HAMPTON - Covington racer Kyle Lowry made a remarkable return last week to Thursday Thunder at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Lowry, in his first race of the season, held off NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Ragan, avoiding some last-lap mayhem to win the Pro Division race.
"It was a good race, a fun race," Lowry said. "It was good to come back and get a win."
On the final lap, the leaders - Austin Hill, Zach Kittle and Jimmy Henderson from Conyers - got together in turn three, allowing Lowry and Ragan to scoot and claim first and second.
"It did get wild at the end," Lowry said. "I was trying to be patient since I hadn't been on the track in a while. I was trying to be patient and get in a good spot for the end.
"Yeah, that was really cool to do that (beat David Ragan). He's a good driver. To finish ahead of him is a good feeling."
Ragan, who won the 2000 Semi-Pro Division at Thursday Thunder, returned to AMS during a rare off week on the Sprint Cup schedule.
"These guys are racing every week; they're fast and they're good," Ragan said. "It's tough to show up at a local track and unseat the local guys, but we came in and had a little fun and didn't finish dead last."
It was Lowry's sixth victory overall in Thursday Thunder competition on the flat quarter-mile track on the front stretch of AMS.
Last year, Lowry rallied in the final five weeks of Thursday Thunder to claim the 2008 Legends Pro Division championship.
This year, his racing efforts have been grounded by a lack of sponsorship
"It was my first time racing since last year at Thursday Thunder," he said. "We're short on money to race, but we built up a little bit of money, enough to go have a little fun.
"We'd like to continue racing, we really want to do it. But it comes down to needing money and needing sponsors."
In the Masters Division, Oxford's Randy Thorton finished fifth.
Jeff Gillespie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.