The Pep Boys Auto Semi Pro division began with Scott Hensley on the pole. On lap three, Justin Swilling passed Hensley for the race lead. Swilling's left-rear tire was smoking through every turn, allowing Austin Hill to close the gap on the leader. Hill made a pass for the lead with two laps to go, clinching his second Thursday Thunder win in the Semi-Pro division.
Jim Daniel brought the field to the green for the Masters feature. On the first lap, Randy Thornton took over the top spot. On lap nine, Skip Nichols piloted his way to the front, pulling away from the field. Nichols scored his 19th Thursday Thunder Masters win with over a half a straightaway lead.
The Greencastle Dental Bandits race had Evan Bell on the point. Kyle Benjamin worked Bell over for several laps, taking the top spot on lap three. On lap nine, a three-wide battle ensued for the lead with the cars of Mason Massey, Bell and Benjamin. Massey was the victor in the bout and the eventual race winner. Massey logged his second Thursday Thunder Bandits win.
The Young Guns and Outlaws divisions ran in a combined class with Blake Jones out front. On the first lap, Dusty Cunningham rocketed his way to the lead. Chad Finchum took advantage of trouble Cunningham encountered on the frontstretch to become the race leader on lap seven. Finchum led the rest of the circuits and celebrated in victory lane.
Brian Meredith paced the field to the start for the Roadsters race. On lap 13, AMS president and general manager Ed Clark edged his way past Meredith for the top spot. Brian Weimer was on Clark's rear bumper for the closing laps, making contact lap after lap, but Clark valiantly held off Weimer for the win. Clark posted his fourth Thursday Thunder Roadster win.
The Chargers division started with Rick Geddes as the pole sitter. Geddes led every lap to score his first Thursday Thunder win.
Zac Kittle took the green flag to begin the Pro feature. On lap seven, Ryan Gandee got into the back of leader Kittle, causing both cars to make contact. Kittle and Gandee were sent to the rear of the field for the restart due to being part of the caution. Kyle Lowry inherited the race lead and took advantage of the opportunity. Despite a hard-charging Billy Fulson, Lowry claimed his first Thursday Thunder Pro feature win.
Atlanta Motor Speedway introduced the Promoter's Choice races for the 2008 Thursday Thunder season. The Promoter's Choice race showcases competitors who have yet to win a heat or feature race during the Thursday Thunder season in an eight-lap feature event.
The Bandolero Promoter's Choice race launched with Shawn Wortham out front. On the first lap, Jordan Rogers piloted to the front to lead every lap to post the win.
Jim Daniel brought the field to the green for the Legends Promoter's Choice race. On the last lap Amber Colvin nosed past Daniel in turn two and went on to claim the win.
Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder will return on June 12 for the second of 10 weeks of Legends, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing. Next week will feature the Mascot Mania night where many of the major Atlanta sports mascots will race each other in a golf cart race during intermission. Visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com for information on Thursday Thunder.
To test drive your own Legends machine, or for more information about Legends racing, call Legends of Georgia director Peter Horne III at (770) 707-2977 or visit www.legendsofga.com.
Week 1 Results:
Pep Boys Auto Semi-Pro:
1. Austin Hill (Winston), 2. Justin Swilling (Cohutta), 3. Dylan Ames (Harvest, Ala.), 4. Scott Hensley (Olive Branch, Miss.), 5. Chase Moody (Griffin), 6. Davey Matthews (Douglasville), 7. Evan Swilling (Cohutta), 8. Ronnie Bassett (Winston-Salem, N.C.), 9. Bryce Walker (Weatherford, Texas), 10. Cody Haskins substitute driving for Kyle Plott (Marietta), 11. Zach Zimmerly (Davidson, N.C.), 12. Judson Kittle (Watkinsville), 13. Tyler Armstrong (Fayetteville), 14. Chase Elliott (Dawsonville), 15. Currie Pierce (Griffin), 16. Rawlin West (Locust Grove), 17. Tanner Berryhill (Tulsa, Okla.), 18. Zach Weaver (Columbus), 19. Carl Chapman (Bonett), 20. Jonathan Chandler (Fayetteville).
1. Skip Nichols (Albany), 2. Randy Thornton (Oxford), 3. Brad Shelnutt (McDonough), 4. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 5. Jim Daniel (Thomaston), 6. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon), 7. Mike Abercrombie (Jackson).
Greencastle Dental Bandits:
1. Mason Massey (Winston), 2. Evan Bell (Buford), 3. Kyle Benjamin (Simpsonville, S.C.), 4. Grant Crane (Zebulon), 5. Coleman Moody (Griffin), 6. Matson Houghton, 7. Madeline Crane (Milledgeville), 8. Kason Plott (Marietta), 9. Brady Boswell (Watkinsville), 10. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 11. Taylor Jorgensen, DQ - John Holliman.
1. Chad Fincham (Knoxville, Tenn.), 2. Jacob Wallace (Griffin), 3. Blake Jones (Sevierville, Tenn.), 4. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), 5. Will Martin (Douglasville), 6. Shawn Wortham (Woodstock), 7. Garrett Smithley (Peachtree City), 8. Jordan Rogers (Thomaston), 9. Dusty Cunningham (Madison), 10. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 11. Dalton Robertson (Flowery Branch), 12. Jonathan Lybrand (Newnan). 13. Jake Armstrong (Fayetteville), 14. Dallan Wortham (Woodstock).
1. Bret Hardin (Acworth).
1. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 2. Brian Weimer (Cumming), 3. Jim Gresham (Stockbridge), 4. Dwight Pilgram substitute driving for Johnny Rucker (Griffin), 5. Steve Crane (Zebulon), 6. Bubba Harry (Griffin), 7. Brian Meredith (Locust Grove).
1. Rick Geddes (Newnan), 2. Mike Weed (Franklin), 3. Jordan Coker (Powder Springs), 4. Mark Swan (Athens), 5. Amber Colvin (Tallahassee, Fla.), 6. Chris Bowie (Douglasville), 7. Mark Younginer, 8. Melina Rolo (Cumming), 9. Jacob Bowie (Douglasville), 10. Jerry Silvers (Calhoun).
1. Kyle Lowry (Covington), 2. Billy Fulson (Brooks), 3. Parker Hammons (Midland, N.C.), 4. Tina Johnson (Senoia), 5. Matt Stover (Gastonia, N.C.), 6. Spencer Mosley (McDonough), 7. Will Prance (Canton), 8. Zach Kittle (Watkinsville), 9. Ryan Gandee (McDonough).
Promoter's Choice - Bandolero:
1. Jordan Rogers, 2. Brady Boswell, 3. Shawn Wortham, 4. Alex Coffey, 5. Matt Crane.
Promoter's Choice - Legends:
1. Amber Colvin, 2. Jim Daniel, 3. Mark Abercrombie, 4. Chris Bowie, 5. Melina Rolo, 6. Rawlin West.