Robbins puts perfect streak on line

By Anthony Rhoads

Four races, four wins.

Thursday Thunder Bandits competitor Hunter Robbins is having a pretty good season so far in Atlanta Motor Speedway's summer series.

As the 2003 Thursday Thunder season reaches its mid-way point tonight at week 5, Robbins carries a four-race win streak.

If Robbins continues his winning ways, he could be on his way to capturing his first Thursday Thunder points title.

The 11-year-old has competed in Thursday Thunder since 2000 and has steadily been making his way through the ranks.

Last year was a break-through season for Robbins as he won five races and placed in the top five seven times but he lost the season championship to Hampton's Kyle Mitchell. Mitchell proved that you don't have to win races to win a points championship. Mitchell didn't win any races but had eight top-five finishes last year.

Even though he's gunning for his first AMS title, Robbins has plenty of trophies in his collection, including two Alabama state championships.

Robbins also is in contention for a national championship. He currently leads in the national points championship race.

Racing is a family affair for Robbins as his mother Donna and father Michael are both accomplished Bandolero drivers. Donna Robbins won the 2002 Alabama state championship.

Both Donna and Michael no longer race but are concentrating on helping Hunter succeed on the track.

Points leaders: The current points leaders at AMS are Darrell Banks (Outlaws), Sean Davis (Chargers), Doug Ludwig (Pro), Skip Nichols (Masters), Jeremy Kalina (Semi-Pro), Robbins (Bandits), Trey Maughan (Young Guns) and Kyle Beattie (Roadsters).

Banks has won three-of-four races this year and has a two-race win streak. Nichols, Ludwig, Maughan and Beattie have also won two events in a row at Thursday Thunder.

Last week, Davis and Kalina picked up their first victories of the season. Both drivers won at an opportune time as last week was a double points night at Thursday Thunder.

Around the tracks: Last Saturday, two Thursday Thunder regulars cruised to victories at Senoia Speedway including Cindy Anderson in the Pro Division and Bubba Harry in Semi-Pro. Anderson was the first woman to win a race at Thursday Thunder when she won a Chargers event in 2001.

Harry, an up-and-coming driver from Griffin, won the Chargers points title last year.

At Lanier Speedway last week, Ludwig placed second and Chris Dilbeck finished third in the Pro race. Dilbeck, a Hampton resident and Henry County High School student, has not placed outside the top five so far this season at Lanier.

In the Modified Mini-Stock Division, Stockbridge's Ty Stewart placed first. Stewart has also been one of the top competitors at Senoia and won a points championship there in 2001.

In the Summer Shootout Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Joey Logano snagged a third-place finish in the Pro Division race.

Logano won the Semi-Pro points title at Thursday Thunder last year and won the Bandits title in 2001. Logano is racing a limited Thursday Thunder schedule this year.

Beattie placed third in the Roadsters race Tuesday in Charlotte.

Fireworks and racing: Gates will open tonight at 5:30 p.m. with preliminary races beginning immediately. The main feature races will start at 7:30 p.m. with fireworks slated to begin at about 10:30 p.m.

For tonight only, fans will be charged $5 to park at the speedway but will get a $5 voucher redeemable at Gate 13 for an adult ticket.

Ticket prices are $5 for adults, $1 for children ages 6-11 and children under 5 get in free.

For more information about Atlanta Motor Speedway and Thursday Thunder visit the www.atlantamotorspeedway.com website or call (770) 946-4211.