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Raceivers to be made mandatory

By Anthony Rhoads

When week five of the 2004 Thursday Thunder season rolls around on July 1, the new raceivers will be mandatory for all drivers.

The raceivers are one-way radios that will allow Thursday Thunder scoring officials to talk to drivers during the race.

Brandon Hutchinson, who oversees Thursday Thunder, said the raceivers should make the weekly events run much smoother.

"I think it's a good idea," Thursday Thunder Pro Division driver Chris Dilbeck said. "It's tough not being able to talk back to anybody especially if they say something bad about you."

n Points leaders: Even though the Thursday Thunder season is only going into its third week tonight, points races in several divisions are already getting heated. The closest points race is in Semi-Pro with Chris Cable holding a one-point advantage over Sean ?Flip' Davis. Cable opened the 2004 season with a win but finished seventh last week. Davis finished second in week 1 and sixth last week.

Other points leaders include James Egloff in Roadsters, Casey Roderick in Bandits, Chase Moody in Young Guns, Skip Nichols in Masters, Trey Maughan in Outlaws, Chris Dilbeck in Pro and Mahlon Winstead in Chargers.

n March Across Georgia: Eagle 106.7 FM's Rhubarb Jones and his March Across Georgia will stop at this week's Thursday Thunder summer racing event at Atlanta Motor Speedway, providing race fans with the chance make a difference in the fight against leukemia and lymphoma.

Atlanta Motor Speedway officials will donate $1 for every paid adult admission to Thursday's activities, and in lieu of an autograph session, this week's featured division will go through the grandstands with their helmets.

In addition, Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark has donated five pairs of weekend ticket packages to the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend for the first five fans who present Rhubarb with at least $500.

Over the last two years, race fans at AMS have donated nearly $10,000 to Rhubarb's March Across Georgia.

n Doug Stevens update: Despite suffering a broken right femur, right shoulder, collarbone and left arm in a crash last month at Kentucky, four-time Thursday Thunder champion Doug Stevens hasn't missed a week of the summer racing series.

He's just watching from a different seat this year. Instead of the driver's seat, Stevens has been perched on a bright yellow scooter.

The only outward sign of his injuries are an air cast on his left arm. His shoulder and collarbone are mostly healed, and his worst injury, the broken right femur, is held by a collection of pins and rods inserted in surgery following the accident.

But none of that has kept Stevens from getting back to work. Stevens has spent about five hours a day at his Legends repair shop in Lovejoy and has dedicated his evenings to teaching current Pro points leader Chris Dilbeck to rebuild an engine.

Stevens' girlfriend, Lindsey White, said Stevens would return to the doctor next week for a prognosis on his recovery.

"The doctor told us that he's never seen more of a determined patient than Doug," White said. "He said he's seen it all, and he's never seen someone so determined to get back to the race track and get well. Every Thursday night, he can't wait to get the garage to see everybody and help out."

On the web ? www.atlantamotorspeedway.com, www.legendsofga.com