0

Locust Grove's Brad Shelnutt claims victory in the Legends Masters series

By Rory Sharrock

rsharrock@news-daily.com

To be the best, one has to beat the best.

This was the motivation behind Brad Shelnutt of Locust Grove, who surpassed former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott en route to capturing the checkered flag in the Legends Masters division during Thursday Night Thunder at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Shelnutt took the pole position from the heat races and never looked back for his first victory at the hallowed track this summer.

"Fortunately, I got off to a good start. I got a good draw in the heat races. I had some pressure with Bill Elliott behind me, so I knew I had to be on my toes every step of the way. I drove the best race I've run in a long time," said Shelnutt.

Shelnutt's No. 24 car blew out more heat from his exhaust pipe than the humidity in the air to cruise past the field despite fighting off several caution flags, which slowed up progress.

With his latest triumph, Shelnutt gained some added confidence and momentum to keep a steady pace, which he hopes will produce positive results in the points standings come season's end.

"This is the first step. I feel good about what we did tonight. I'm third in points," he said.

"If we're up front, it really doesn't matter. The main thing was I got a good starting position.

I changed some stuff from practice this week and I felt pretty good about it. The main thing was to be smooth and not make any mistakes. Fortunately, this race was mistake free."