Legends and Bandolero cars took to the quarter-mile Thunder Ring at Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon for the fourth and final event in the 2016 AMS Road Course Championship. Following the day's racing events, annual award winners were revealed at the year-end banquet inside the Marcy Scott Media Center.
Rookie Bandolero Division
Brody Graham of Flowery Branch took the green flag from the pole position in the Rookie Bandolero Division feature to begin the afternoon's lineup, but it was Cameron Potter who stole the lead and held on to it for the first seven laps.
On the eighth lap, as Graham attempted to retake the lead, contact between him and Potter led to a caution, which allowed Suwanee's Carson Ruark, who had started on the outside of the front row, to grab the lead. Ruark seized the opportunity and held on to the top spot for the remaining 13 laps to seal the victory, while Graham finished second and Potter third.
Entering the afternoon, Nathan Jackson of Stockbridge led in the Bandits Division standings by 14 points with just 20 laps between him and a championship. After winning the pole, Jackson led all 20 of those laps for his second victory of the series to make his title a sure thing, as he navigated in the lead through a handful of cautions behind him.
Finishing second was Kenneth Henderson of Alto, ahead of third-place finisher Keaton Hendrix of Homerville. Grant Thompson of Mobile, Alabama and Monroe's Max Hennebaul rounded out the top-5.
In the Outlaws Division feature, Shelby Ruark of Suwanee won the pole and led the first two laps, but trouble would strike on the third lap as she spun on the fourth turn, bringing out the caution and making way for Michael Gannon of Canton to take the lead on the ensuing restart.
Gannon never looked back and led each of the final 18 laps for the victory. Fayetteville's Blaze Crawford entered the race with an 18-point edge in the division standings over the second-place driver and finished second in the race for the four-race championship. Trey Tadrzak of Stockbridge, Blaze Maddox of Locust Grove and Ashton Whitener of Monticello finished in order, each scoring top-5 finishes.
Young Lions Division
Like Crawford, Connor Younginer of Stockbridge also held an 18-point lead in the standings in the Young Lions Division entering Saturday's finale and notched his own second-place finish to polish off the series title comfortably ahead of the competition.
Cody Hall of Griffin won the pole and led the entire first half of the race, but after a mid-race caution, fellow Griffin resident Hunter Johnson used a strong restart to surge into the lead, where he remained for the final 10-lap half of the feature. Hall would finish in third behind Younginer, while Ricky Springer of McDonough and Cale Hall of Griffin finished fourth and fifth respectively.
In the combined Semi-Pro/Pro Division feature, Kaden Honeycutt of Bridge City, Texas sat on the pole and led flag to flag for the victory, while Dawson Fletcher of Canton, Dylan Murry of Cumming, Corey Heim of Marietta and Jason Treschl of LaGrange rounded out the top-5.
Brandon Brock finished second among Semi-Pro Division drivers to finish off his division championship, and Murry wrapped up his own title nine points ahead of Josh Hicks of Senoia, who finished sixth in the race and fifth among Pro Division Drivers.
After early contact in the Masters Division feature's first lap thinned the field down to just six drivers, Phillip Young of Dallas, who started on the outside of the front row, led all 20 laps for his first victory of the season. Young entered the race in second place in the division standings, 20 points behind Covington's Tony Armbruster, who had won each of the first three races in the series, but it wasn't enough to close the gap, as Armbruster finished in second place to earn the championship.
Behind Armbruster, Dennis Hecht of Hoschton, Randy Shubert of Conyers and Barry Bowen of Covington finished in the top-5 in order.
Year-End Awards Banquet
At the year-end AMS Legends banquet Saturday night, annual awards were given to drivers who performed best in his or her category during all events in 2016. The winners were as follows:
Most Improved Driver: Tony Armbruster
Joey Logano Breakthrough Driver of the Year: Clay Thompson
Bandolero Rookie of the Year: Michael Gannon
Legends Rookie of the Year: Cale Hall
Top Dog (Best-Looking Car): Grant Thompson
Reed Sorenson Most Popular Driver: Rafe Slate
Family Award: The Younginers
David Ragan Sportsman of the Year: Dylan Murry
President's Award: Mark Swan
Complete results from Saturday's finale of the 2016 AMS Road Course Championships on the Thunder Ring are as follows:
Rookie Bandolero Division
1. Carson Ruark (Suwanee)
2. Brody Graham (Flowery Branch)
3. Cameron Potter (Covington)
4. Gianni Esposito (Dacula)
1. Nathan Jackson (Stockbridge)
2. Kenneth Henderson (Alto)
3. Keaton Hendrix (Homerville)
4. Grant Thompson (Mobile, AL)
5. Max Hennebaul (Monroe)
6. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge)
7. Justin Campbell (Griffin)
8. Logan Nalley (Canton)
9. Wil Griffis (Homerville)
10. Michael Mohwish (Cumming)
11. Samantha Bart (Monroe)
Division champion: Nathan Jackson
1. Michael Gannon (Canton)
2. Blaze Crawford (Fayetteville)
3. Trey Tadrzak (Stockbridge)
4. Blaze Maddox (Locust Grove)
5. Ashton Whitener (Monticello)
6. Shelby Ruark (Suwanee)
Division champion: Blaze Crawford
Young Lions Division
1. Hunter Johnson (Griffin)
2. Connor Younginer (Stockbridge)
3. Cody Hall (Griffin)
4. Ricky Springer (McDonough)
5. Cale Hall (Griffin)
6. Clay Thompson (Bowersville)
7. Rafe Slate (Eatonton)
8. Annabelle Mohwish (Cumming)
Division champion: Connor Younginer
1. Jason Treschl (LaGrange)
2. Brandon Brock (Hampton)
3. Andrew Dollar (Atlanta)
4. David Lawrence (Senoia)
Division champion: Brandon Brock
1. Kaden Honeycutt (Bridge City, TX)
2. Dawson Fletcher (Canton)
3. Dylan Murray (Cumming)
4. Corey Heim (Marietta)
5. Josh Hicks (Senoia)
6. Mike Weed (Franklin)
Division champion: Dylan Murry
1. Phillip Young (Dallas)
2. Tony Armbruster (Covington)
3. Dennis Hecht (Hoschton)
4. Randy Shubert (Conyers)
5. Barry Bowen (Covington)
6. Lisa Scott (Dallas)
7. Wes Potter (Covington)
8. Robert Cheney (Stockbridge)
9. Mark Younginer (Stockbridge)
Division champion: Tony Armbruster
For more information, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.