Photo by Doug Gorman
Thursday Thunder driver Parker Barnes collected his third checkered flag of the season in the Outlaw Division this week at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Barnes came from the middle of the pack to win the race, passing two cars in the last few laps.
By Doug Gorman
Roswell's Parker Barnes is starting to put some distance between himself and the rest of the Bandolero Outlaw Division field at Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder.
Now, he's a three-time winner, taking the checkered flags each week so far this season.
"It's going great. I have got to thank my team for getting me out here," Barnes said. ""They give me the greatest car every week. I've got to thank Atlanta Motor Speedway for letting us uses this great facility. They have a great facility here and great officials."
Despite starting in the middle of the pack on Thursday, Barnes waited for just the right time to make his move to the front.
It came late in the feature race after a caution flag temporally halted what had been a clean race to that point.
On the re-start, that's when Barnes, who was in third pace at the time, navigated his way to the front.
The opportunistic drive first passed John Curtiss, then pole sitter Amber Fleeman, who had led the entire race to that point.
"Amber was really fast tonight," he said. "She ran a good race."
Early in the event, Barnes wasn't sure he would return to victory lane for a third time.
Running on new tires caused his No. 53 machine to start off slowly, but once the tires and car heated up, so did Barnes.
Towards the end of the race, he pulled away, winning the event by several car lengths.
Barnes burst on the Thursday Thunder scene last year racing in all 10 events. The young driver had a solid rookie campaign winning once, finishing second three times and third twice. Those six top five finishes were good enough to garner a third-place finish in the final Outlaw Division points standings.
After 13 Thursday Thunder races and four victories over two seasons, Barnes confidence is growing, and with good reason.
Still the young driver is keeping things low key, approaching each race one week at a time.
"It's a long season, and anything can happen," he said.