Tight point races are expected to end in thrilling fashion at Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder finale. But, more than ever, the summer-racing series' final week should feature a spectacular finish with two races scheduled for each class.
With two features planned for each division after a week nine cancelation, the stage is set for one of the most entertaining finishes in Thursday Thunder history. Because two races remain in each class, the season's last event presents a greater opportunity for racers to gain extra points and surge towards a class championship.
"It's probably going to be real interesting because nobody knows what is going to happen," said Billy Fulson, who currently holds an eight-point edge in the Charter Communications Pro class. "Unless you have a 40-point lead in your class, there's still a chance someone could jump ahead of you."
Fulson's Pro class is one of three divisions that feature single-digit point leads and nearly every class' leader has a points advantage that can be wholly eroded in a two-race span.
"Most of the classes are super close. I've got a bit more pressure on me now with just two races left in one night, but it will be a lot more exciting for the fans this way," said Fulson, whose eight-point lead over Kyle Lowry amounts to roughly four positions in one race. "As long as I finish one-spot behind Kyle [Lowry] in both races, I'll be okay. I don't know what is going to happen, but it's going to be interesting."
In addition to the Pro class, Jeff Haynie leads Skip Nichols by just seven points in the Masters class, while Griffin's Bubba Harry holds a slim, four-point advantage in the Roadsters division over Ed Clark, Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager.
"This is why Championship Night is Championship Night," exclaimed Clark, who also competes in the Masters division "It's been a good year if you're still in contention during the last week. We work all season for it to come down to the last week and that's why it's thrilling."
For the fans, Clark is sure they will see spectacular racing on the final night of the year.
"You can be assured everyone involved will be bringing their best effort of Thursday," said Clark with confidence. "I've had a lot of fun this year and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out, because we have a lot of good drivers who are going to do everything they can to win this week."
And as for Fulson, who with two strong finishes would claim his first career Thursday Thunder class championship, he is expecting the unexpected for Championship Night.
"We've all put a lot of time, effort and investment in this and I don't know what is going to happen, but it should be exciting," said Fulson. "When it all shakes out, it could be a shocker for everybody. I'm just going to do everything I can to win my races."
The conclusion of the Thursday Thunder season is this Thursday, August 7. An adult ticket to Thursday Thunder is just $5 while kids ages six to 11 are just $1. Kids five and under are free. Gates open at 6 p.m., heat races start at 6:15 p.m. and feature races start at approximately 7:50 p.m. More information can be obtained by calling 770-946-4211 or by visiting www.AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com.