Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder commenced under a full moon for week three action as the evening featured nine entertaining contests.
Nick Hazelwood sat on the pole for the Greencastle Dental Bandits race, the first competition of the evening. In a race shortened by four cautions, Kason Plott and Mason Massey battled for position and exchanged the lead repeatedly. Massey shot ahead of Plott on lap nine and held the lead position through the checkered flag for his third-consecutive victory in three weeks.
The combined classes of Young Guns and Outlaws began with Corey Gordon's No. 23 vehicle in front, a position he refused to relinquish. Gordon led wire-to-wire through the checkered flag for the win, but by just inches as Dustyn Cunningham's No. 81 car surged towards the finish line for second.
Rick Geddes took the green flag to start the Masters division. Geddes held the top spot for three laps before Jeff Haynie of Zebulon captured the lead on lap four. Building a sizeable advantage throughout the race, Haynie took the checkered flag with a quarter-track lead over the field.
The Chargers class started with Mark Younginer pacing the field. On lap three, Mike Weed piloted his No. 29 vehicle to the lead. After a caution tightened the field, Amber Colvin pressured Weed's lead position, but Weed held strong to finish in first and claim the points lead in the Chargers series.
Contending on Atlanta Motor Speedway's full 1.54-mile quad oval for the first-time ever at Thursday Thunder, the Roadsters race began with Dale Akridge out front. Using a push from Bubba Harry's No. 13 car, Johnny Rucker shot to the lead coming out of the second turn. Drafting together, Rucker and Harry developed an enormous lead before Harry attempted to pass Rucker in the race's final corner. Rucker pinched down on Harry's line and remained in the lead by just feet to claim victory. Thursday Thunder's first full-track race featured an average speed of 133.064 mph.
Matt Stover held the pole position for the Charter Communications Pro feature. On the second lap, Kyle Lowry bumped and jumped past Stover to claim the early advantage. Stover fought back to lead on lap nine, but Billy Fulson would become the race's new leader a lap later. Fulson extended his lead to 20- car lengths to win the race and retain his points lead in the series. The win marks back-to-back wins for Fulson and gives him five-career Pro wins.
The No. 83 car of Tyler Armstrong paced the field to the green for the Pep Boys Auto Semi-Pro division. Phillip Bell pressured Armstrong in the early laps, but Armstrong's No. 83 began to extend the advantage in the second half of the race. Davey Matthews soon began nipping at Armstrong's heels before traffic caused Matthews to fall back. Armstrong held the lead from the start to claim the Semi-Pro victory. The Pep Boys Auto Semi-Pro division has remained caution free in the season's first three races.
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 Bandoleros Promoter's Choice race began with Garrett Smithley on the pole. Smithley maintained the lead for the first four of eight laps before Luke Behnke's No. 46 car shot to the lead. Behnke would retain the lead position to the finish to claim his first career victory.
Mark Younginer brought the field to the front for the Legends Promoter's Choice race. Younginer immediately leapt ahead of the competition and cruised to his first career win.
Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder will return on June 26 for the fourth of 10 weeks of Legends, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing. Next week is Hillbilly Night, featuring Dukes of Hazzard star, John Schneider taking on Scott Elrod, known for his role of "Cash" on the ABC hit series, Men in Trees, in the Chargers division. For more information, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
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 3 Results:
Greencastle Dental Bandits:
1. Mason Massey (Winston), 2. Kyle Benjamin (Simpsonville, S.C.), 3. Kason Plott (Marietta), 4. Evan Bell (Buford), 5. Bayley Currey (Driftwood, Texas), 6. Dillon Bassett, 7. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 8. John Holleman, 9. Dalton Hill (Winston), 10. Brady Boswell (Watkinsville), 11. Madeline Crane (Milledgeville), 12. Matson Houghton, 13. Coleman Moody (Griffin), 14. Tyler Moseley (McDonough), 15. Taylor Jorgensen, 16. Nick Hazelwood (Alpharetta).
1. Corey Gordon (Charlotte, N.C.), 2. Dusty Cunningham (Madison), 3. Jake Armstrong (Fayetteville), 4. Blake Jones (Sevierville, Tenn.), 5. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), 6. Jacob Wallace (Griffin), 7. Matt Wallace (Charlotte, N.C.), 8. Jonathan Lybrand (Newnan), 9. Shawn Wortham (Woodstock), 10. Jordan Rogers (Thomaston), 11. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 12. Garrett Smithley (Peachtree City), 13. Dallan Wortham (Woodstock), 14. Will Martin (Douglasville).
1. Brett Hardin (Acworth).
1. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon), 2. Rick Geddes (Newnan), 3. Skip Nichols (Albany), 4. Robert Spence (Atlanta), 5. Randy Thornton (Oxford), 6. Jim Daniel (Thomaston), 7. Brad Shelnutt (McDonough), 8. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 9. Mike Abercrombie (Jackson).
1. Mike Weed (Franklin), 2. Amber Colvin (Tallahassee, Fla.), 3. Jordan Coker (Powder Springs), 4. Chris Bowie (Douglasville), 5. Robbie Woodall (Dawsonville), 6. Mark Swan (Athens), 7. Mark Younginer, 8. Melina Rolo (Cumming), 9. Jacob Bowie (Douglasville), 10. Brittany Berryhill (Tulsa, Okla.).
1. Johnny Rucker (McDonough), 2. Bubba Harry (Griffin), 3. Brian Weimer (Cumming), 4. Skip Nichols (Albany), 5. Taylor Hull (Winston), 6. Dale Akridge (Lilburn).
Charter Communications Pro:
1. Billy Fulson (Brooks), 2. Matt Stover (Gastonia, N.C.), 3. Will Prance (Canton), 4. Ryan Gandee (McDonough), 5. Kyle Lowry (Covington), 6. Casey Roderick (Lawrenceville), 7. Zach Kittle (Watkinsville), 8. Spencer Mosley (McDonough), 9. Troy Decaire (Tampa, Fla.), 10. Tina Johnson, DQ - Taylor Hull (Winston).
Pep Boys Auto Semi-Pro:
1. Tyler Armstrong (Fayetteville), 2. Austin Hill (Winston), 3. Currie Pierce (Griffin), 4. Dylan Ames (Harvest, Ala.), 5. Jonathan Chandler (Fayetteville), 6. Bryce Walker (Weatherford, Texas), 7. Davey Matthews (Douglasville), 8. Chase Moody (Griffin), 9. Judson Kittle (Watkinsville), 10. Chase Elliott (Dawsonville), 11. Kyle Plott (Marietta), 12. Kenzie Ruston (El Reno, Okla.), 13. Zach Weaver (Columbus), 14. Tanner Berryhill (Tulsa, Okla.), 15. Ronnie Basett (Winston Salem, N.C.), 16. Mitch Cobb (Ball Ground), 17. Carl Chapman (Bonett), 18. Rawlin West (Locust Grove), DQ - Phillip Bell (Senoia).
Promoter's Choice - Bandolero:
1. Luke Behnke, 2. Alex Coffey, 3. Brady Boswell, 4. Garrett Smithley, 5. John Holleman.
Promoter's Choice - Legends:
1. Mark Younginer, 2. Brittany Berryhill, 3. Jacob Bowie.