AMS President Clark takes 'quiet' victory

From staff reports

Due to the tornado damage Atlanta Motor Speedway sustained three weeks ago, Thursday Thunder activities were suspended.

AMS worked feverishly to get the facility cleaned up in order to return to racing.

Track officials decided to resume Thursday Thunder racing, however, could not open the grandstands to fans due to the reconstruction efforts on the Earnhardt and Champions grandstands and suites.

Beau Slocumb (Juliette) led the field to the green flag for the Roadsters division, however, on lap one, AMS president and general manager, Ed Clark (Peachtree City) took over the lead.

Slocumb and Clark were in a heated battle for the lead, changing the lead lap after lap. In the end, Clark crossed the finish line first claiming his very first Roadsters feature win.

The first feature of the night was the Pro division with 2004 champion Chris Dilbeck (Hampton) on the pole.

Beau Slocumb (Juliette) took the early lead on lap one. There were many passes throughout the field during the 20 lap feature, however, no one could touch Slocumb who claimed his first win of the season.

Next up was the Tanger Outlet Centers Masters division with Johnny Rucker (McDonough) leading the field to the green flag.

Rucker was three-wide with Randy Thornton (Oxford) and Brian Weimer (Cumming) down the backstretch and Rucker lost that battle, spinning out, but not bringing out the caution and giving the lead to Weimer.

Weimer took full advantage and jumped ahead of the field and won by a 10-second margin claiming his third win of the season.

Casey Roderick (Lawrenceville) started on the point for the Semi-Pro feature.

On lap three, Brennan Poole (Woodlands, Texas) took over the lead.On lap five, the caution flag was thrown when Chris Keir (Hampton) spun out on the backstretch.

After the restart, Roderick worked Poole each lap trying to edge past him, but Poole was the victor, claiming the checkered flag.

Upon post race inspection, Poole was disqualified, handing the win to Roderick, his second win of the season.

The Rhino Video Games Chargers division was next with Billy Fulson (Brooks) on the pole. However, in turn one, R.S. Senter (Oakwood) took the lead. On lap nine, Aron Brook (Newnan) stole the top spot.

Phillip Bell (Senoia) lost a tire on lap 13 bringing out the caution.

On the restart, James Auld (Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, Great Britain) became the leader and held on to claim his first win.

The track was dry enough to allow the Bandolero classes to compete and the first division of the evening to race was the Outlaws division.

Jody Pilkenton (Griffin) started on the point, but Daniel Moore (Griffin) took over the early lead and jumped ahead of the field and never looked back, scoring his third win this season.

The Mid-Georgia Tractor Young Guns feature started with J.R. Allen (Duluth) on the pole.

On lap one, Brandon McReyonlds (Mooresville, NC), son of NASCAR broadcaster Larry McReynolds, took over the lead.

Ryan Gandee (McDonough), who started near the rear of the field, drove right on the back of McReynolds bumper by lap seven and on lap nine, took over the lead and the checkered flag. Gandee has gone undefeated in this Thursday Thunder season.

The last feature of the evening was the Atlanta Dental Team Bandits division.

Darrell Wallace, Jr. (Concord, NC) led the field to the green flag and remained the leader until lap 14 when Chris Siebert (Hampton) spun out. On the restart, second-place Austin Hill (Winston) was right on Wallace's tail, but could not make the pass. The second caution of the evening fell on lap 15 when Justin Swilling (Cohutta) spun in turn four, giving Hill another shot at Wallace.

On the restart, Hill got a jump on Wallace and passed him for the lead, but Charlie Gresham (Griffin) hit the wall in turn two and the caution was thrown before Hill could reach the start/finish line, causing the field to revert to the previously scored lap for the restart.