McDonough's Durflinger Already a Pint-Size Favorite at Thursday Thunder
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
When Peyton Durflinger climbed from his car after the first practice of Thursday Thunder, everyone in the garage area took notice. Even though he¿d never raced at Atlanta Motor Speedway before last week, 8-year-old Durflinger, had already become a favorite among mothers, girlfriends and little sisters in the garage area.
Durflinger ¿ the smallest driver in the Bandolero Bandits division ¿ is more than half the size of some of his Bandits competitors, all of which are between the ages of 8 and 11.
¿He powers a car that¿s 750 pounds and he¿s ¿ what ¿ 2 pounds?¿ asked Bandolero Young Guns driver Daniel Moore. ¿It¿s really kind of amazing someone that small can drive like he can.¿
Last time Durflinger climbed from his car ¿ after a wreck in a preseason practice ¿ his father thought the young driver might not ever want to get back in the car. But Durflinger was far more eager to get back in his red No. 8 Bandolero than his father was.
¿Peyton¿s excited, I¿m nervous,¿ Tony Durflinger said. Peyton agreed.
¿I¿m excited ¿ ready to go, only the car¿s not,¿ he said. Unwilling to think about anything but getting back in his racecar, Peyton decided it was time to repair his ill-handing car.
¿It just doesn¿t feel right daddy,¿ he said. He crossed the parking lot and retrieved a jack from the garage, reaching over his head to move the metal Bandolero jack and passing the handle to his dad.
¿I guess we¿re going to do something to it; my driver says we have a problem,¿ Tony said.
Watching his son head to the grid for the first time, Tony Durflinger took a deep breath and crossed the grass to wait alongside his young son.
¿I know I¿m far more nervous than he is,¿ he said.
With the help of the last minute adjustments, Durflinger, a McDonough native, finished 11th in his first race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He plans to run all ten Thursday Thunder series events.
You can see this young driver and all the other budding stars of Thursday Thunder racing each Thursday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gates open at 6 p.m. and action begins immediately. Feature races begin at 7:30 p.m. and conclude by 10:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Gate 13 on event nights, and adults are just $5, children 6-11 $1 and children 5 and under are free.