Points At A Premium As Final Weeks Of Thursday Thunder Wind Down
Monday, July 28, 2003
As the summer race season winds down, many short tracks have all but declared their champions, with points races too spread to change over the next few weeks. Not at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After eight weeks of competition, four divisions are at their tightest point of the season.
Two divisions - the Pace Car Fuel Centers Outlaws and the Legends Semi-Pro - have a tie at the top, with two drivers sharing the lead going into the last two weeks of competition on the ¼-mile Thunder Ring.
In the Semi-Pro division, Griffin¿s Bubba Harry has won four races this season. He is tied in the division championship race with Jeremy Kalina, another Griffin resident, who has two victories this season. Both Harry and Kalina have already won championships at Atlanta and know how to perform under pressure. Harry was last season¿s Chargers champion, while Kalina picked up last year¿s Young Lions title.
Darrell Banks of Sharpsburg has won five of the eight Outlaws races run at Atlanta Motor Speedway this season, but he remains tied with Griffin¿s Jody Pilkenton for the division¿s top spot. Pilkenton has one win and four second place finishes.
Twenty-six-year-old racer Doug Stevens, an ARCA and ASA racing veteran, leads the Pro division by almost 20 points. But as a three-time Pro champion, Stevens doesn¿t want to take home another. The McDonough native will head to Nashville for the 10th week of competition at Atlanta to take part in the ARCA race, thereby handing the title to one of two young guns currently tied for second. Hampton¿s Chris Dilbeck and Doug Ludwig of Fayetteville will fight it out for the championship in the last two weeks.
In the Atlanta Dental Team Bandits division, only three points separate four-time 2003 winner Hunter Robbins (Montgomery, Ala.) and Bandolero newcomer Casey Roderick of Lawrenceville. Both racers have previously had success in the World Karting Association. Roderick has won three of the last four Bandolero Bandits features at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
With two nights of Thursday Thunder remaining, the action is sure to heat up, as these drivers try to capture the track championship. Don¿t miss the excitement of local short-track racing at its best as the gates open this Thursday at 6 p.m. Tickets are just $5 for adults, $1 for ages 6-11 and children under 6 are free. Call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at 770-946-4211 for more information.