Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder Week Nine News & Notes
No driver has been as dominant this season on the quarter-mile "Thunder Ring" at Atlanta Motor Speedway than Talking Rock's Chandler Smith. The bandolero bandits driver has driven away from the field in each feature race he has started and holds an insurmountable points lead in the driver standing with two races left in the season.
In addition to his quest for a perfect season - which has never been accomplished in Thursday Thunder competition - Smith is on the verge of setting a new Thursday Thunder record for most consecutive wins in a single season. He tied NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and former Thursday Thunder bandits champion Joey Logano's record for most consecutive wins with his victory last week. He will look to set a new mark this week at Thursday Thunder.
Smith has been just as dominate in the Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday nights. He has won five consecutive races and will go for his sixth tonight to remain unbeaten in that series this season.
In addition to racking up victories in both summer series at Atlanta and Charlotte, Smith earned his second consecutive Bandolero National Championship in the bandits division in June. The competition was no match for Smith, who outpaced the field to capture the feature race win in the championship final.
Nichols races for 8th career championship
Veteran competitor Skip Nichols of Albany is searching for his 8th career Thursday Thunder championship entering week nine competition. Nichols has earned the most feature wins in Thursday Thunder history and no competitor has won more season championships than the veteran driver. Nichols has six Legend championships, all in the Masters division, and one Roadsters crown.
Nichols' quest for an eighth career championship is anything but complete with two races remaining and a slim 12 point advantage in the Estes Services Masters division point standings. Bill Plemons Jr. of Locust Grove along with Scott Moseley of McDonough have been providing a challenge to Nichols this season. Both drivers have earned a pair of wins while Plemons Jr. held the division lead for two weeks earlier this year.
Nichols had originally planned to retire following last season, but continued racing to serve as a mentor for his grandson, Wilder Etheridge. Nichols serves as the crew chief for the first year bandolero driver.
Tickets for the affordable, family-friendly racing series costs just $6 for adults, $2 for children ages 6 through 11 and is free for children ages 5 and younger. For more information, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
To test drive your own Legends machine, or for more information about Legends racing, call Legends of Georgia director Dwight Pilgram at (770) 707-2977 or visit www.legendsofga.com.