Photo by Heather Middleton
By Doug Gorman
Mason Massey isn't ready to claim the points championship in the Young Lions' Division of Thursday Thunder.
But as the Atlanta Motor Speedway summer racing series reached the half way point of the season this week, he's starting to take control of his division.
The young driver went into this week's feature race with a close 10 point lead over second place Benjamin Rhodes, and did nothing to hurt himself.
The reason, Massey raced to the checkered flag Thursday night, winning his division for the third time this year.
"He knows the competition isn't going to let up.
"I think it is going to get harder," he said. "We are just going to have to be ready."
The most impressive thing about the race was the fact that Massey had to come from the back of the pack since Thursday Thunder inverts the starting position of each feature race, with the points leaders starting in the last row.
It didn't bother Massey. Despite several caution flags that temporarily halted the race, he slowly worked his way to the front.
"It's awesome," he said. "It was a little bit rough out there, but I was just patient and waited for the right moment."
With about three laps to go, Evan Bell led the race, Anderson Bowen, who entered the right in third place, 34 points behind Massey was second,
That's when Massey, who had moved all the way to third place, made his move. With the field coming to the end of the race, Massey passed Bowen on one lap and then caught race leader Bell in the fourth turn late in the event.
One more caution flag could have made for a dramatic finish, but on the restart Massey pulled away and kept the lead for the win.