Tonight's intermission featured a match race between eight area pastors all vying to have the honor of providing the invocation for the upcoming NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Georgia 500 race on October 28 at AMS. With a nun waving the green flag signaling the start of the race, the pastors darted into turn one. The pastors participating were Mike Patterson from Liberty Hill Baptist Church (Hampton), Stan Burrong from Glen Haven Church (McDonough), Chuck Holt from Grace Way Church (Hampton), Tom Summers from Carver Road Baptist Church (Griffin), Paul Dennis from Royal Baptist Church (Newnan), Chuck Lewis from Anchor Community Church (Locust Grove), Michael McNeese from New Brooklyn Baptist Church (Temple) and the defending champion, Brooks Everett from Community Bible Church (Stockbridge).
Patterson started on the pole, but fourth-place Holt drove to the front like a NEXTEL Cup star in only one lap. Holt kept a stronghold on the point, leading the remainder of the laps to win the race despite having a passenger side door hanging open the last 10 laps.
There was also plenty of action in the grandstands tonight as Thursday Thunder fan, Jeff Sharrett from Jonesboro proposed to his girlfriend, Sandy Green of Hampton in front of the crowd. A delighted Green said yes in front of the enthused audience, who were delighted to share the special moment with the happy couple.
Robert Spence started on the pole in the Tanger Outlet Center Masters feature. Dwight Pilgram, who started third, was all over Spence's bumper by lap-five trying to take over the top spot. Jeff Haynie put pressure on Pilgram, claiming the second spot, allowing Spence to pull away. Haynie closed the gap with Spence and by the last lap in turn four, they were side-by-side providing fans with one of AMS' famous photo finishes, with Spence emerging as the victor.
The Adrenalin Powersports Pro feature race began with Ted Studley out front. A five car pile-up coming to the green flag took out the cars of Jeremy Kalina, Ryan Gandee, Billy Fulson and Casey Roderick. Max Gresham took the early lead, putting distance between him and the rest of the field. Gresham led the remainder of the laps to claim second win of the season.
Tina Johnson led the field to the green flag for the Fuddrucker's Semi-Pro feature. Johnson held the top spot until lap three when Jeremy Mullinax passed for the lead. On lap 17, Matt Stover made a charge to the front to become the race leader. Stover nabbed his third victory of the summer with Austin Hill and Kyle Lowry rounding out the podium finishers.
The Zaxby's Bandits feature opened with Evan Brown on the point, but by lap two, Evan Swilling became the race leader with Mason Massey hot on his tail. Massey passed Swilling in turn two on lap-nine to take over the top spot. Kyle Plott made a daring move to Massey's inside in turn one with two laps to go and held on to score his first win this season in dramatic fashion.
Fred Miles was the pole-sitter for the Curry's Collision Center Chargers feature, but a bold move by Melissa Wade enabled her to lead the first lap. Alex Roberts took the lead on lap two and jumped in front of the field. On lap 17, Judson Kittle drove past Roberts to take the lead and the eventual checkered flag.
The Back Yard Burgers Roadsters feature had AMS president and general manager, Ed Clark, pacing the field to the green flag. A spectacular crash between Johnny Rucker and Paige Monette ensued on lap three, resulting in a lengthy caution. Once the racing resumed, Clark once again found himself starting on the pole. Despite finishing dead last in his heat race, Clark led every lap en route to his first career Thursday Thunder Roadster win.
Joseph Pilato was the point man for the Greencastle Dental Young Guns feature. Lap five brought out the caution due to an incident involving the leaders, turning over the race lead to Texan, Bryce Walker. Walker took advantage of the track position, holding off a strong Jordan Coker, to snare the victory.
The Morely Company Outlaws feature started with Jerry Silvers as the leader but Alabama's Diggie Bush took over on lap two. Eventual race winner Josh Turner battled with Bush for the majority of the race before contact between the two on lap 14 resulted in Bush retiring to the pits. Turner's sister, Kayla, earned the runner-up spot with Silvers and Bush rounding out the field.
Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder will return on Thursday, July 19 for a night full of Legends, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing. Next week will feature Eagle 106.7 FM's "Joe Momma Night" where any person named Joe, who brings their mother to the race, will both get in free. The intermission race will include five Eagle 106.7 FM's best "Joe Momma" joke winners versus AM morning drive personality Southside Steve in a match race. Finally, AMS will also host the opening ceremonies for the 6-year-old Dizzy Dean Little League World Series.
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.
Tanger Outlet Center Masters:
1. Robert Spence (Atlanta), 2. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon), 3. Dwight Pilgram (Stockbridge), 4. Skip Nichols (Albany), 5. Bill Henry (Kennesaw), 6. Sam McCullough (Snellville), 7. Scott Anderson (Austin, Texas), 8. Brian Weimer (Cumming), 9. Virgil Brown (Concord), 10. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 11. Wade Brewer (Hampton), 12. Steve Fessler (Tyrone), 13. Jim Daniel (Thomaston).
Adrenalin Powersports Pro:
1. Max Gresham (Milner), 2. Andrew Smith (Pooler), 3. Taylor Hull (Winston), 4. Paddy Rodenbeck (Odessa, Fla.), 5. Ted Studley (Niceville, Fla.), 6. Mark Webb, Jr. (Haslet, Texas), 7. Jeremy Kalina (Williamson), 8. Ryan Gandee (McDonough), 9. Billy Fulson (Brooks), 10. Doug Stevens (McDonough) driving for Casey Roderick (Lawrenceville).
1. Matt Stover (Gastonia, N.C.), 2. Austin Hill (Winston), 3. Kyle Lowry (Covington), 4. Zac Kittle (Watkinsville), 5. Jeremy Mullinax (Jasper), 6. Dylan Ames (Huntsville, Ala.), 7. Justin Swilling (Cohutta), 8. Chase Moody (Griffin), 9. Eric Cushman (Stockbridge), 10. Charles Evans (Pasadena, Texas), 11. Zach Zimmerly (Tigard, Ore.), 12. Tyler Armstrong (Fayetteville), 13. Trey Poole (Pine Mountain), 14. Brad Shelnutt (Stockbridge), 15. Jordan Webb (Haslet, Texas), 16. Chris Seibert (Hampton), 17. Jonathan Chandler (Fayetteville), 18. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 19. Ty Dillon (Lewisville, N.C.), 20. L.J. Klemmons (Jackson).
1. Kyle Plott (Marietta), 2. Mason Massey (Winston), 3. Evan Swilling (Cohutta), 4. Dillon Bassett (Winston-Salem, N.C.), 5. Kyle Benjamin (Simpsonville, S.C.), 6. Evan Bell (Buford), 7. Chase Elliott (Blairsville), 8. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), 9. T.J. Michael (Plano, Texas), 10. Evan Brown (Southlake, Texas), 11. Matt Dooley (Brooks), 12. Grant Crane (Zebulon), 13. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 14. Brady Boswell (Watkinsville), 15. Charlie Gresham (Milner), 16. Davey Matthews (Douglasville), 17. Jacob Wallace (Griffin).
Curry's Collision Center Chargers:
1. Judson Kittle (Watkinsville), 2. Currie Pierce (Griffin), 3. Alex Roberts (Monroe), 4. Carl Chapman (Norwood), 5. Will Hannah (Newnan), 6. Fred Miles (Alpharetta), 7. Melissa Wade (Griffin), 8. Mike Weed (Franklin), 9. Will Prance (Canton), 10. Leslie Cash (Brooks), 11. Tyler Burnette (Jefferson), 12. Jai Otwell (Bremen).
Back Yard Burgers Roadsters:
1. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 2. Brian Weimer (Cumming), 3. Dwight Pilgram (McDonough), 4. Johnny Rucker (McDonough), 5. Jim Gresham (Stockbridge), 6. Skip Nichols (Albany), 7. Paige Monette (Alpharetta).
Greencastle Dental Young Guns:
1. Bryce Walker (Wetherford, Texas), 2. Jordan Coker (Powder Springs), 3. Dustyn Cunningham (Madison), 4. Blake Eden (Deland, Fla.), 5. Ronnie Bassett (Winston-Salem, N.C.), 6. Scott Hensley (Olive Branch, MS), 7. Jake Armstrong (Fayetteville), 8. Will Prance (Canton), 9. Dallan Wortham (Woodstock), 10. Joseph Pilato (Cropwell, Ala.), 11. Kyle Nelson (Mansfield, Texas), 12. Shawn Wortham (Woodstock), 13. Rawlin West (Locust Grove).
Morley Company Outlaws:
1. Josh Turner (Concord, N.C.), 2. Kayla Turner (Concord, N.C.), 3. Jerry Silvers (Calhoun), 4. Steven "Diggie" Bush (Seale, Ala.).