The ninth season of Thursday Thunder is only 13 days away, and tonight at Atlanta Motor Speedway, many competitors took the opportunity to get some extra seat time with 20-lap feature races in preparation for the summer series.
The Bandolero Bandits were the first division of the evening to take the green flag with Kyle Plott (Marietta) on the pole. Plott held the top spot for three circuits around the Thunder Ring before surrendering the lead to Ronnie Bassett (Winston Salem, N.C.). Bassett led the remainder of the race.
Trey Ridley (Ball Ground) took the Chargers to the green flag and led the first seven laps before handing the lead to Troy Radford (Dalton). Radford held the top spot for two laps when a challenge for the lead from Ridley sent Ridley spinning, bringing out the caution. Radford reassumed the point and led the next eight laps when a battle for the lead with Jason Turner (Griffin) sent both cars spinning and brought out another caution. Justin Swilling, who was making his first start in a Legends car, assumed the lead and led the final two laps in a green-white-checkered finish.
The Masters and Pro divisions were combined for the 20-lap feature race and Master Brian Weimer (Cumming) started on the pole. Weimer led the first 16 laps before being overtaken by Pro Kyle Fowler's (Smyrna) red '34 Chevy coupe. Fowler led the remaining four laps, claiming the combined feature win.
The Young Guns and Outlaws were also combined this evening, resulting in an 18-car field. Sam McAulay (Huntersville, N.C.) led every lap of the feature race to claim his first victory ever at the Thunder Ring. Austin Hill (Winston) and Mathew Stover (Gastonia N.C.) battled hard the entire evening for second place, with the runner-up position on the podium eventually going to Stover.
The Semi-Pro division rolled off the grid next with Taylor Hull (Winston) on the pole. Hull amassed a large lead and was untouchable for the majority of the race, leading all 20 laps en route to the victory.
The Roadsters were the last division of the evening to tackle the difficult Thunder Ring. Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager Ed Clark (Peachtree City) started on the pole and following the evenings trend, led every lap of the race, piloting his red No.1 Mid-State RV Thunder Roadster to an easy win.
The upcoming 10-week Thursday Thunder season starts on June 1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The ninth season will be comprised of a full night's racing excitement, along with fun intermission activities and wacky grandstand games.
To test drive your own Legends machine, or for more information about Legends racing, call Legends of Georgia director Pete Horne at (770) 707-2977 or visit www.legendsofga.com. Bandits 1. Ronnie Bassett (Winston Salem, N.C.), 2. Kyle Plott (Marietta), 3. Dylan Ames (Huntsville, Ala.), 4. Kyle Benjamin (Simpsonville, N.C.), 5. Cody Blackburn (Stanley, N.C.), 6. Mason Massey (Winston), 7. Evan Swilling (Cohutta), 8. No. 2 car, 9. Matt Dooley (Brooks), 10. Evan Bell (Buford), 11. Grayson York (Rocky Face), 12. Jordan Rogers (Thomaston), 13. Jake Moore (Mobile, Ala.), 14. Charlie Gresham (Hampton), 15. Dakota Silvers (Rocky Face), 16. Coleman Moody (Watkinsville), 17. Scott Hensley (Olive Branch, Miss.), 18. Dillon Bassett (Winston Salem, N.C.), 19. Judson Kittle (Watkinsville) 20. Grant Crane (Zebulon), 21. Tyler Pennington (Winston). Chargers 1. Justin Swilling (Cohutta), 2. Will Hannah (Newnan), 3. Trey Ridley (Ball Ground), 4. Jason Turner (Griffin), 5. Mike Conrad (Cumming), 6. Leslie Cash (Brooks), 7. Troy Radford (Dalton). Masters 1. Brian Weimer (Cumming), 2. Sam McCullough (Atlanta), 3. Johnny Rucker (McDonough), 4. Dwight Pilgram (McDonough), 5. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 6. Bill Henry (Kennesaw), 7. Jimmy Wade (Griffin), 8. Jim Daniel (Thomaston). Pro 1. Kyle Fowler (Smyrna), 2. Jeremy Kalina (Griffin), 3. Adam Gay (Dublin). Outlaws 1. Trevor Cauvle (Rockwell, N.C.), 2. Chris Morgan (Kannapolis, N.C.), 3. Jonathan Chandler. Young Guns 1. Sam McAulay (Huntersville, N.C.), 2. Matthew Stover (Gastonia, N.C.), 3. Kendall Sellars (Kannapolis, N.C.), 4. Austin Hill (Winston), 5. Will Prance (Canton), 6. Zac Kittle (Watkinsville), 7. Chris Moore (Salisbury N.C.), 8. Jordan Coker (Powder Springs), 9. Chris Seibert (Hampton), 10. Stan Hammons (Milner), 11. Currie Pierce (Griffin), 12. Dustyn Cunningham (Rex), 13. Maddy Moody (Watkinsville), 14. Tyler Armstrong (Alpharetta), 15. Ty Bennett (Loganville). Semi-Pro 1. Taylor Hull (Winston), 2. Billy Fulson (Brooks), 3. Max Gresham (Hampton), 4. Ryan Gandee (McDonough), 5. Daniel Moore (Griffin), 6. Steven Bloodworth (McIntire), 7. Kyle Lowry (Covington), 8. Chase Moody (Watkinsville), 9. Justin Stauffer (Gainesville), 10. Jody Tallant (Cumming), 11. Daniel Lingerfelt (Gainesville), 12. Donald McIntosh (Dawsonville). Roadsters 1. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 2. Paige Monette (Alpharetta), 3. Justin Stauffer (Gainesville), 4. Bob Monette (Alpharetta).