Atlanta Motor Speedway's 11th annual Thursday Thunder weekly summer racing series is poised to kick off on June 5.

Drivers will come from across America to do battle in the 10-week series, every Thursday night from June 5 to August 7, with a fireworks extravaganza planned on July 3. Drivers as young as eight-years-old will compete on the "Thunder Ring," AMS' paved quarter-mile frontstretch oval and on three nights, the Thunder Roadsters will be turned loose on the ultra-fast 1.54-mile quad-oval. Weekly autograph sessions will also take place on the frontstretch.

Featuring a full slate of competitive Legends, Thunder Roadster and Bandolero racing, as well as concourse activities, intermission spectacles and grandstand games, Thursday Thunder is an affordably-priced activity that offers something for spectators of all ages. Tickets are just $5 for adults and $1 for children 6-11 (children five and under are free) for each evening of fun and grass-roots racing.

 Among this year's unique entertainment attractions will be a jet car will soaring down AMS' eighth-mile pit road drag strip on July 24, countless 1969 Dodge Charger "General Lee's" will be on display on June 26 and one of the largest fireworks displays in Georgia can be seen during Thursday Thunder on July 3.

 "Thursday Thunder is the most affordably-priced family activity in the metro Atlanta area," said Brandon Hutchison, AMS vice president of events. "The entertainment value on Thursday nights is second to none and it is our goal to send everyone in attendance home with a smile on their face."

 Drivers will compete in eight different classes for the right to be called champions at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Two current Sprint Cup Series young guns got their start on AMS' Thunder Ring. Peachtree City's Reed Sorenson and Unadilla, Ga. native David Ragan both competed early in their racing careers at AMS.

Group and children's birthday parties are also available during Thursday Thunder. Gates open at 6 p.m., heat races start at 6:15 p.m. and feature races start around 7:50 p.m. Fans interested can call (770) 946-4211 for additional information or visit www.legendsofga.com or www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.

 

Scheduled 2008 Thursday Thunder Promotional Dates

 

Thursday, June 5 - Papa John's Pizza Season Opener

Intermission: Kids will jostle for candy and change in the always popular Candy and Coin Scramble.

 Thursday, June 12 - Mascot Mania Night

Intermission: Atlanta mascots will race around the Thunder Ring in golf carts to determine who's the fastest mascot in Georgia.

 Thursday, June 19 - Atreus Homes Military Night

Intermission: The Amazing Afghan / Al Qaeda Obliteration. A crane will lift a retired Atlanta Motor Speedway tour van 125-feet in the air and drop it to its demise.

 Thursday, June 26 - Hillbilly Night

Intermission: Countless 1969 Dodge Charger "General Lee's" will be on display and celebrities from the hit television show "The Dukes of Hazzard" will participate in a celebrity drag race down pit road.

 Thursday, July 3 - Papa John's Pizza Holiday Sparktacular

The largest fireworks show in the history of Thursday Thunder will illuminate the night sky immediately following racing action on July 3.

 Thursday, July 10 - Battle of the Badges

Intermission: Local law enforcement officers will square off against area firefighters in a no-holds-barred slugfest in street cars around the Thunder Ring for bragging rights.

 Thursday, July 17 - Faster Pastor 2008

Intermission: Pastors from local churches will face off in street cars around the Thunder Ring. Church congregations can support their pastor by wearing coordinated colors for their church.

 Thursday, July 24 - Georgia Power Joe Momma Night

Anyone named Joe who brings their momma to Thursday Thunder gains free admission for both themselves and their mother.  

Intermission: The Thriller Viper Jet Car will tear down the drag strip at speeds in excess of 200 mph.

 Thursday, July 31 - Kids' Bike and Trike Races

Intermission: For the penultimate round of Thursday Thunder, kids are welcome to bring their own two or three-wheeled bicycles to race during intermission. Classes will be divided by age with trophies and prizes being awarded.

 Thursday, August 7 - Papa John's Pizza Championship Night and Fan Appreciation Night

Champions will be crowned on the 10th and final night. Hundreds prizes are given out on this final evening.