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AMS boss wins Masters race

Photo by Derrick Mahone

Ed Clark gets out his car in victory lane after winning the Masters division race at Thursday Thunder at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he is the president of the track.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Ed Clark gets out his car in victory lane after winning the Masters division race at Thursday Thunder at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he is the president of the track.

By Derrick Mahone

dmahone@news-daily.com

After pulling his Legends car into victory lane, Ed Clark got out, and then asked the two gentlemen about the proper procedure for getting photographed.

"You have to tell me what to do, I don't get over here much," Clark joked.

It was only the second Masters division win for the Atlanta Motor Speedway president since 2002, his first year. Last year he won in Week 7 of the Thursday Thunder racing series.

Clark was runner-up in the points standings to Skip Nichols, the series all-time winninigest driver.

But Thursday belonged to Clark, even before the Masters race began.

During the fan autograph session, Clark was one of the most popular drivers as he pulled his Roadster onto the AMS track. Several fans lined up to get his autograph and poised for a picture.

"I think I set an all-time record of signing kids arms," Clark said. "We had a great crowd out here."

And equally important, he got a win.

Clark had the pole position and never let the lead slip despite a strong effort from Tina Johnson. Masters division point leader Nichols finished fourth after starting the race in last.

Thursday Thunder rules places the division's points leader in the back for the start.

Nichols, an Albany native, didn't seem too disappointed in his finish.

"We were able to load it back on the trailer again," said Nichols, in reference to finishing the race without a wreck. "I'm not really disappointed because anytime you start the race from the rear, it will be tough. It took a little while to get past some cars. All and all, I'm pleased with the race and happy to see that Ed won."

Last week, the first in the 10-week racing series, Clark finished fourth.

"I was a little disappointed in myself, because I wasn't as aggressive as I could have been," Clark said. "I'm not a push and shove type of driver, but I could have done some things different."

After starting in eighth place, Nichols began climbing toward the lead with five laps to go. It was a little too late.

"It's tough," said Nichols' wife, Lavon.

"This is a very competitive division," Clark said. "It is fun getting out here and racing against a lot of your friends. We all want to win. I don't like losing to anybody, but one of the biggest reasons I'm out here is because of the fellowship among the drivers."

Clark nearly picked up a double win, but Nichols was able to pull at the victory in the Roadsters division. Like the Masters division, Clark won the pole in qualifying, but Nichols took the lead to get his 31st career win in the Thursday Thunder series.