The final week of Thursday Thunder short track racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway will determine the overall season points champions this Thursday. Among the points races yet to be determined, one division features an ultra-competitive race with a familiar face in the midst of the battle.In Masters division competition, four drivers sit within a scant six points of each other.
Each driver has claimed at least two victories on the year, and any one of the four could walk away from the “Thunder Ring” with a championship trophy this year. Brian Weimer sits atop the standings, but only by three markers ahead of the tie between Terry Mathis and Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark. Defending champion Skip Nichols sits fourth in the standings, six points out of the lead.
For AMS President Clark, a longtime Legends competitor, a new car in 2012 has proved successful. Clark’s three wins is the most in the division, while his new red machine has consistently been a threat to win each week. Running some of the fastest lap times he’s ever turned, Clark is in new territory by racing for his first career Thursday Thunder championship. But racing for a title is nothing new to Clark, who has claimed a handful of Winter Flurry titles over the course of his Legends career.
“This has been the most fun summer of Thursday Thunder racing that I’ve ever been a part of,” said Clark. “Regardless of how it comes out this week, any of the four of us probably deserve to be the champion, but we can’t all be. It has been fun. The competition has been as intense as any that I’ve ever experienced. And I think the other drivers who race in the Masters division would say the same thing.
“I think we do it obviously because you get the adrenaline kick of competition, but there’s great camaraderie among the people who race in the division as well. I do it because of both reasons. So I can easily say that regardless of how it comes out this Thursday night, it has been a real fun time this summer.”
This Week at Thursday Thunder
This week’s Thursday Thunder action will serve as the “Back to School Bash” for local students. Highlighting the evening’s festivities will be the Principal Races between Henry County school principals.
The principals competing include Anne Wilson of Unity Grove Elementary School, Scott John of Henry County High School, Mitch Stephens from Ola Elementary School, Christy Anderson at Woodland Elementary, Jay Fowler with Rocky Creek Elementary School and Union Grove High School’s Tom Smith.
Students from all local schools are encouraged to come out and enjoy the evening’s festivities. Those attending schools competing in the Principal Races are especially asked to show up in large numbers to cheer on their principal and root them on to a victory, crowning them the fastest principal in Henry County.
Included with the racing and entertainment each week is concourse activities and driver autograph sessions.
This week, one lucky fan will win a trip to all three days of NASCAR racing under the lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Aug. 31-Sept. 2. The grand prize winner will receive two tickets to each night of racing at AMS, weekend parking, two weekend pit passes and two pre-race party passes to the Fast Cars & Guitars pre-race concert featuring Montgomery Gentry presented by Bad Boy Buggies. Those eligible are fans that have registered at the information booth on the concourse this season.
A family can take in an evening of racing action at Atlanta Motor Speedway for less than what it would cost to see a matinée movie. Tickets for the affordable, family-friendly racing series costs just $6 for adults, $2 for children ages six through 11 and is free for children ages five and younger. All grandstand seating is smoke-free in 2012. Gates open each night at 6:00 p.m. and feature races begin at 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/thunder.