Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder returns to the "Thunder Ring" on July 8 for a sixth dose of short-track racing action and Halloween in July at the racing facility.
Week six of Thursday Thunder will feature Halloween in July, including trick-of-treating on Atlanta Motor Speedway's frontstretch, in addition to tights points racing and record-setting performances. The action will feature seven classes of Bandolero, Legends and Thunder Roadster racing on Atlanta Motor Speedway's "Thunder Ring," a quarter-mile oval located on the frontstretch of Atlanta's 1.54-mile quad oval track. In addition to the on-track showcase of speed and racing precision, each week of Thursday Thunder includes family concourse activities, grandstand games and an autograph session with the stars of Thursday Thunder.
Halloween in July at Thursday Thunder
Halloween returns early in 2010 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for "Halloween in July" during Thursday Thunder's sixth week of action. Race fans are encouraged to celebrate Halloween early with Atlanta Motor Speedway and dress in Halloween costumes for the event
Halloween in July will feature a costume contest with a prize for the best costume. Children will be invited to trick-or-treat for candy during the Thursday Thunder autograph session on the Atlanta Motor Speedway frontstretch. The autograph session will feature Thursday Thunder's Morley Company Outlaws division, currently led in points by Madeline Crane who has posted one win in 2010.
In addition to Halloween in July and the Morley Company Outlaws autograph session, week six's entertainment will include the National Anthem performed by Julie Edmondson of Senoia.
Dixie Home Crafters Semi-Pro Points Tied Through Six Races
Points races remain tight at Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder, but none more so than the Dixie Home Crafters Semi-Pro division. After completing six-of-10 2010 events, Garrett Smithley (Peachtree City) and Mike Weed (Franklin) are tied with 538 points each.
Remarkably, the two leading drivers have combined for just one win in six events – a week two victory by Weed – a testament to the competitive parity in the Dixie Home Crafters Semi-Pro class. Smithley has three top-five finishes on the season and has finished in the top-10 each week, while Weed has finished in the top-five on four occasions, but failed to finish in the top-10 once. Each driver has an average-finish position of 4.8.
With just four races remaining in 2010, points are becoming more precious as each driver battles for their first-career Thursday Thunder championship and each is expected to jockey for the upper hand in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, points battles also remain hotly contested in the OCP Angus Farms Pro, Thunder Roadsters and Young Lions classes.
Donald McIntosh (Dawsonville) claimed a week five victory to extend his points lead to 15 marks over the OCP Angus Farms Pro contenders, now leading second-place Jimmy Henderson (Conyers) with 582 points to 567.
While Skip Nichols (Albany) claimed his 28th-career victory in week five's Masters feature, setting the Thursday Thunder all-time wins mark, a sixth-place showing among Thunder Roadsters allowed Brian Meredith (Locust Grove) to jump to nine-point advantage. Meredith now holds 573 points to Nichols' 562.
Sean Rayhall (Winston) holds a 22-point advantage in the Young Lions class after winning a fender-banging affair during week five. After making hard contact in the race's first lap, Rayhall was the benefactor of a later collision that collected second-place in points, Mason Massey (Winston). With Massey finishing sixth after the accident, Rayhall's fourth win of 2010 extended his points lead by 16 points.
The History Maker: Nichols Set to Match Second Thunder Record
After claiming Thursday Thunder all-time wins mark with his 28th-career victory during week five, Skip Nichols (Albany) is again being watched to make history on the "Thunder Ring."
With four-career championships, Nichols needs just one more title to match Doug Stevens – the man whose win total he just overtook – for the most championships in Thursday Thunder history with five. By competing in two classes in 2010 Stevens not only have a chance to match the mark, but to set the record with six titles if he finishes first in both divisions.
Nichols currently has a generous points lead among Masters competitors with a 34-point margin, however he trails first place in the Thunder Roadsters division by a slim nine points.
In addition to setting the mark for the most championships in a career with two 2010 titles, Nichols would also become the first driver in Thursday Thunder history to claim titles in two divisions in the same season. Dwight Pilgrim previously finished fourth in the Masters division while claiming the 2007 Thunder Roadster title, the previous best showing in two classes resulting in a title, while Brian Weimer finished third and second, respectively, in those classes during the 2007 season.
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