Division Points Battles Coming Down to the Wire
Two races remain for Legends drivers to determine a champion in the grueling 10 week Thursday Thunder presented by Papa John's Pizza Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Week nine action is Thursday with Championship Night scheduled for Saturday, August 4th.
"With time winding down on the season, the final two races on the schedule to determine the champions among our legends competitors will be intense," said AMS President Ed Clark. "With extremely tight battles, the Masters and Associates Group Young Lions championships will be decided on the track on Championship night.
Ryan Rackley of Valdosta leads Lawson Ingold of Social Circle by one point for the division lead heading into week nine action in the Associates Group Young Lions division. Each driver has earned a pair of trips to victory lane and feels that racing a pair of clean races will be the key to winning a championship.
"I've just have to stay out of the crashes and click off fast laps," said Rackley. "Hopefully get out front and stay out front and just avoid the messes and I should be fine."
Rackley won the first two races of the season but posted a 14th place finish and a 15th place finish as part of on track incidents in the fifth and sixth races of the season which opened up the door for Ingold and the rest of the field.
"I just have to stay positive," replied Ingold when asked what he needed to do to capture a season championship. "I just have to avoid the wrecks in my class and focus this week on getting our car down in practice. Especially with our equipment, I believe we can win this championship."
Blaze Crawford of Fayetteville is still in the hunt for the division championship as well as he earned his first win of the season last week. The victory helped pull him within six of the division lead.
While drivers are separated by a few points in the Associates Group Young Lions Division, it's a dead heat at the top of the point standings in the Masters Division between Locust Grove's Bill Plemons Jr. and McDonough's Robbie Woodall.
"We've got a heck of a battle," said Plemons. "What we might wind up with, if I win one and he wins one, I finish second and he finishes second, you drop [each driver's] worst race, we'll each end the season with five wins and four second place finishes."
Each driver has now found victory lane four times this season. Plemons strung together four consecutive wins from race two through five while Woodall, after winning on opening night, has notched three consecutive victories.
Cody Hall of Griffin currently leads the VP Racing Fuels Pro Division by ten points over second place Dawson Fletcher of Canton. Hall has used the pro passing points to his advantage as he has earned 13 passing points on the season. Second place Fletcher has only posted 9 passing points and had not earned any since his week three win when he collected five.
In the Semi-Pro Division, Davis Rochester of Lebanon, TN leads DJ Canipe of Fallston, NC by 18 points. Rochester has notched a pair of wins and seven top three finishes this year.
Weather has caused havoc on Bandolero drivers in the Bandits division as well as the GRT Racing Driver Development Outlaws in each of the past two weeks. Three feature races for both divisions are scheduled for week nine. Blaise Maddox of Locust Grove leads Kenny Brady of Marietta by six points in the GRT Racing Development Outlaws division while Kelly Puckett of McDonough has an 18 point lead on Ryan Younginer of Locust Grove in the Bandits division.
The 2018 season continues with week 9 action this Thursday, July 26, before wrapping up with a special-edition Saturday Championship Night on Aug. 4.
Grandstand admission for the affordable, family-friendly Thursday Thunder Legends Series Presented by Papa John's Pizza cost just $5 per person, with kids 5 and under admitted free. For more information about both Friday Night Drags and Thursday Thunder, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.