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Gridlock at the top of the Masters division

Four drivers, AMS prez, in position to claim title

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark is in contention for his first Thursday Thunder point title. He is currently tied for second and three points from the lead heading into Thursday’s final races at AMS.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark is in contention for his first Thursday Thunder point title. He is currently tied for second and three points from the lead heading into Thursday’s final races at AMS.

It has come down to the last 20 laps to determine the overall points winner in many of the divisions at Thursday Thunder on Thursday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The question now is can AMS President Ed Clark protect his home turf.

Brian Weimer is currently the points leader heading into Thursday’s finals with four drivers within six points of each other. Clark, who has been driving a new car this season, and defending champion Terry Mathis are tied for second place. They are three points behind Weimer.

Albany’s Skip Nichols, Thursday Thunder’s all-time winningest driver, is currently fourth in the standings, six points out of the lead.

“It is an exciting year in our division,” Nichols said.

“This has definitely been a fun summer,” Clark said. “I’m looking forward to see how the division will pan out.”

Last season, Mathis escaped with a two-point win over Nichols with Bill Plemons five points back for the top of the standings.

Clark’s three wins is the most in the division, while his new red machine has consistently been a threat to win each week. Running some of the fastest lap times he’s ever turned, Clark is in new territory by racing for his first career Thursday Thunder championship. But racing for a title is nothing new to Clark, who has claimed a handful of Winter Flurry titles over the course of his Legends career.

“This has been the most fun summer of Thursday Thunder racing that I’ve ever been a part of,” Clark said. “Regardless of how it comes out this week, any of the four of us probably deserve to be the champion, but we can’t all be. It has been fun. The competition has been as intense as any that I’ve ever experienced. And I think the other drivers who race in the Masters division would say the same thing.”

Emotion and tension is expected to be at an all-time high when the Masters division drivers take to the track.

“I think we do it obviously because you get the adrenaline kick of competition, but there’s great camaraderie among the people who race in the division as well,” Clark said. “I do it because of both reasons. So I can easily say that regardless of how it comes out this Thursday night, it has been a real fun time this summer.”

Nichols agreed.

“We are all friends, and I would be pleased to see either Terry or Ed win,” Nichols said.

Mason Massey, who won the Young Lions division last season, will repeat that feat in the Pro division. He has 894 points, which is 239 ahead of second place driver Jeff Haynie.

— AMS media relations contributed to this report.