Atlanta Motor Speedway's "Thunder Ring" will roar back to life for the opening night of the 2009 Thursday Thunder season on Thursday, June 4.

Featuring Legends, Bandolero and Thunder Roadsters, short-track racing will return to Atlanta Motor Speedway's one-quarter mile "Thunder Ring" for the first of 10 weeks of Thursday Thunder. Each week will feature an on-track autograph and photograph session with Thursday Thunder drivers, weekly concourse activities, grandstand games and on-track racing action.

Opening Night Excitement

Opening night of the 2009 Thursday Thunder campaign marks the 12th season of the short-track racing series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Each week features eight classes of racing, in addition to family-friendly entertainment that includes concourse activities, autograph sessions and grandstand games and trivia.

In 12 years of Thursday Thunder racing, Atlanta Motor Speedway's "Thunder Ring" has served as a training ground for three current NASCAR young guns - Joey Logano, David Ragan and Reed Sorenson. In addition to NASCAR aspirations, many former Thursday Thunder competitors have graduated to late models and other forms of racing and the 2009 class of competitors will certainly feature stars of tomorrow.

Young Lions Debut

Absent on the Thursday Thunder schedule of events since the 2002 season, the Young Lions class will return for the 2009 season of Thursday Thunder. To the benefit of both fans and drivers, the addition of the Young Lions will divide the Semi-Pro class, allowing the Young Lions division to serve as a developmental class for drivers ages 12 to 15, while resulting in more competitive racing among the Semi-Pros.

Autograph and Photograph Night - All Classes

In addition to the racing, the first week of the 2009 Thursday Thunder season will feature an autograph and photograph session with all the Thursday Thunder competitors. While each week of Thursday Thunder features an autograph session with a featured class, only opening night and the season-ending championship night will give race fans access to every Thursday Thunder driver.

Featuring a full slate of short-track racing, 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 (ages 5 and under are free) for each evening of family fun and grass-roots racing. Gates open at 6 p.m., heat races start at 6:15 p.m. and feature races start at approximately 7:50 p.m. For more information about Thursday Thunder, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com