Johnson claims first checkered flag of season
by Doug Gorman
Consistency is often the name of the game in racing.
There’s nobody who knows that more than Senoia’s Tina Johnson.
Johnson is one of the most steady and successful drivers in Atlanta Motor Speedway’s long-time Thursday Thunder summer racing series, often keeping her Legends car near the front of the pack in the Masters Division.
This week, she took her consistency one step further by claiming her first checked flag of the season in the Masters Division.
Johnson began the race in the second position, quickly moved around Tony Armbruster in Turn One of the opening lap, and stayed out front the rest of the way.
The veteran driver fought through several caution flags during the 25-lap feature to secure the win. Despite keeping her car in the lead most of the way, Johnson had to do some fancy racing in the latter part of the race, brushing off a challenge from Scott Mosleley, Bill Plemons Jr. and all-time Thursday Thunder winner and points leader Skip Nichols, who placed second, third and fourth, respectively.
Armbruster, who contended early, faded late the race and finished in 10th place.
“That was awesome,” said Johnson as she spoke to the crowd in Victory Lane after the win. “I want to thank the fans, they were great.”
Johnson has finished in the top five in all nine of her Thursday Thunder races this season.
With one week to go there are just 19 points separating the top four drivers, including Johnson, from a points title in the Masters Series,
Johnson is currently in fourth place with 851 points. Plemons is one point ahead of Johnson in third place with 852 points.
Moseley in second place with 865 points, with Nichols closing in on the championship with 870 points.
HICKS TO MAKE HIS LEGENDS CAR DEBUT TONIGHT: Joshua Hicks, a rising eighth grader at East Coweta Middle School, is about to leave his Bandolero car behind and move into a bigger and faster Legends Car.
Hicks is expected to make his first appearance in a Legends race tonight
on the dirt track at Senoia Speedway. Hicks won a Bandolero points title at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Thursday Thunder early in his racing career, but the teenaged driver has been moving toward a Legends racer for a couple of years.
Tonight, he will strap himself into a rebuilt car that once belonged to his father Scott.
Hicks might also make one last run in his Bandolero machine next week to close out the Thursday Thunder Bandolero Outlaw Division season at AMS.
He has only raced at AMS six times this season, but still should finish in the top-10 in the points chase.
He comes into the last race in seventh place, but has turned in five top-five finishes.
Hicks started his racing career in a Bandolero car nearly six years ago when he got a car for Christmas.