A pair of 2008 champions returned to Victory Lane for the first time in 2009 during Atlanta Motor Speedway's ninth week of Friday Night Drags.
John Bonner of Molina and Mike Chambers of Griffin each claimed top honors in their respective class (Pro and Pro Four) to mark their first wins of the 2009 season. Bonner won the 2008 Street Outlaw championship in a 1986 Toyota truck with four wins, but returned to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time in 2009 in a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. In only the Bel Air's first night of passes down Atlanta Motor Speedway's pit lane drag strip, the car easily made its way to Victory Lane.
Chambers also claimed four wins during his 2008 campaign to take the Pro Four title, but had failed to win in three 2009 appearances. Brushing his troubles aside, Chambers blazed down the drag strip pass-after-pass to take his 1957 Volkswagen Bug to Victory Lane for the first time in 2009.
Points will be awarded each night during the 13-week points season in every class except the Domestic, Truck and Sport Compact divisions. Each division winner will take home three points, second-place two points and the rest of the participants will be awarded one point. The competitor with the most points at the end of the season wins the championship title on September 11. In the event of a tie, the competitor with the most wins will be awarded the title.
Please note, Friday Night drags will not run on Friday, Aug. 7. However, motorcyclists can still drag race at Atlanta Motor Speedway as part of the 32nd Annual National Biker's Roundup at the Speedway . The summer racing series will return on Friday, Aug. 14.
Below is a complete list of the July 31 winners:
Super Pro: Billy Clevenger ( Jonesboro ) in a Chevrolet 1977
Pro: John Bonner (Molina) in a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
Pro Four: Mike Chambers ( Griffin ) in a 1957 Volkswagen Bug
Street Outlaw: Chris Stripling (Stockbridge) in a 1987 Ford Mustang
Sportsman: Rudy Roddy (McDonough) in a 1969 Chevrolet Nova
Truck Advanced: Chuck Poole (Stockbridge) in a 1986 Chevrolet Silverado
Truck: Steven Fulton ( Jonesboro ) in a 1972 Chevrolet C-10
Domestic Advanced: Curtis Teal ( Peachtree City ) in a 1975 Chevrolet Luv
ATV: Rodney Tolbert (Locust Grove) on a 2003 Yamaha Banshee
Domestic: Shannon Shelton ( Forest Park ) in a 2000 Camaro SS
Sport Compact: Rick Payne ( Atlanta ) in a 2005 Infinity G35
Tuners: Jose Samaniego ( Jonesboro ) in a 1993 Honda Civic
Super Bike: Michelle Ewing (Senoia) on a GSXR1000
Motorcycle (Cruiser/Dirt bike): Jacob Turner ( Griffin ) on a 1988 Honda CR500
The Show N' Shine competition featured everything from new imports to classic muscle cars. Below is a complete list of the July 31 winners:
Showroom Current (1973 through current): Reba Smith in a Ford Mustang
Runner-up: Mark Castilla in a Ford GT
Third-place: Sam Pacchioli in a 2005 Ford Mustang GT
Showroom Classic (1972 and prior): Ken Thaxton in a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Runner-up: Ron Wiese in a Jeep Ambulance
Third-place: Larry Bell in a 1966 Pontiac GTO
Tuner (all sport compact vehicles): Matthew Schoonover in a 1989 Toyota Tacoma
Current Custom (1973 through current): Sharon Doughty in a Chrysler PT Cruiser
Runner-up: Steve Croker in a Ford Mustang GT
Third-place: Mike Lozano in a 1995 Chevrolet Impala SS
Classic Custom (1972 and prior): Cliff & Ann Cathran in a 1949 Chevrolet Panel
Runner-up: Linda Colley in a 1957 Chevrolet Z10
Third-place: Johnny Jones ( Jackson ) in a 1941 Willys
Motorcycle: Cody Phillips
Atlanta Motor Speedway's Friday Night Drags is held Friday nights through September 11. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and nightly drag race eliminations start after 9:00 p.m. However, Friday Night Drags will not run next Friday, Aug. 7. The summer racing series will return on Friday, Aug. 14.
Entry to drag race or for the Show N' Shine is just $20 or competitors can purchase a combo ticket for $30. Spectator tickets at Friday Night Drags are just $7 for adults and children under six are free. More information can be found at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.