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Stockbridge's Jorgensen outlasts Lester for sixth win

Photo By Gabriel Stovall / Taylor Jorgensen and Tyler Lester give each other a salute after Jorgensen edged out Lester for the win in the first of a Thursday Thunder Outlaws division double feature.

Photo By Gabriel Stovall / Taylor Jorgensen and Tyler Lester give each other a salute after Jorgensen edged out Lester for the win in the first of a Thursday Thunder Outlaws division double feature.

Make it four in a row for Taylor Jorgensen.

The Thursday Thunder Outlaws Division driver picked up her fourth straight checkered flag and notched her sixth victory out of seven starts Thursday by edging out Tyler Lester in the first of a double feature at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

All divisions except the Pros were scheduled to run double features in order to make up for last Thursday’s weather cancellations.

The first feature race was shortened from the standard 20 laps to 15 in order to try and side step another rainout. Thursday weather forecasts were calling for a 70 percent chance of thunderstorms for the evening.

But the abbreviated race actually heightened the tension of the moment for Taylor Jorgensen and her family that cheered them on.

“I need blood pressure medicine after that race,” said Taylor’s father Jason Jorgensen after rushing to winner’s circle to greet his daughter. “We felt bad about this race before it started because we knew the laps were limited and there would be no room for error.”

Adding to that was the fact that Taylor Jorgensen started in the eighth position. Tyler Lester — whom she beat out — had the pole. Taylor Jorgensen steadily worked and weaved her way up toward Lester’s back bumper before passing him for the first time at lap 10.

They swapped positions on the turns several times before Taylor was finally able to fend Lester off for the win. With a race that featured no cautions or restarts, it was arguably Taylor’s most impressive AMS drive of the season.

At the end of the race, an out-of-breath Jason Jorgensen used just one word to describe his daughter’s performance.

“Determination,” he said. “She won that race by just flat out good driving.”

Lester — who bested Taylor at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday night — didn’t argue with Jason Jorgensen’s assessment.

“Taylor won because she was just faster than me,” Lester said. “At the end she had the better car and was the better driver and she just beat me.”

And in victory, Taylor Jorgensen was just as gracious to her opponent.

“I really appreciate the racing and competition I get from Tyler,” Taylor Jorgensen said. “He was catching me on my mistakes but I caught him on one when he got a little loose at four. He did a good job at saving his car, but it gave me just enough to catch up.”

But for all the success Taylor Jorgensen has had at AMS this season, she has found a constant nemesis in the Charlotte Motor Speedway track — whereas Lester’s fortunes in Charlotte have mirrored that of Taylor’s in Atlanta.

“The Atlanta track is tougher than Charlotte’s track, but she’s got the Atlanta track figured out,” said Lester who is the Outlaws division points leader in Charlotte. “In Charlotte there are a lot more cars so there’s traffic, but here this track is tighter which makes it tough.”

In Atlanta, the only driver who’s beaten Taylor all season is one who shares her last name — Jensen edged out Taylor in week three — and Taylor Jorgensen said she doesn’t see any reason why her streak can’t continue.

“At the rate we’re going, I think we look good, especially in Atlanta,” said Taylor Jorgensen, who with the victory, snatched back the No. 1 INEX points ranking from Seth Warner.

“I haven’t won in Charlotte yet. Competition is fierce out there with about 30 cars out there each week. You really have to start good and stay consistent to win out there. That’s my next goal.”