Atlanta Thursday Thunder preview 2001-08-09

HAMPTON, GA -- As a special addition to the season finale of Thursday Thunder racing, WSB-TV sports anchor Bill Hartman will take on his son, WMAZ-TV (Macon) sports anchor Scott Hartman, in the "Family Feud 2001" grudge race. "I can't...

HAMPTON, GA -- As a special addition to the season finale of Thursday Thunder racing, WSB-TV sports anchor Bill Hartman will take on his son, WMAZ-TV (Macon) sports anchor Scott Hartman, in the "Family Feud 2001" grudge race.

"I can't wait to kick the pants off my father," Scott Hartman said with bravado. Hartman vs. Hartman will be a thrilling 8-lap race on the quarter-mile frontstretch oval at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and it will take place during a special second intermission period.

The first intermission period will feature the return of the popular kids' candy and coin scramble, when kids will be given 30 seconds to grab up as many goodies as they can hold.

This Thursday is Fan Appreciation Night, when every fan in attendance will leave with a goody bag stuffed with keepsake racing programs, valuable coupons and free samples from this year's sponsors.

The whole evening will be a special presentation to the loyal fans of Thursday Thunder. There will be an autograph session with all Thursday Thunder drivers, a petting zoo for the children to enjoy and a fireworks display to cap the evening's celebration.

Atlanta Motor Speedway is opening up the prize vault and giving away everything left, including hats, T-shirts, magnets, key chains, discount coupons, gift certificates and more. Fans can also win tickets to November's Georgia-Pacific Winston Cup Qualifying and ARCA 400 race.

Gates open at 6 p.m. and the racing begins right away. Fireworks are expected to begin around 10:15 p.m.

For Pro division competitors Doug Stevens and Reed Sorenson, every position matters on Thursday.

For the second year in a row, the Pro division champion will come down to the final race. Sorenson led last year's race until the final weeks, when Stevens eked out his third straight title by winning the final two races.

This year, Stevens trails 15-year-old Sorenson by just three points. That means Sorenson must finish at least one place ahead of Stevens to clinch the championship. If Stevens finishes ahead of Sorenson, he will do no worse than tie his young competitor.

And since the championship can't end in a tie, the tiebreaker would go to number of wins. Each driver currently has three wins, so the tiebreaker would then go to average finishing position, which happens to be second for both drivers. This one might be the race too close to call.

The Semi-Pro A division has another tight race, as Brandon Brilliant retook the points lead last week by a mere eight points. Meredith will have to finish three places ahead of Brilliant to steal the championship back.

-AMS

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Series Stock car
Drivers Doug Stevens , Bill Hartman