Friday July 20th, 2018 1:52PM

Atlanta Motor Speedway opens 2017 Winter Flurry season

By Dustin Bixby
  Contact Editor

The 2017 Winter Flurry Legends and Bandolero racing series began Saturday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway with doubleheaders in all eight racing divisions, as drivers returned to the quarter-mile Thunder Ring for off-season racing following the 20th Anniversary season of Thursday Thunder earlier this summer.

Three drivers picked up two wins on the afternoon by sweeping their respective divisions, while one driver made two trips to Victory Lane by way of one win in both the Pro and Outlaws Divisions.

Newcomer Josh Parham put together a solid 20-lap effort to claim victory in the first Chargers Division feature, while Chris McKeehan notched the win in the second race, each picking up their first Thunder Ring victories.

In the Rookie Bandoleros Division, Lee Brown drove to a victory ahead of Matthew Kade and Bailey North, before Kade and North went one-two in the second feature, with Cole McKeehan, Wyatt Hodges and Brown rounding out the field.

Clay Thompson dominated both Young Lions Division features Saturday afternoon, nearly sweeping all 40 laps in front of the field. Meanwhile, Ryan Rackley Gauntt Hudgins and Cale Hall each picked up two top-five finishes.

Likewise, Grant Thompson handled the competition in the Bandits Division features with nary a lap left un-led to sweep both races. Behind Thompson, Lucas Ruark and Kenneth Henderson finished second and third, respectively, in both races for two identical podiums.

In the Semi-Pro Division features, it was Cody Hall snagging the checkered flag on the final lap the first time around and Rafe Slate leading all 20 laps for victory in Round 2. Slate improved by one place after finishing as the runner-up in the early race. Meanwhile, Connor Younginer and Chris Clanton each picked up two top-five finishes.

Josh Hicks picked up his first win of the day in the second Outlaws Division feature by leading flag-to-flag, while Michael Gannon notched an offseason victory in the early race. Blaise Maddox, Blaze Crawford and Ashton Whitener finished second-through-fourth in both races to each score double top-five finishes on the day.

Though the Pro Division features presented a small field of just five cars, both races were among the most entertaining in recent memory.

Corey Heim and Jensen Jorgensen swapped leads a number of times at the front of the pack while going at it in a fierce door-to-door battle in the division’s first race of the afternoon, but it was Heim who prevailed and returned to Victory Lane. Dylan Murray, Jorgensen, Dawson Fletcher and Josh Hicks rounded out the field.

The second Pro Division feature can only be described as chaotic. Heim started from the pole position and led the first lap, but again, Jorgensen was up to the challenge, and the pair bumped and rubbed while swapping the lead several times through the first half of the race.

Heim finally got a grip on the lead and put together a run of 10 laps out front, but Jorgensen again made a move for the top spot and claimed the lead ahead of Heim on lap 14. But that didn’t last long. As soon as Jorgensen nosed ahead, the pair made contact once again, sending both spinning, bringing out the caution flag and sending both to the rear of the field.

Restarting in front, Fletcher led lap 15, but Murry – who wouldn’t be left out – became the fourth of the five drivers to lead a lap in the race, when he passed Fletcher the very next lap and stayed ahead for one more before another caution bunched the field.

This time, Hicks had the top spot as the field returned to racing, but no sooner had the green flag been waved than Hicks and Heim, who restarted on the outside of the front row, got together, again bringing out the caution flag and ending Heim’s day.

With just Murry, Jorgensen and Hicks remaining in the race with three laps to go, Murry took the white flag in the lead, but Jorgensen wasn’t about to go quietly.

On the final corner of the race – and with Jorgensen out of time – Jorgensen got into the back of Murry just a little too hard, sending Murry spinning, the caution flag waving, both to the rear of what was left of the field, and Hicks – who had been well behind in third place – to Victory Lane as the winner, following the caution on the race’s final lap.

Due to the depleted field of drivers, the rulebook and exceedingly rare circumstances Hicks was awarded the race victory despite being the only driver not to lead a lap.

Finishing off the day, it was Robbie Woodall dominating both Masters Division races for the third and final sweep of the afternoon. Wade Brewer, Charles Hampton and Don Maness each picked up double top-five finishes.

Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Winter Flurry season continues with Race 3 on Saturday, Oct. 21. For more information, visit

Atlanta Motor Speedway – Hampton, GA
Winter Flurry Rnd. 1 & 2 – Sept. 9, 2017

Chargers Division Race 1
1. Josh Parham
2. Tyler Streetman
3. Bob Anderson
DNS: Chris McKeehan

Chargers Division Race 2
1. Chris McKeehan
2. Josh Parham
3. Tyler Streetman
DNS: Bob Anderson

Rookie Bandoleros Division Race 1
1. Lee Brown
2. Matthew Kade
3. Bailey North
4. Wyatt Hodges-DNF

Rookie Bandoleros Division Race 2
1. Matthew Kade
2. Bailey North
3. Cole McKeehan
4. Wyatt Hodges
5. Lee Brown-DNF

Young Lions Division Race 1
1. Clay Thompson
2. Hunter Johnson
3. Ryan Rackley
4. Gauntt Hudgins
5. Cale Hall
6. Audrie Ruark
7. Blaze Crawford
8. Ian Hampton
9. Logan Nalley
10. Annabelle Mohwish

Young Lions Division Race 2
1. Clay Thompson
2. Ryan Rackley
3. Cale Hall
4. Gauntt Hudgins
5. Annabelle Mohwish
6. Audrie Ruark
7. Blaze Crawford
8. Ian Hampton
9. Logan Nalley
10. Hunter Johnson

Bandits Division Race 1
1. Grant Thompson
2. Lucas Ruark
3. Kenneth Henderson
4. Carson Ruark
5. Max Hennebaul
6. Justin Campbell
7. Keaton Hendrix
8. Kelley Puckett

Bandits Division Race 2
1. Grant Thompson
2. Lucas Ruark
3. Kenneth Henderson
4. Keaton Hendrix
5. Justin Campbell
6. Kelley Puckett
7. Carson Ruark
8. Max Hennebaul

Semi-Pro Division Race 1
1. Cody Hall
2. Rafe Slate
3. Andrew Dollar
4. Connor Younginer
5. Christopher Clanton
6. Brandon Brock
7. Davis Rochester
8. Trey Tadrzak
9. Nick Woodall
10. Brandon Collins

Semi-Pro Division Race 2
1. Rafe Slate
2. Brandon Brock
3. Connor Younginer
4. Christopher Clanton
5. Trey Tadrzak
6. Andrew Dollar
7. Nick Woodall
8. Brandon Collins
9. Cody Hall
10. Davis Rochester

Outlaws Division Race 1
1. Michael Gannon
2. Blaise Maddox
3. Blaze Crawford
4. Ashton Whitener
5. Shelby Ruark
6. Tony Yawn
7. Aprilia Holt

Outlaws Division Race 2
1. Joshua Hicks
2. Blaise Maddox
3. Blaze Crawford
4. Ashton Whitener
5. Michael Gannon
6. Aprilia Holt
7. Nathan Jackson
8. Tony Yawn
9. Shelby Ruark-DNF

Pro Division Race 1
1. Corey Heim
2. Jensen Jorgensen
3. Dawson Fletcher
4. Dylan Murry
5. Joshua Hicks

Pro Division Race 2
1. Joshua Hicks
2. Dylan Murry
3. Jensen Jorgensen
4. Dawson Fletcher-DNF
5. Corey Heim-DNF

Masters Division Race 1
1. Robbie Woodall)
2. Mark Swan
3. Wade Brewer
4. Charles Hampton
5. Don Maness
6. Randy Shubert
7. Jim Foster
8. Dennis Hecht
9. Bill Whatley
10. Barry Bowen
11. Tony Armbruster

Masters Division Race 2
1. Robbie Woodall
2. Don Maness
3. Wade Brewer
4. Bill Whatley
5. Charles Hampton
6. Tony Armbruster-DNF
7. Dennis Hecht-DNF
8. Jim Foster-DNF
DNS: Mark Swan
DNS: Randy Shubert
DNS: Barry Bowen

  • Associated Categories: NASCAR News, Other Motorsports
  • Associated Tags: motorsports, Auto Racing, Stock Car, Short Track, Asphalt, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Thunder Ring, Legends/Bandoleros
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