From Staff Reports
History may be made at Thursday Thunder's fourth week of the 2010 season as a short-track star goes for the all-time wins mark on the "Thunder Ring" at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Thursday, June 24.
With a win on Thursday, Skip Nichols will become the all-time wins leader in Thursday Thunder history with 28 wins. In addition to racing for history, Nichols will attempt to break a points tie in the Thunder Roadsters class, one of five Thursday Thunder points races separated by just 12 points or less.
Week four of Thursday Thunder will include seven classes of short-track action featuring Bandolero, Legends and Thunder Roadster vehicles racing on Atlanta Motor Speedway's "Thunder Ring," a quarter-mile oval located on the frontstretch of Atlanta's 1.54-mile quad oval track. In addition to the on-track showcase of speed and racing precision, each week of Thursday Thunder includes family concourse activities, grandstand games and an autograph session with the stars of Thursday Thunder.
Chasing History: Nichols Needs One to Set All-Time Wins Record
Skip Nichols sits just one-win away from sole possession of Thursday Thunder's all-time wins record, a mark many expect the Albany native to accomplish during Thursday Thunder's fourth week of 2010 by claiming his 28th-career win.
Nichols sits tied with Thunder legend Doug Stevens with 27 wins after sweeping both Masters class features during Double Features Night at Thursday Thunder on June, 17. Expected to enter both the Masters and Thunder Roadsters features for week four, Nichols will have two opportunities to claim history.
Nichols currently sits first in Masters division points with a 12-point margin after claiming three wins in the season's first-four races. Meanwhile, Nichols is tied for first in the Thunder Roadsters class with Brian Meredith (Locust Grove), with each posting one 2010 win.
Points Standings Remain Tight Following Double Features:
Despite drivers having twice the opportunities to gain ground on the competition, five Thursday Thunder points races remain tightly grouped at the top following Double Feature Night.
Five Thursday Thunder classes - Masters, OCP Angus Farms Pro, Dixie Home Crafters Semi-Pro, Thunder Roadsters, and Young Lions - feature margins of 12 points or less between first and second place. Of those, the Dixie Home Crafters Semi-Pro and Young Lions are separated by single digits (four and nine points respectively), while the Thunder Roadsters feature a first-place tie between Skip Nichols and Brian Meredith.
Sean Rayhall (Winston) swept both Young Lions features to extend his points lead in the class, but Mason Massey (Winston) fought for second in each event to stay within nine points of the leader.
Each driver has four top-five finishes to start the season, but Rayhall has three wins to Massey's one.
With a new winner in each feature, the Dixie Home Crafters Semi-Pro class points race remains separated by just four points at the top. Despite being winless on the season, Garrett Smithley (Peachtree City) holds the division lead with 361-total points and an average finish of 4.75. William Plemons III (Smyrna) trails by just four points and has posted one win in 2010, while Mike Weed (Franklin) and Jake Armstrong (Senoia) also remain within single digits at eight-marks behind first.
In Thursday Thunder's closest race, Nichols and Meredith sit tied atop the Thunder Roadster standings with 382 points and a win apiece. Despite Taylor Hull (Winston) claiming both week three wins to jump to fourth in the standings, Meredith closed a six-point gap on Nichols by finishing one spot ahead of his closest competition in each race, finishing second to Nichols' third in both events.
Entertainment: Belly Flop Contest and National Anthem.
While they aren't necessarily a rite of summer, hot weather and cool pools mean belly flops will undoubtedly be a part of many race fans' summer plans.
With that in mind, Atlanta Motor Speedway has decided to bring together belly flops and summer short-track racing by hosting a Belly Flop Contest during Thursday Thunder's fourth week.
Featuring big bellies and a small pool, a select group of Thursday Thunder fans will be selected to participate in a mini-pool Belly Flop Contest. The contest will be judge by fan applause and by the Thursday Thunder grandstand announcers and a prize will be awarded to the top flop.
In addition to the Belly Flop contest, grandstand games and trivia, 16-year old Timi Webb of Zebulon will perform the National Anthem at Thursday Thunder.
Looking beyond the series' fourth week, Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder event on July 1 will feature a spectacular fireworks display to celebrate Independence Day courtesy of Marco's Pizza.
The extensive fireworks display will be the largest and best on Atlanta's south side and parking is free for the event.
Featuring a full slate of short-track racing, Thursday Thunder is an affordably-priced activity that offers something for spectators of all ages. Tickets are just $5 for adults and $1 for children 6-11 (ages 5 and under are free) for each evening of family fun and grass-roots racing.
Gates open at 6 p.m., heat races start at 6:15 p.m. and feature races start at approximately 7:50 p.m.
For more information about Thursday Thunder, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com