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Hull holds off Rayhall for division win

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Taylor Hull holds off Sean Rayhall in the Pro division Thursday in the featured race at Thursday Thunder to win the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Taylor Hull holds off Sean Rayhall in the Pro division Thursday in the featured race at Thursday Thunder to win the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

By Derrick Mahone

dmahone@news-daily.com

The last two weeks, Taylor Hull has been a part of wins at the Thursday Thunder racing series at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Last week, he watched as AMS president Ed Clark won in the Masters division. Hull, 28, works at AMS where he works on Clark's Legend car.

Thursday, Hull captured the checker flag in the Pro division for his first win of the season. He was able to hold off Sean Rayhall, who ran second the entire race.

"It's been a good last two weeks for us," said Hull, a Winston native. "Sean was on me the entire race. Last week the driver got the win, this week it was the crew chief with the win."

Two weeks ago, Hull drove his car to a win at Lanier.

Last season, Hull won three races and finished runner-up three times in the Pro division. He also had three wins in five starts in the Roadsters division.

He had wins in Weeks 5,7 and 10 in the 10-week racing series.

"It's been a while since I won out here, but I'm pretty happy," Hull said.

"Taylor has worked real hard for this win," Clark said.

The Pro and Masters division raced together Thursday with Brian Weimer, substitute driving for Terry Mathis, taking the checker flag in the Masters race. Clark, who said he had some mechanical problems, was fourth.

"I would have loved to been up there with those guys," Clark said.

This was Rayhall, who is also a Winston native, first race in two weeks at AMS. Last week, he was Virginia, racing at South Boston Speedway in a Pro Cup car while crew chief Doug Stevens drove his car to victory lane.

Earlier in the week, Rayhall, 16, won two races in Charlotte before competing on Thursday.

"He ran well out here considering he didn't get any practice in," Stevens said. "The car wasn't set up perfect for him. We have put a lot of focus on Charlotte."

Stevens and Rayhall both agreed that the car set up favorite Stevens driving style.

"The car wasn't as I like it," Rayhall said. "Doug likes the car loose when he races, but I like it tighter."

This is only Rayhall's second season of racing at AMS. In 2010, he was the Young Lions champion winning seven times in 10 starts. He finished runner-up the other three starts. Rayhall, who is home-schooled, is the youngest driver in North America to win a Formula car race, when he accomplished that at age 12.

Rayhall came into the race as the points leader with Hull second.

"This will again be a very tight race for the championship," Hull said. "I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the season. I really enjoy racing against Sean because he is a good competitor. With these two wins, I'm on a roll."