Atlanta Motor Speedway is speeding into summer with the start of Friday Night Drags, a 14-week summer drag racing series that returns to AMS' one-eighth mile, pit-lane drag strip on Friday, May 22 for the summer-opening exhibition event.

For just $7, local race fans will get their first opportunity to witness the street-style drag racing action of Friday Night Drags, featuring everything from pro cars to quick commuter vehicles, in addition to the weekly Show-N-Shine car show. Providing extra entertainment for week one, fans can also ride along with competitors in lower divisions for $20.

Despite being closed to the public for testing before the 2009 season, last week's Friday Night Drags Test & Tune featured more than 150 competitors, a number expected to surge to even more impressive levels for the regular season points opener on June 5.

Entering the series' third-full season, Friday Night Drags has quickly become a favorite summer pastime in the local community. During the 10-week 2008 season, more than 1,100 competitors raced in front of more than 50,000 fans, while an additional 500 competitors entered the Show-N-Shine.

Adding more excitement to the Friday Night Drags slate, five new competition classes have been added for 2009. For stock foreign and domestic sport compact cars, the Sport Compact class has been introduced as a novice division for Tuners. The Truck Advanced class has been created for significantly-modified trucks, while AMS has fine-tuned its Pro division by adding the Super Pro division for the most-advanced drag cars and leaving Pro for naturally-aspirated engines only. For motorcycle enthusiasts, AMS has also developed a Super Bike class and a Motorcycle division.

Following the exhibition event on Friday, the regular season begins on June 5 with the first of 13 points events on the Friday Night Drag schedule.

Spectator entry for Friday Night Drags is just $7, while children ages five and under are admitted free of charge. To compete, the cost to drag race or enter the Show-N-Shine car show is just $20 for one or $30 to enter both. Outside parking is free for spectators in the Earnhardt lot or just $20 to park on the AMS infield.

Competitors are urged to arrive before 6:00 p.m. for a 6:20 practice session, while grandstand gate 15 opens at 6:30 p.m. for fan admission. Elimination drag racing action begins promptly at 9:09 p.m.