When the regular Thursday Thunder competitors will be taking a break, this week there will still be racing on the Thunder Ring. This week's intermission entertainment is the Faster Pastor race. Local area pastors will race against each other with their congregations cheering them on. Participating pastors include: Paul Dennis of Royal Baptist Church in Newnan, Garth Forster of First Baptist Church in Barnesville, Jay Tenney of First United Methodist Church of Barnesville, E.W. Lee of Shiloh Baptist Church in McDonough, Jay Fuller of JourneyPointe Church in McDonough and Tim Conort of Union Baptist Church in Griffin.
Each church will be raising funds for future mission projects. Once fundraising is complete, the money will be counted to determine the starting order. The church raising the most money will earn their pastor the pole position, while the church raising the least amount of money will have their pastor give the invocation for the evening's activities.
Following along with the theme for the evening, all fans named Matthew, Mark, Luke or John gain free admittance to the speedway for Thursday Thunder activities.
Driver Profile: Tina Johnson
Tina Johnson is a seasoned veteran in the Thursday Thunder ranks, previously competing in the Morley Company Outlaws, Semi-Pro, Pro, and Roadsters divisions. Last season, Johnson raced in both the Pro and Roadsters divisions but has moved to the Masters division this year.
The Senoia native made history by becoming the first woman to win a Bandolero Outlaw race at three different tracks. Her victories came at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Senoia Speedway and Albany Speedway. She has also previously compiled second-place finishes in both state and national championships.
Johnson currently sits fifth in Masters division points after three events in 2011 with one top five. Winner of five races in her Thursday Thunder career, Johnson's best career points finish is second on two occasions, both in the Outlaws division.
Johnson is also another part of history at Atlanta Motor Speedway. She is a part of the largest group of female competitors in Thursday Thunder history.
Barnes, Hicks, Nichols Sweeping the Competition in 2011
After three weeks of Thursday Thunder racing on the Thunder Ring at Atlanta Motor Speedway, three drivers sport an undefeated record in each of their respective divisions.
In the Morley Company Outlaws division, Parker Barnes has gone to victory lane in each of the first three weeks of competition. The Roswell native is the reigning Winter Flurry Outlaws Champion after finishing third in points last season with one victory. Barnes leads the points standings by fifteen points over John Curtiss.
Senoia's Joshua Hicks is also on quite a tear in the Papa John's Bandits division. He was also the 2011 Winter Flurry Champion. Coming into this season, Hicks' best career finish was a third-place effort in 2010. Hicks is currently the points leader over Ashton Winger, with only nine points separating the two.
Albany's Skip Nichols has been a force to reckon with during the first three weeks of the Thunder Roadster division. Thursday Thunder's all-time winningest driver added his 33rd career victory to his total last week, giving him a twelve-point advantage over Ed Clark in the standings.
Buzz Cars Continue to Excite Crowds
Thursday Thunder's newest addition to the racing schedule continues to be one of the crowd favorites. The Buzz Car division remains the easiest way for fans who want to get a taste of the high octane excitement found on the Thunder Ring at Atlanta Motor Speedway. With each week that passes, the field continues to grow for this exciting brand of short track action.
Thus far in 2011, the inaugural season of Buzz Car racing has seen Woodstock's Michael Karp take victory twice with Monroe's Dave Sherman claiming one win. Karp currently leads the points standings by six points over Sherman.
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 $6 for adults and $2 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 .
For more information on Buzz Cars racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Events Department at (770) 946-3954.
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.