HAMPTON, Ga. – Despite an attempt by Mother Nature to stop the Thursday Thunder program, racing went on as scheduled on the Thunder Ring Thursday evening at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The WJP Investments Young Lions feature race supplied the most exciting race. As the race unfolded, Giovanni Ruggiero got out to an early lead, and his persistence showed in the first 10 laps of the race, as he fought off Parker Eatmon and Isaac Bevin who applied pressure. Late cautions gave Eatmon an opportunity to seize the lead from Ruggiero, but at that point the battle was far from over.
Eatmon led going into lap 16, but was unable to fend off a challenge from Isaac Bevin who took advantage of the inside lane going into turn one. Bevin’s win did not come easy as Eatmon and Ruggiero stayed in close pursuit all the way to the checkered flag.
In the Byron Powersports Semi-Pro feature race, Graham Campbell entered the evening fresh off the disappointment of a strong run that ended in sparks and frustration. Campbell was battling for the lead late in the running of Wednesday night’s Semi-Pro feature when contact sent him spinning out of contention.
Campbell would not be denied again on Thursday. The Braselton driver got off to a hot start and did not turn back as he dominated the race from flag to flag to secure the victory.
The Associates Group Pro feature and Masters feature looked like encore performances of Wednesday night’s features; veteran drivers Caleb Heady and Bill Plemons Jr. each earned back-to-back victories by claiming the checkered flags in their divisions Thursday night.
Clay Hocutt was strong all night in the Outlaws division, earning the pole position and leading throughout. However, Garrett Erwin and Kaleb Bradley gave Hocutt a run for his money, stalking him throughout the feature race. Ultimately, Hocutt stayed calm under pressure and claimed the checkered flag winning the Outlaw division for round three.
In other feature action Wednesday night, Carson Cauble drove into victory lane for his first Thursday Thunder Rookie Bandolero feature win. Additionally, Beckham Malone won the Bandits feature race for his second consecutive win, while Luke Yarbrough did the same in the Chargers feature.