Connor Younginer has best finish in career at AMS

Photo by Derrick Mahone / Chandler Smith won his fifth race in the Bandits division at Thursday Thunder after picking up another victory this week.

Photo by Derrick Mahone / Chandler Smith won his fifth race in the Bandits division at Thursday Thunder after picking up another victory this week.

HAMPTON — Connor Younginer was a few laps from getting his first win at Thursday Thunder during the Bandits division double feature races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Instead, the Stockbridge native settled for second and third place finishes.

And no one in the Younginer camp was complaining.

The second place was his best finish since joining the grassroots racing series during the 2011 season. Younginer, 10, was second to Zach Leonhardi of Cartersville in the first feature race.

In the second feature of the night, division points leader Chandler Smith took the checkered flag with Leonhardi finishing second and Younginer in third place.

“In the second race, his car got a little tight,” said Younginer’s father, Mark. “I’m really pleased at the way he has been racing this season.”

Younginer is currently in third place in the overall points standings heading into the final four races.

“Second is my best ever out here, so I’m happy,” Connor Younginer said.

In the second feature, Younginer had the pole position and led through three caution flags. On the third caution restart, Leonhardi made an inside pass out of turn two to take the lead.

It was short lived as Smith moved ahead of the field with an inside pass on the next lap to hold the lead for the win.

Both of the Bandits races featured a lot of fireworks with plenty of caution flags.

In the first division feature, it was a five-lap sprint to the finish with Leonhardi outpacing Younginer and Smith for the win.

“I was happy to see Chandler keep his composure in the second race for the win,” said close friend and advisor Luke Behnke, a championship driver at Thursday Thunder. “He kept a level head after the first race. He raced his butt off in the race and deserved the win.”

Three drivers pulled double wins at the track in their respective division. William Plemons III continued to dominate the two-car Pro division with double wins. The Locust Grove native now has a track-leading seven wins.

Riley Thornton won both Semi-Pro division races and William Byron of Charlotte, N.C., did the same in the Young Lions division.

Jensen Jorgensen of Stockbridge had a worst to first type of evening at the track. In the first feature of the Outlaws division, he finished last as points leader Ashton Winger took the checkered flag.

It was a different story in the second feature as the roles were reversed with Jorgensen picking up his second win of the season.

Race Results From Thursday Thunder

Outlaws Feature One: 1. Ashton Winger (Fayetteville), 2. Chase Purdy (Gallion, Ala.), 3. Christopher Clanton (Brooks), 4. Miguel Cesar, 5. Miranda Meredith (Locust Grove), 6. Alton Clark (Newnan), 7. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 8. Jensen Jorgensen (Stockbridge). Bandits Feature One: 1. Zach Leonhardi (Cartersville), 2. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge), 3. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 4. Lawson Ingold (Social Circle), 5. Blake Cisenros (Houston, Texas) 6. Clay Thompson (Powersville), 7. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City), 8. Lee Hodges (Valdosta), 9. Will McConnell (Dallas). Pro Feature One: 1. William Plemons III (Smyrna), 2. Madeline Crane (Meansville). Masters Feature One:

  1. Skip Nichols (Albany), 2. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), 3. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 4. Scott Moseley (McDonough), 5. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 6. Mark Swan (Dunwoody), 7. Bill Plemons, Jr. (Forsyth), 8. Phillip Young (Dallas), 9. Michael Sauer (Atlanta), 10. John Ponzio (Tyrone). 11. Martin Snyder (Kennesaw). Semi-Pro Feature One: 1. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 2. Brett Hardin (Acworth). 3. R.S. Senter, 4. Jeff Holden (Gainesville), 5. Treven Aswarnauth (Loganville), 6. Amber Fleeman (Dacula), 7. Aaron Bailey (Burlington, N.C.), 8. Chris Payne (Smyrna), 9. C.J. Pucko (Covington), 10. Hub Talbot (Smyrna), 11. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge). Young Lions Feature One: 1. William Byron (Charlotte, N.C.), 2. Tripp Gerrald (Lexington, Ky.), 3. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 4. Payton Ryan (Concord, N.C.), 5. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 6. Christopher Lilly (Grottoes, Va.), 7. Dylan Murry (Cumming), 8. Blake Gaither (Nashville), 9. Trevin Aswarnauth (Loganville). Beginner Bandits Feature One:

  2. Tristan Meredith (Locust Grove). 2. Ryan Howell (McDonough). 3. Nathan Jackson (McDonough), 4. Samuel Oliver (The Rock).

Outlaws Feature Two: 1. Jensen Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 2. Joshua Hicks (Senoia), 3. Chase Purdy (Gallion, Ala.), 4. Christopher Clanton (Brooks), 5. Miguel Cesar, 6. Miranda Meredith (Locust Grove), 7. Alton Clark (Newnan), Ashton Winger (DQ) (Fayetteville). Bandits Feature Two: 1. Chandler Smith (Talking Rock), 2. Zach Leonhardi (Cartersville), 3. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge), 4. Lawson Ingold (Social Circle), 5. Clay Thompson (Powersville), 6. Blake Cisenros (Houston). 7. Will McConnell (Dallas), 8. Tristan Meredith (Locust Grove). 9. Lee Hodges (Valdosta), 10. Abigail Marin (Peachtree City). Pro Feature Two:

  1. William Plemons III (Smyrna), 2. Madeline Crane (Meansville). Masters Feature Two: 1. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 2. Skip Nichols (Albany), 3. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 4. Scott Moseley (McDonough), 5. Bill Plemons, Jr. (Forsyth), 6. Mike Kennedy (Alpharetta), 7. Mark Swan (Dunwoody), 8. Phillip Young (Dallas), 9. John Ponzio (Tyrone). 10. Martin Snyder (Kennesaw), 11. Michael Sauer (Atlanta). Semi-Pro Feature Two: 1. Riley Thornton (Peachtree City), 2. R.S. Senter, 3. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 4. Amber Fleeman (Dacula), 5. Jeff Holden (Gainesville), 6. C.J. Pucko (Covington), 7. Aaron Bailey (Burlington, N.C.), 8. Trevin Aswarnauth (Loganville), 9. Brett Hardin (Acworth), 10. Chris Payne (Smyrna), 11. Hub Talbot (Smyrna). Young Lions Feature Two: 1. William Byron (Charlotte, N.C.), 2. Payton Ryan (Concord, N.C.), 3. Woodrow Mullis (Hoboken), 4. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 5. Blake Gaither (Nashville). 6. Dylan Murry (Cumming), 7. Christopher Lilly (Grottoes, Va.) 8. Tripp Gerrald (Lexington, Ky.). Beginner Bandits Feature Two: 1. Nathan Jackson (McDonough), 2. Ryan Howell (McDonough). 3. Samuel Oliver (The Rock). Legends Checkered Flag Challenge: 1. John Ponzio (Tyrone) 2. C.J. Pucko (Covington). Bandolero Checkered Flag Challenge:

  2. Lawson Ingold (Social Circle), 2. Clay Thompson (Powersville), 3. Lee Hodges (Valdosta). 4. Will McConnell (Dallas).