By Jeffery Armstrong
The scene at Week 6 of Thursday Thunder was reminiscent of Week 4 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway: Pro Division drivers Jeremy Kalina and Chris Dilbeck fighting it out for first place as they headed down the final stretch.
Instead of deja vu all over again for Dilbeck, Kalina blocked Dilbeck's passing move and won his first Pro race this year at AMS.
Kalina, a Griffin native, was very motivated to win Thursday's race, especially when he saw that Dilbeck was gaining on him.
"This time I didn't let Chris do his slide move on me," said Kalina, 16. "I saw him coming from behind and I was determined not to let him beat me like he did two weeks ago."
Kalina, who will be a junior at Griffin High in the fall, said his team changed his car's springs and coils and tweaked the setup before Thursday's race. They did a good job since Kalina was able to get the win.
"This is the first time we've run with this setup," Kalina said. "It really worked out well."
Hampton's Dilbeck will have to do more than just tweak parts on his car after Thursday's race. Dilbeck collided with driver L.J. Cover early in the race, which caused him to spin out. Dilbeck was able to continue racing, but his car wasn't in good shape at all and it affected his performance.
"That accident bent my ball joint and my spindle and the welding in the chassis broke. My car didn't feel right after that, especially when I accelerated," said a visibly disappointed Dilbeck. "I would've caught Jeremy earlier if that hadn't happened. Now I've got a lot of work to do this weekend to get the car ready for Charlotte on Monday."
Other Thursday Thunder winners in Week 6 were Casey Roderick (Atlanta Dental Team Bandolero Bandits), Tina Johnson (Outlaws), Jim Gresham of Stockbridge (Roadsters), Randy Thornton (Tanger Outlet Center Masters), Todd "Catfish" Gulledge (Chargers) and Ryan Rudy of Hampton (Bandolero Young Guns). Rudy won for the first time ever at AMS.
The Semi-Pro results from Thursday were being contested and the official results weren't available at press time.