Hampton, Ga.'s Doug Stevens has found the key component to tackling the Thunder Ring, Atlanta Motor Speedway's frontstretch quarter-mile oval and he has the credentials to prove it. Accumulating 27 victories and five Adrenalin Powersports Pro Division championships, Stevens is well qualified to give advice to drivers of all ages trying to capture the checkered flag during Thursday Thunder, AMS' weekly racing series.
"Atlanta is a tough track," Stevens said. "Slower is faster there and that is hard to explain to people. If you want to go fast at Atlanta Motor Speedway in a Legends car, slow down."
Stevens' understanding of both the track and the mechanics of a Legends car led him to open Advanced Technology Motorsports in 1998, a business that prepares Legends cars for customers of all skill levels.
"It all started for me racing a Legends car during Thursday Thunder at Atlanta Motor Speedway," the 30-year-old Stevens said. "I was having pretty good luck on the track and people started asking me what I was doing with my car. I saw an opportunity there and decided to start my business."
Stevens also noted that driving a race car is supposed to be fun, but an ill-handling race car can quickly take the enjoyment out of an evening.
"Atlanta's Thunder Ring is one of the toughest tracks in the nation to race on and if your car isn't set-up properly, the learning curve is steeper and you end up having a lot less fun driving the car."
Helping people have fun and win races is Stevens' primary goal and his list of former Legends customers includes current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers Reed Sorenson and David Ragan and Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Joey Logano.
"Watching these young drivers work their way through the ranks is very rewarding," Stevens remarked. "To know we had a small part in their success makes it all worthwhile at the end of the day."
Most recently Stevens has become involved with late model stock cars, building them from the ground up, but still enjoys wheeling a Legends car around the Thunder Ring when time permits.
"I enjoy the challenge of racing at AMS," Stevens said. "While I don't get to do it nearly as much as I would like to, it is still nice getting out there when I can.
For more information about Thursday Thunder, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211