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Points titles on line tonight

By Anthony Rhoads

It's all going to be decided tonight.

Thursday Thunder, Atlanta Motor Speedway's 10-week summer racing series, concludes tonight as drivers are vying for the 2003 points championships.

As the season nears the finish line tonight, Darrell Banks and Jody Pilkenton are tied for the points lead in the Outlaws Division. The drivers have taken different paths to success this year. Banks has racked up five victories but Pilkenton has not reach ed Victory Lane at all this year. Even though Pilkenton hasn't won a race this season, he has been consistent with eight top-fives.

In the Semi-Pro Division, Bubba Harry and Jeremy Kalina are tied for the points lead. Harry has four wins this year and Kalina has two wins.

In the Pro Division, three-time points champion Doug Stevens is the points leader but he's not competing today. He will be racing in the ARCA event Saturday in Nashville.

Stevens has raced part-time in the ARCA series since 2001 and has also raced in the American Speed Association and Hooters ProCup.

"The ARCA series is a great place for me to grow as a driver," he said. "I love to race and as long as I have the backing, a car and a team, I'll be at the track."

With Stevens not racing this week, the points championship will come down to either Chris Dilbeck or Doug Ludwig. Dilbeck and Ludwig are tied for second in the standings. Dilbeck, a Henry County student, has one win and six top fives this year while Ludwig has won twice and has posted seven top fives.

Casey Roderick leads Hunter Robbins by three points in the Bandits Division. Roderick has three wins this year and Robbins has reached Victory Lane four times.

Other points leaders going into tonight are Gary Tatum in Chargers, Mark Wallace in Masters, Ryan Bowman in Young Guns and Jim Gresham in Roadsters.

Former Winston Cup champion to sign autographs: Both 1960 NASCAR champion Rex White and current Busch competitor Ron Young will still be on hand to sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. on the concourse.

White was one of the most successful NASCAR drivers in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He has been ranked as one of the top 50 NASCAR drivers of all time.as Thursday Thunder ends