Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder Week 4 Results
Actors John Schneider and Scott Elrod Compete in Chargers Class
Atlanta Motor Speedway's fourth week of Thursday Thunder action featured two television celebrities competing in the Chargers division in addition to the usual weekly fanfare and on-track excitement.
Featuring John Schneider, best known as Bo Duke from the TV classic Dukes of Hazzard, and Men In Trees' Scott Elrod in the Chargers class, Mark Swan led the field to the start. In their first Thursday Thunder competition, Elrod and Schneider avoided calamity on the first lap by dodging a pileup coming out of turn one. Schneider and Elrod proved capable in the beginning laps until Jordan Coker's No. 22 spun in front of Schneider on lap seven, resulting in a race-ending collision for Coker and Schneider.
On the restart, Swan jumped back out to the lead before Amber Colvin pulled ahead. Colvin and Swan made contact coming out of the corner when Colvin was jolted into the wall, resulting in the race's second caution and giving Mike Weed the lead. Weed worked his way to his second-consecutive victory, while television's Elrod cruised to an impressive fourth-place finish in his first race.
The No. 1 vehicle of Zach Kittle sat on the pole for the Charter Communications Pro feature, but Casey Roderick shot to the front of the field in the race's first corner. By lap five, Roderick, Kyle Lowry and Doug Stevens proved to be the race's early favorites with a three-way battle for the top position. Roderick maintained his advantage and used the lead to take his 21st-career win. With the victory, Roderick moved ahead of NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Joey Logano for the third-most Thursday Thunder wins in the event's 11-year history.
The Young Guns feature began with Dustyn Cunningham on the pole, the Young Guns competition. On lap one, Jacob Wallace, the division points leader, was forced from the race with car trouble. As the race progressed without the favorite, Cunningham slowly extended his advantage lap-by-lap, developing an insurmountable lead for his second top-five finish of the season and third-career win.
Randy Thornton's No. 37 vehicle paced the field to the green flag for the Masters division. Thornton's car maintained the lead in the early laps, but Jeff Haynie chased closely. Haynie bumped him throughout the final laps, but Thornton fought to retain his first-place position through the checkered flag. The victory was Thornton's ninth of his Thursday Thunder career.
The Roadsters class started with Bubba Harry out in front. Harry quickly jumped to a significant advantage, while most of the field remained car lengths behind Harry's No. 13 roadster. Brian Meredith and Ed Clark were able to push ahead of the pack, but Harry's roadster appeared to be too strong until a caution tightened the field with just five laps remaining. However, Harry quickly regained his advantage after the restart and the Griffin native claimed his 17th-career Thursday Thunder victory.
The Pep Boys Auto Semi-Pro division started with Bryce Walker leading the way for the 18-car field. Followed by Justin Swilling, Walker held a generous lead for the first 10 laps before a caution grouped the field. After the delay, Walker and Swilling immediately shot back ahead of the pack and resumed their first-place fight. Walker refused to relent and claimed the win to mark his second-career victory.
Kyle Benjamin's No. 71 car held the advantage to start the Greencastle Dental Bandits race. Benjamin held the lead for the first six laps before Evan Bell jumped into first on the seventh lap. However, contact between the pair forced a caution that sent the race's leaders to the rear of the field, giving Marietta's Kason Plott the lead position. Plott held the advantage until lap 18 when Mason Massey surged ahead and carried the lead to the finish for his fourth-straight Greencastle Dental Bandits 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 Legends Promoter's Choice race began with Robbie Woodall on the pole. Woodall held the lead until the race's last when he attempted to ride wide to the finish when Zach Weaver dropped low and leapt ahead for his first-career victory.
Charlie Gresham held the pole for the Bandolero Promoter's Choice race, but Clayton Weatherman pulled ahead on the backstretch to hold the lead after the first lap. Weatherman maintained the advantage to finish first in his first evening at Thursday Thunder.
Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder will return on July 3 for the fifth of 10 weeks of Legends, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing and a fireworks tribute for America's independence. Next week is Red, White & Blue Night featuring an extensive fireworks display at dark. 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 4 Results:
1. Dustyn Cunningham (Madison), 2. Chad Fincham (Knoxville, Tenn.), 3. Will Martin (Douglasville), 4. Joseph Pilato (Birmingham, Ala.), 5. Blake Jones (Sevierville, Tenn.), 6. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), 7. Matt Wallace (Charlotte, N.C.), 8. Jonathan Lybrand (Newnan), 9. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 10. Jordan Rogers (Thomaston), 11. Garrett Smithley (Peachtree City), 12. Jake Armstrong (Fayetteville), 13. Jacob Wallace (Griffin), 14. Dalton Robertson (Flowery Branch).
1. Randy Thornton (Oxford), 2. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon), 3. Robert Spence (Atlanta), 4. Skip Nichols (Albany), 5. Brad Shelnutt (McDonough), 6. Wade Brewer (Hampton), 7. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 8. Jim Daniel (Thomaston).
1. Mike Weed (Franklin), 2. Robbie Woodall (Dawsonville), 3. Mark Younginer, 4. Melina Rolo (Cumming), 5. Mark Swan (Athens), 6. Chris Bowie (Douglasville), 7. Amber Colvin (Tallahassee, Fla.), 8. Jacob Bowie (Douglasville), 9. Jordan Coker (Powder Springs), 10. Billy Stevens (Locust Grove).
*Scott Elrod (finished fourth, but is not scored accordingly as he is not registered competitor), John Schneider (finished 12th, but is not scored accordingly as he is not a registered competitor.)
1. Bubba Harry (Griffin), 2. Brian Meredith (Locust Grove), 3. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 4. Skip Nichols (Albany), 5. Brian Weimer (Cumming), 6. Johnny Rucker (McDonough), 7. Jim Gresham (Stockbridge).
Charter Communications Pro:
1. Casey Roderick (Lawrenceville), 2. Doug Stevens (Griffin), 3. Billy Fulson (Brooks), 4. Kyle Lowry (Covington), 5. Matt Stover (Gastonia, N.C.), 6. Trey Poole (Pine Mountain), 7. Will Prance (Canton), 8. Ryan Gandee (McDonough), 9. Casey Tate (Locust Grove), 10. Spencer Mosley (McDonough), 11. Zach Kittle (Watkinsville), 12. Brian Meredith (Locust Grove), 13. Tina Johnson (Senoia).
Pep Boys Auto Semi-Pro:
1. Bryce Walker (Weatherford, Texas), 2. Justin Swilling (Cohutta), 3. Chase Moody, 4. Jonathan Chandler (Fayetteville), 5. Currie Pierce (Griffin), 6. Phillip Bell (Senoia), 7. Dylan Ames (Harvest, Ala.), 8. Davey Matthews (Douglasville), 9.Tyler Armstrong (Fayetteville), 10. Austin Hill (Winston), 11. Chase Elliott (Dawsonville), 12. Brecken Snow (St. George, Utah), 13. Zach Weaver (Columbus), 14. Carl Chapman (Bonett), 15. Chris McKinney, 16. Tanner Berryhill (Tulsa, Okla.), 17. Kyle Plott (Marietta), 18. Judson Kittle (Watkinsville).
Greencastle Dental Bandits:
1. Mason Massey (Winston), 2. Kason Plott (Marietta), 3. Charlie Gresham (Milner). 4. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 5. Evan Bell (Buford), 6. Kyle Benjamin (Simpsonville, S.C.), 7. John Holleman, 8. Clayton Weatherman (Wentzville, Mo.), 9. Madeline Crane (Milledgeville), 10. Taylor Jorgensen, 11. Coleman Moody (Griffin), 12. Tyler Moseley (McDonough), 13. Kyle Weatherman (Wentzville, Mo.), 14. Brady Boswell (Watkinsville).