car, although it takes me a little longer now than it used to,” said Nichols following the event. “This Atlanta Motor Speedway is awesome, and you fans up there watching us old men race in this heat, thank you, and go tell all your friends. There is no better racing out here than this Thursday Thunder at Atlanta Motor Speedway.”

In the Pro class, William Plemmons III took home the championship hardware, but gave the race win away to his father, Bill Plemmons Jr. The younger Plemmons was black-flagged after getting together with Hunter Lewis several times in the 20-lap feature.

“That just shows you, never give up,” Bill Plemmons Jr. said. “You never know what might happen.”

In the Outlaws feature, Christopher Clanton, the son of former NASCAR driver Joey Clanton, earned his first career Thursday Thunder win after fending off a late-race charge from Joshua Hicks in a caution-filled event. One of those myriad of cautions collected Ashton Winger, the Outlaws division points leader coming into the final event. But, race attrition was such that even despite being taken out of the event too soon, Winger still hung on to claim his first Thursday Thunder title.

Bandits division points leader Chandler Smith started outside pole and steamrolled to the front, scoring his seventh win of the season and easily locking up the Thursday Thunder title.

In the Allred Family Dentistry Semi-Pro feature, the Thunder Ring once again became the unrivaled ‘House of Thornton’. Riley Thornton started on pole and dominated the main, leading every lap en route to his second straight Thursday Thunder title. Thornton also won the Thursday Thunder crown in 2012, however that championship came in the Young Lions division.

Eight-year-old Samuel Oliver won his first Beginner Bandits race, highlighting the first-year Bandolero drivers at Thursday Thunder.

In the Checkered Flag challenges, for drivers seeking their first-ever AMS Thursday Thunder wins, Clay Thompson (Bandoleros) and Hunter Lewis (Legends) each earned their first career wins. In the Pro Challenge event, Joseph Pilato took the checkered flag.

With Thursday Thunder now in the books, Legends and Bandolero racers look to their next AMS competition, during Labor Day weekend along with the action-packed NASCAR and USCS Sprint Car programs.

Championship Night Race Results

Outlaws Feature: 1. Christopher Clanton (Brooks), 2. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 3. Miranda Meredith (Locust Grove), 4. Alton Clark (Newnan), 5. Jensen Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 6. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 7. Chase Purdy (Gallion, Ala.)

Bandits Feature : 1. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 2. Zach Leonhardi (Cartersville), 3. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge), 4. Zachary Dabbs (Mooresville, N.C.), 5. Lawson Ingold (Social Circle), 6. Clay Thompson (Powersville), 7. Connor Okrzesik (Mobile, Ala.), 8. Austin Geer (Johns Creek), 9. DJ Canipe (Fallston, N.C.), 10. Lee Hodges (Valdosta), 11. Will McConnell (Dallas), 12. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City), 13. Tristan Meredith (Locust Grove), 14. Nathan Jackson (McDonough)

Pro Feature: 1. Bill Plemmons Jr. (Forsyth), 2. Hunter Lewis (Moss Point, Miss.), 3. William Plemmons III (Smyrna)

Masters Feature: 1. Skip Nichols (Albany), 2. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 3. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 4. Scott Moseley (McDonough), 5. Spencer Moseley (McDonough), 6. Mark Swan (Dunwoody), 7. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), 8. Michael Sauer (Atlanta), 9. Phillip Young (Dallas), 10. John Ponzio (Tyrone), 11. Don Maness (Duluth) , 12. Martin Snyder (Kennesaw)

Allred Family Dentistry Semi-Pro Feature: 1. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 2. Amber Fleeman (Dacula), 3. R.S. Senter, 4. Brett Hardin (Acworth), 5. Trevin Aswarnauth (Loganville), 6. Aaron Bailey (Burlington, N.C.), 7. Hub Talbot (Gainesville), 8. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge)

Fun Junction Young Lions Feature: 1. Payton Ryan (Concord, N.C.), 2. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 3. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 4. William Byron (Charlotte, N.C.), 5. Blake Gaither (Nashville), 6. Dylan Murry (Cumming)

Beginner Bandits Feature: 1. Tristan Meredith (Locust Grove). 2. Ryan Howell (McDonough). 3. Nathan Jackson (McDonough), 4. Samuel Oliver (The Rock).

Bandolero Checkered Flag Challenge: 1. Clay Thompson (Powersville), 2. Connor Okrzesik (Mobile, Ala.), 3. Lawson Ingold (Social Circle), 4. Lee Hodges (Valdosta), 5. Will McConnell (Dallas), 6. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City)

Legends Checkered Flag Challenge: 1. Hunter Lewis (Moss Point, Miss.), 2. Spencer Moseley (McDonough), 3. John Ponzio (Tyrone), 4. Blake Gaither(Nashville), 5. Martin Snyder (Kennesaw), 6. Trevin Aswarnauth (Loganville), 7. Dylan Murry (Cumming), 8. Aaron Bailey (Burlington, N.C.)

Bandolero Checkered Flag Challenge: 1. Lawson Ingold (Social Circle), 2. Clay Thompson (Powersville), 3. Lee Hodges (Valdosta). 4. Will McConnell (Dallas).

Pro Challenge: 1. Joseph Pilato, 2. Zachary Ayers, 3. Cole Dafron, 4. Dawson Gay, 5. Osmer Ronnie, 6. Jake Hendrix

PHOTO CREDIT: Speedpics.net

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