There's a special sense of pride these days if you've ever seen Legends and Bandolero racing at the quarter-mile "Thunder Ring" on summer Thursday nights at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

You can easily, when watching racing on its biggest stage, find a driver and say "I knew them then."

Now more than ever before, the caliber of drivers spawned by the grassroots short track is highly evident with a glance of the racing in NASCAR's top divisions each weekend. It's a road that'll continue this summer when the Thursday Thunder Legends Racing Series Presented by Papa John's Pizza begins on June 2 and again offers the excitement of family fun and short track racing for a highly affordable price!

Of course, the biggest names most are familiar with having come from the legends racing program at AMS are  this past weekend's Sprint All Star Race winner Joey Logano in addition to David Ragan and Reed Sorenson. But these days, there's so much more to the who's who of rising stars than just those three.

Chase Elliott, who continues to grab headlines with an impressive rookie campaign in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, competed at Thursday Thunder full-time in 2007 and 2008. Another top young driver in NASCAR's top division, Ty Dillon, who has at times subbed for Tony Stewart during his recovery from injury, collected two wins in two different divisions in 2006.

In the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Thursday Thunder fans see familiar faces as well. Bubba Wallace's rise up the racing ladder includes Thursday Thunder appearances in both Legends and Bandolero divisions. Garrett Smithley, whose racing resume includes second-place points finishes in both Legends and Bandolero divisions at Thursday Thunder, has competed in both the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series in 2016. Brennan Poole, who nearly pulled off a stunning upset victory last month at Talladega, raced Thursday Thunder in 2005 and 2006, winning feature events in two separate Legends racing divisions.

And there's no shortage of Thursday Thunder imprints in the truck series either. Look no further than recent NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner, William Byron! There is also Austin Hill, Daniel Hemric and Grant Enfinger in the select group of racers whose careers have been molded by racing door-to-door at the "Thunder Ring."

You never know what future NASCAR star will be racing on Thursday nights at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Some of the most treasured collectibles of some diehard attendees are photos and autographs from drivers that have moved up the racing ladder from Thursday Thunder.

The Thursday Thunder Legends Racing Series Presented by Papa John's Pizza will again showcase tomorrow's racing stars! Join us this summer for family fun, a wide range of grandstand and concourse activities and more! Admission is just $5 and kids ages 5 and under are admitted free! Grandstand gates open at 6 p.m. and feature races start at 7:30 p.m.