Jonesboro Ga.'s Leigh Blakey, a Clinical Coordinator and Registered Nurse, should know all the symptoms of various illnesses. Despite her most valiant efforts, Blakey has caught a bad case of car show fever, inflicted by Atlanta Motor Speedway's Castrol GTX Friday Night Drags Show N' Shine car show.

Blakey, one of the few female Show N' Shine competitors participating in Castrol GTX Friday Night Drags, can be found in the same spot in the AMS garage area every Friday night showing her black 2002 Pontiac Trans Am. 

"I had never been into car shows, but I always have had a love for cars," Blakey revealed. "My brother and nephew drag race at AMS on Friday nights and I wanted to be part of the show... without putting the wear and tear of racing on my Trans Am."

Blakey found her niche with the car show portion of the Friday Night Drags program and couldn't be happier, showing her car at every event in 2007 and attending every 2006 event. For Blakey Friday nights are more than a good excuse to show off her beloved Pontiac, it is an opportunity to mingle with like-minded people and enjoy an entire evening of entertainment for a reasonable price.

"Where else in Atlanta can you go for $20 and be entertained for seven hours?" Blakey asked. "It is cheaper than $20 if you sit in the grandstands. Friday nights are a fun, family atmosphere and the people are laid back. I have been able to meet car show enthusiasts and make new friends through AMS. Now I attend several area car shows regularly."

A trauma nurse for several years, Blakey has seen first-hand what irresponsible high-speed driving can do and uses Castrol GTX Friday Night Drags as a platform to spread the word about safe, intelligent driving.

"I've seen what can happen if you don't respect the power of a car," Blakey said. "I use Friday nights as a way to communicate with kids out here about being safe behind the wheel. I enjoy spreading that message."

Blakey cites several attributes about her Trans Am that keep her from wanting to sell and upgrade to a newer vehicle with fewer miles.

"I love the power," Blakey said. "I purchased the car new and I have put more than 100,000 miles on it. I will never sell it, but I am probably going to buy a 2009 Trans Am when they come out.

"I drove a Trans Am when I was 17 years old and was addicted to the way the car handled," Blakey continued. "If you like to actually drive a car, a Trans Am is for you. It is a pleasure to drive."

While Blakey readily admits she has a minor addiction to speed, she plans to keep her prized car off the drag strip for one reason.

"I am very passionate about keeping my car in one piece," Blakey laughed. "It is not my driving skills I worry about, it would be the slight possibility of getting wrecked by someone else."

Blakey is confident she can out-drive most men on the drag strip, but she has one prerequisite for anyone seeking a date.

"If you don't know the horsepower your car has, I can't go on a date with you," Blakey said with a smile. "That is a definite must for a man wanting a first date."