Lighting up the sky to celebrate the Fourth of July, Atlanta Motor Speedway's fifth week of Friday Night Drags will feature a fireworks show to honor America's independence on Friday, July 3.
Friday Night Drags fifth week will feature the largest and best fireworks show on Atlanta's south side. Spectators can view the show from the Friday Night Drags grandstands or the Speedway's Purple Parking Lot. In addition, week five will include a "Harley-Davidson Motorcycles" special Show-N-Shine class. As always, Friday Night Drags will feature 14 classes of street-style drag racing down Atlanta Motor Speedway's pit-lane drag strip.
Fireworks for July Fourth Weekend
Atlanta Motor Speedway will celebrate July Fourth weekend with a spectacular fireworks display at both Friday Night Drags and Thursday Thunder. Fans in attendance for the July 3 edition of Friday Night Drags will be treated to one of the largest fireworks shows on Atlanta's south side.
Atlanta Motor Speedway's fireworks will precede elimination drag racing action and will be launched from the Atlanta Motor Speedway infield, visible to both fans in attendance or from the Purple Parking Lot. Parking is $5 for fireworks and includes a $5 discount on general admission to Friday Night Drags.
An adult ticket for Friday Night Drags' July Fourth weekend fireworks celebration is just $7 and gates open at 6:20 p.m.
Weekly Special Show-N-Shine: "Harley-Davidson Motorcycles"
Atlanta Motor Speedway features a special Show-N-Shine class each week and week five will spotlight Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. The "Harley-Davidson Motorcycles" Show-N-Shine class will highlight a brand that has become an American icon, recognizable simply by its first name, distinctive design and familiar exhaust note. The "Harley-Davidson Motorcycles" Show-N-Shine class is open to all Harley-Davidsons, but other motorcycles are encouraged to come out and compete in the Motorcycle Show-N-Shine class.
McDonough's Charles Chapman won the week four special class, "Hot Rod Heaven," in his 1933 Ford Coupe. In addition to each week's special class, Friday Night Drags' Show-N-Shine presents awards to show cars in six classes.
2008 Champions Find Themselves Fighting for Position
A year after running away with their respective class titles, a pair of 2008 champions are fighting for position during the 2009 Friday Night Drags season. Bill Hatfield of Hampton and Rodney Tolbert of Jonesboro both sit tied atop the standings in their respective classes - Sportsman and ATV - less than a year after decimating their competition.
Winning his class by an astounding 15 points in 2008, Tolbert currently sits in a three-way tie atop the ATV standings with just five points. An increase in competitors - especially among highly-modified ATVs - is likely behind the tie; only 16 ATV competitors accumulated two or more points in 2008, while 15 have already done so in four weeks during the 2009 schedule.
Hampton's own Hatfield ran away with the Sportsman championship in 2008, beating his closest competitor by six points. However, he currently sits tied for the lead in 2009 with another Hampton resident, Russell Johnson. Johnson held the Sportsman lead earlier in the year, but Hatfield posted back-to-back wins to leap into a tie. However, with more than half the season remaining, both Hampton hopefuls have time to push for the 2009 championship.
The 2009 Friday Night Drags season features heads up, street-style racing on AMS' eighth-mile pit road drag strip. It will run on Friday nights through Sept. 11. Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m. and practice drag runs begin at 6:20 p.m. Show N' Shine car show judging begins at 8:20 p.m. with the elimination drag runs starting at approximately 9:00 p.m.
The series is open to any automobile and any driver, provided they possess a valid driver's license. All racers ages 16 and 17 must have a fully-executed minor's release form on file at the speedway prior to competition (forms available at the Speedway or at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com). Competitors must wear an approved helmet and have operational seat belts in the vehicle and pass a pre-race safety inspection.
Entry to drag race or for the Show N' Shine is $20 or competitors can enter both for $30. Spectator admission is only $7 and exterior parking is free, while infield parking is $20.
For more information about drag racing at AMS, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.