Atlanta Motor Speedway's eighth week of Thursday Thunder featured added excitement from brimming Bandolero car counts as an influx of competitors make their way to the Speedway for this weekend's Bandolero Nationals.
Skip Nichols held the advantage to start the Masters feature race, but Randy Thornton quickly claimed the inside entering turn three and emerged from turn four as the race leader. Thornton held the advantage momentarily before Clay Hair jumped to the front. Pushing ahead of the pack, Hair steadily built a sizeable advantage and claimed the win in his first Thursday Thunder appearance of 2009.
Andrew Anderson sat on the pole for the Semi-Pro feature, but a first-lap wreck forced Anderson to the back and gave Kenzie Ruston the advantage. After a second early caution, Ruston led the remaining laps following Anderson's collision and took the checkered flag.
John Holleman led the M&S Auto Bandits to the start, but T.J. Michael quickly jumped to the lead following a series of cautions. Jockeying for position in the opening laps, Michael pulled ahead by the race's midpoint and won in a shortened event due to the class time limit.
Justin Thomas held the pole position to start the Young Lions feature, but "Super" Davey Matthews jumped ahead on the opening lap. After two mid-race cautions tightened the field, Kittle and Matthews began swapping the lead in the race's waning laps. A bump from Evan Swilling pushed Kittle out of line giving Matthews the outright lead. However, Swilling soon caught Matthews and another bump slowed the leaders and allowed Donald McIntosh to dive inside in turn four and take the win.
Holding the advantage to start the Thunder Roadsters feature, Adam Gay led the contenders to the start. Expanding his advantage in the opening laps, Gay appeared uncatchable. But after passing lap traffic, Jeremy Kalina emerged in second and progressively closed on Gay's lead. Nearing his bumper by the midpoint, Kalina made the pass on lap 12 and carried the lead to Victory Lane.
Austin Langenstein guided the Young Guns to the green flag, but Matthew Linker made an early pass for the lead. Appearing in his second feature race of the evening, Matthews quickly closed on Linker's bumper with Justin Carroll in tow. Linker began adding to his lead as Carroll passed Matthews, but a caution bunched the field entering the second half of the feature. Linker maintained the advantage on the restart with Matthews playing chase, but a last-lap collision allowed pole-holder Langenstein to emerge from the traffic as the winner.
Trey Maughan began the J.J. Morley Outlaws feature with the advantage, but Garrett Smithley made an inside pass for the lead on lap five. Smithley developed an insurmountable lead and cruised past the checkered flag for the win.
Jordan Webb took the pole to start the Pro feature, but fell to the rear after contact with Billy Fulson in the early stages of the race, allowing Justin Swilling to inherit the lead. Zach Kittle took the lead on the sixth lap and pulled away to take the victory.
Wyatt Simic led to start the Bandolero Promoter's Choice race before relinquishing the lead early on. Brad Shelnutt later took the lead but gave way to Tyler Moseley on the final lap.
Jackie Ryan started the Legends Promoter's Choice Race from the pole position, leading the entire race to take home the win.
Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder will return on July 30 for the ninth of 10 weeks of Legends, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing. Week nine is Classic Car Cruise Night and Classic Car owners will be admitted free of charge. For more information on Thursday Thunder or Atlanta Motor Speedway, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
To test drive your own Legends car, 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 Eight Thursday Thunder Results:
1. Clay Hair (Mt. Pleasant, N.C.), 2. Ed Clark (Peachtree City), 3. Hoyt Dennis (Archdale, N.C.), 4. Rick Geddes (Newnan), 5. Skip Nichols (Albany), 6. Jackie Ryan (Jonesville, La.), 7. Larry Friddle (Greenville, S.C.), 8. Brad Shelnutt (Locust Grove), 9. Randy Thornton (Oxford), 10. Phillip Young, 11. John Ponzio (Tyrone), 12. Jerry Mendenhall (Peachtree City), 13. Jeff Haynie (Zebulon).
1. Kenzie Ruston (El Reno, Okla.), 2. Jonathan Chandler (Fayetteville), 3. Cody Haskins (Marietta), 4. Mike Weed (Franklin), 5. Chris Bowie (Douglasville), 6. Jacob Armstrong (Fayetteville), 7. Mark Swan (Atlanta), 8. Brett Coon (Elma, N.Y.), 9. Melina Rolo (Cumming), 10. Bill Stevens (Locust Grove), 11. Andrew Anderson (Lancaster, Calif.), 12. Mark Younginer (Stockbridge), 13. Jacob Bowie (Douglasville), 14. Zach Weaver (Phenix City, Ala.), 15. Dennis Kiser (Concord), 16. R.S. Senter (Oakwood), DQ. Kodi Sunley (Harrisonburg, N.C).
M&S Auto Bandits:
1. T.J. Michael (Plano, Texas), 2. John Holleman (Winston-Salem, N.C.), 3. Clayton Weatherman (Wentzville, Mo.), 4. Benjamin Rhodes (Louisville, Kent.), 5. Alex Coffey (McDonough), 6. Kyle Weatherman (Wentzville, Mo.), 7. Stephen Johns Jr. (Mooresville, N.C.), 8. Carson Ferguson (Charlotte), 9. Madeline Crane (Meansville), 10. Garrett Biggers (Charlotte, N.C.), 11. Ryan Cansdale (Laguna Beach, Calif.), 12. Kason Plott (Marietta), 13. Dalton Hill (Winston), 14. John Varga (St. Cloud, Fla.), 15. Trevor Collins (Seaford, Del.), 16. Jueffery Abbey, 17. Austin Cindric (Mooresville, Tenn.), 18. Ricky Schlick (Pomona, Calif.), 19. Payton Ryan (Jonesville, La.), 20. Kodie Conner (Kannapolis, N.C.), 21. Jensen Jorgenson (Stockbridge), 22. Wyatt Simic (McDonough), 23. Tyler Moseley (McDonough), 24. Rusty Sutton (Dawsonville), 25. Josh Hicks (Senioa), 26. Ryan Massaro (Glencoe, Ala.), 27. Michael Meek (Moore, Okla.).
1. Donald McIntosh (Dawsonville), 2. Davey Matthews (Douglasville), 3. Evan Swilling (Cohutta), 4. Mason Massey (Winston), 5. Chad Finchum (Knoxville, Tenn.), 6. Justin Thomas (Woodstock), 7. Harrison Rhodes (High Point, N.C.), 8. Judson Kittle, 9. Austin Garvey (McDonough), 10. Brady Boswell (Watkinsville), 11. Joey Herques (Hourma, La.), 12. Jonathan Lybrand, 13. Tyler Edwards, 14. Grayson York (Rocky Face), 15. Cameron Hadley (Concord).
1. Jeremy Kalina (Williamson), 2. Adam Gay (Dublin), 3. Brian Meredith (Locust Grove), 4. Chris Cable (Griffin), 5. Skip Nichols (Albany), 6. Brian Weimer (Cumming).
1. Austin Langenstein (Concord), 2. Corey Gordon (Charlotte, N.C.), 3. Luke Dennis (Archdale, N.C.), 4. Joey Padgett (Tallahassee, Fla.), 5. Taylor Jorgensen (Stockbridge), 6. Christopher Rhodes (Louisville, Kent.), 7. Aaron Anderson (Lancaster, Calif.), 8. Justin Carroll (Concord, N.C.), 9. Evan Bell (Buford), 10. Davey Matthews (Douglasville), 11. Dalton Robertson, 12. Matt Linker (Mt. Pleasant), 13. Ben Klatt (Mooresville, N.C.), 14. Travis Benson (Turnball, Texas).
J.J. Morley Outlaws:
1. Garrett Smithley (Peachtree City), 2. Trey Maughan (Johnson City, Tenn.), 3. Luke Behnke (Fayetteville), 4. Brad Shelnutt (Locust Grove).
1. Zach Kittle (Watkinsville), 2. Billy Fulson (Brooks), 3. Justin Swilling (Cohutta), 4. Daniel Hemric (Kannapolis, N.C.), 5. Austin Hill (Winston), 6. Ryan Gandee (McDonough), 7. Currie Pierce (Griffin), 8. Kyle Kitchens (Hampton), 9. Bayley Currey (Driftwood, Texas), 10. Jordan Webb (Haslet, Texas), 11. Tina Johnson (Senoia).
Bandolero Promoter's Choice:
1. Tyler Moseley (McDonough), 2. Kodie Conner (Kannapolis, N.C.), 3. Jensen Jorgenson (Stockbridge), 4. Wyatt Simic (McDonough), 5. Brad Shelnutt (Locust Grove).
Legends Promoter's Choice:
1. Jackie Ryan (Jonesville, La.), 2. John Ponzio (Tyrone), 3. Jonathan Lybrand,
4. Melina Rolo (Cumming), 5. Phillip Young.