Photo by Heather Middleton
By Derrick Mahone
William Plemons III started seventh on the pole in the semi-pro division Thursday, but four laps into the featured race Thursday, he was in full control.
The 29-year-old insurance salesman won his fourth Thursday Thunder race of the summer to remain in the points lead.
Not bad for a driver that restarted his racing "hobby" last summer after nearly a 10-year hiatus to attend college and start a career.
Plemons, a Locust Grove native, has been very competitive since returning to the track. He has won six times in 16 starts. He won the semi-pro division last season, his first racing season since finishing 15th overall in the semi-pro B division in 2001.
"It seems success has come easy since getting back into it," Plemons said. "I have some good people around me. I'm fortunate and blessed to have some good resources."
He decided to get back into racing after his father bought him the Legends car.
"Dad said let's go racing again," Plemons said.
The elder Plemons races in the Masters division. Next season, the younger Plemons will move up to the Pro division.
"It has been a lot of fun," William Plemons III said. "There was some learning curve once I got back into racing. I'm mainly out here trying to have a good time. It fun being out here with the other drivers because of the racing community."
He realizes that he is in a tough battle again with Luke Behnke, a Fayette County native. Thursday, Behnke finished third. He entered the featured race three points behind Plemons in the point standings.
Last year, Behnke, a incoming freshman at Kennesaw State, was second to Plemons in the semi-pro division, winning once in the season's final race.
Prior to moving to the semi-pro division, Behnke won the Outlaws division in 2009 and was eighth in the Young Guns in 2008.
"He is a great racer," Plemons said of Behnke. "He is right on my tail. If I slip, he is in a good position to take the lead."
Behnke is anticipating another tight battle for the points championship.
"Each week is very intense," Behnke said. "It is tough each week and you can expect a battle. We will be going hard each week."