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Speedway rolls into summer with racing events
by Christine Fonville
June 03, 2014 02:40 PM | 2685 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Christine Fonville /
 Racing driver Jensen Jorgensen, 15, in a Legends car at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Staff / Christine Fonville / Racing driver Jensen Jorgensen, 15, in a Legends car at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
It’s almost summer and at Atlanta Motor Speedway, 1500 Tara Place in Hampton, that means Thursday Thunder and Friday Night Drags racing events are back.

The events, which started Tuesday night and run until Sept. 19, include street-style and grassroots racing on the speedway’s quarter-mile Thunder Ring. Gates open at 6 p.m. with Thursday Thunder racing beginning at 7 p.m. and Friday Night Drags at 6:30 p.m. Tickets range from $2 for children 5 to eleven up to $8 for adults.

“Our Thursday Thunder racing events are an affordable activity that the entire family can enjoy,” Summer Race Director Brandon Hutchison said at a media event. “For tickets that are cheaper than going to a matinee movie, kids and adults can enjoy competitive racing activities in the grand stands to make the event even more fun.”

Games, contests and giveaways will take place throughout the evening. Speedway President Ed Clark said while the sport is fun for families to watch, it is also a great opportunity for a younger generation who may be interested in pursuing racing.

“The reality is that about 60 drivers who’ve raced in Thursday Thunder’s legends cars have gone on to race in the touring division of NASCAR,” he said. “It’s a huge vote of confidence in what Legend car racing can do for aspiring drivers who have the opportunity to learn car control and how to race.”

Legends cars are five-eighths scale replicas of classic coupes and sedans of the 1930s that were modified into the affordable racing machines of NASCAR’s grassroots history. But with a 1200cc, four-cylinder Yamaha engine delivering 122 horsepower, they are made to race.

“As a person who has raced a Legends car, these things have a lot of power and it takes skill to drive one,” Clark said.

During the Thursday Thunder events, anyone over 14 can test drive a Legends car around the Thunder ring for 15 laps for $75.

Clark said the events are part of many attendees’ summer traditions.

“It’s great to see families coming out to have fun together and many times we see the same fans who come sit in their same, favorite seats week after week,” he said.

Each event will have a special theme, with the next race on June 12 featuring a Hawaiian motif.


Related stories, see Sports.

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