Thursday Thunder Notebook: Hung-Mania is TONIGHT!
Wednesday, July 7, 2004
For Atlanta-area William Hung fans, the big day is here ... Hung will be live TONIGHT at Atlanta Motor Speedway¿s Thursday Thunder.
Known best for his heartfelt and energetic performance of ¿She Bangs¿ on this year¿s American Idol competition, Hung will sign autographs for 30 minutes after the gates open at 5:30 p.m. and sing several songs throughout the night of racing.
Thursday Thunder, a 10-week summer racing series, showcases some of the best young racing talent in the country each week. But there is also much more at this family-oriented weekly event, including ticket merchandise giveaways, games, prizes and special guests like Hung.
Hung, a civil engineering student at UC Berkeley, became an American icon after his January performance on American Idol. Judge Simon Cowell blasted Hung for his off-key singing and jerky dance moves, but fans loved the quirky and sincere singer.
Since his appearance, Hung has become an inspiration to many, even recently releasing an album called ¿Inspiration¿ that includes encouraging messages to his fans. That album debuted at No. 34 on Billboard¿s Top 200 by selling 38,000 copies for the week.
Because of the record crowds expected for next Thursday¿s events, fans are encouraged to arrive early at the speedway.
Another reason to arrive early is the 500 goody bags that will be provided to the first 500 fans through the gate on July 15. The goody bags will be provided by the evening¿s sponsor, Papa John¿s.
INJURY UPDATE: McDonough¿s Doug Stevens continues to recover from injuries sustained at a May 7 ASA crash at Kentucky Speedway. At last week¿s Thursday Thunder, Stevens was walking with a handmade crutch for the first time since the accident.
Stevens, who works on many of the Legends cars that compete at Thursday Thunder and has won the Pro division championship a record four times, is intent on returning to the race track as soon as possible.
He has currently set his goal to return as Thursday, August 5 ¿ the final night of Thursday Thunder racing.
WSB BATTLE: They know traffic, but can they drive in it? We¿ll find out at this week¿s celebrity intermission race, as WSB traffic reporters Capt. Herb Emory and Jason Durden duke it out in the six-lap WSB Traffic Jam race.
Emory and Durden will try to pilot beat-up junker cars around the quarter-mile Thunder Ring track, and whichever one makes it to the checkered flag first ¿ or at all ¿ wins.