Thursday Thunder takes off amid an influx of competitors

From Wire Reports

Atlanta Motor Speedway's eighth week of Thursday Thunder featured added excitement from brimming Bandolero car counts as an influx of competitors make their way to the Speedway for this weekend's Bandolero Nationals.

 Skip Nichols held the advantage to start the Masters feature race, but Randy Thornton quickly claimed the inside entering turn three and emerged from turn four as the race leader. Thornton held the advantage momentarily before Clay Hair jumped to the front. Pushing ahead of the pack, Hair steadily built a sizeable advantage and claimed the win in his first Thursday Thunder appearance of 2009.

 Andrew Anderson sat on the pole for the Semi-Pro feature, but a first-lap wreck forced Anderson to the back and gave Kenzie Ruston the advantage. After a second early caution, Ruston led the remaining laps following Anderson's collision and took the checkered flag.

John Holleman led the M&S Auto Bandits to the start, but T.J. Michael quickly jumped to the lead following a series of cautions. Jockeying for position in the opening laps, Michael pulled ahead by the race's midpoint and won in a shortened event due to the class time limit.       

Justin Thomas held the pole position to start the Young Lions feature, but "Super" Davey Matthews jumped ahead on the opening lap. After two mid-race cautions tightened the field, Kittle and Matthews began swapping the lead in the race's waning laps. A bump from Evan Swilling pushed Kittle out of line giving Matthews the outright lead. However, Swilling soon caught Matthews and another bump slowed the leaders and allowed Donald McIntosh to dive inside on turn four and take the win.

Holding the advantage to start the Thunder Roadsters feature, Adam Gay led the contenders to the start. Expanding his advantage in the opening laps, Gay appeared uncatchable. But after passing lap traffic, Jeremy Kalina emerged in second and progressively closed on Gay's lead. Nearing his bumper by the midpoint, Kalina made the pass on lap 12 and carried the lead to Victory Lane.

Austin Langenstein guided the Young Guns to the green flag, but Matthew Linker made an early pass for the lead. Appearing in his second feature race of the evening, Matthews quickly closed on Linker's bumper with Justin Carroll in tow. Linker began adding to his lead as Carroll passed Matthews, but a caution bunched the field entering the second half of the feature. Linker maintained the advantage on the restart with Matthews playing chase, but a last-lap collision allowed pole-holder Langenstein to emerge from the traffic as the winner.

Trey Maughan began the J.J. Morley Outlaws feature with the advantage, but Garrett Smithley made an inside pass for the lead on lap five. Smithley developed an insurmountable lead and cruised past the checkered flag for the win.

Jordan Webb took the pole to start the Pro feature, but fell to the rear after contact with Billy Fulson at the start of the race, allowing Justin Swilling to inherit the lead. Zach Kittle took the lead on the sixth lap and pulled away to take the victory.       

Wyatt Simic led to start the Bandolero Promoter's Choice race before being immediately overtaken by Jackie Ryan for the top spot. Brad Shelnutt later took the lead but gave way to Tyler Mosley on the final lap.                                          

Jackie Ryan started the Legends Promoter's Choice Race from the pole position, leading the entire race to take home the win.