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Plemons racing toward second title in three seasons

Semi-pro leader is two points ahead

Photo by Derrick Mahone
William Plemons III (left) talks with driver Hub Talbot before the start of last week’s featured races. Plemons is currently leading the Semi-Pro divison at Thursday Thunder heading into the last five weeks of racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Photo by Derrick Mahone William Plemons III (left) talks with driver Hub Talbot before the start of last week’s featured races. Plemons is currently leading the Semi-Pro divison at Thursday Thunder heading into the last five weeks of racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

William Plemons III is in a familar situation in the Semi-Pro division of Thursday Thunder racing.

He is the divison’s points leader as the summer racing series heads into its final five weeks.

“I’ve been very pleased with the season,” said Plemons, who won the 2010 division title in his return to racing after a 10-year hiatus.

Last season, Plemons was in a position to capture his second straight title, but his temper got the best of him. He was penalized by track officials 10 points for an incident in the garage following a race.

Luke Behnke won the division title on the final race day by a point over Plemons in one of the most competitive division showdowns last season. Behnke had 973 points to win the title while Plemons finished with 972 points.

“After losing it the way I did, it gives you some motivation for this season,” Plemons said. “You want to get after it. You look to back up your disappointment with a championship. It has definitely been a motivation factor.”

Plemons finds himself in another tight points race, but this time it’s 17-year-old Matt Snider of Charlotte, N.C., that is hot on his trail for the division title. Last week, Snider, the son of Matt Snider, a pit reporter for TNT’s NASCAR coverage, picked up his first official win at AMS.

Plemons has 475 points heading into tonight’s racing with Snider second at 473. Garrett Smithley is a close third with 458 points.

“There are some good drivers out here,” Plemons said.

Plemons chief competitor from last season — Luke Behnke — has been away from the track most of the season after landing an internship with TNT to work six NASCAR races with the broadcast team, and he is also doing some social media work for driver Andy Hogan.

“Yes, I miss him out here,” Plemons said. “We were great competitors and good friends. We have a lot of fun racing against each other. We have some really good drivers out here this year, which makes it fun.”