Coming down the final stretch of the 2009 season, week 11 of Atlanta Motor Speedway's Friday Night Drags saw competitors fighting for last-minute points to make a late-season championship run.
With only two weeks of Friday Night Drags remaining, one such fight featured fan favorite Bill Patrick of Stockbridge in the Truck Advanced class. Matched up with his boss from Peach State Freight Liners in Forest Park, Dwayne Bethune (fourth in points), in the final, Patrick opted to run without a boost of nitrous oxide at Bethune's request.
"He asked me to run without nitrous and he said I'd be fired Monday if I didn't," said Patrick with a laugh.
Even without nitrous, Patrick easily beat Bethune to the finish and claimed three needed points. With the win, Patrick jumped to first in points among Truck Advanced competitors, now holding 23 points to Chuck Poole's 21.
"I've been hoping we would meet in the finals all year," added Patrick regarding his final-round matchup with his boss, Bethune.
With his second-place finish, Bethune now sits with 14 points in the Truck Advanced class.
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.
Below is a complete list of the Aug. 21 winners:
Super Pro: Billy Clevenger (Jonesboro) in a Chevrolet 1977
Pro: Tony Morse (Grantville)
Pro Four: Thomas Collazo (Gainesville) in a 1977 Toyota Corolla
Street Outlaw: Thomas Griffin (Newnan) in a 1988 Ford Mustang
Sportsman: Joey Stone (Rex) in a 1977 Chevrolet Luv
Truck Advanced: Bill Patrick (Stockbridge) in a 1948 Willys
Truck: John Schwrz (Locust Grove) in a 1966 Ford F100
Domestic Advanced: Curtis Teal (Peachtree City) in a 1975 Chevrolet Luv
ATV: Carlos Collier (Powder Springs) on a Yamaha Banshee
Domestic: Eddie Correll (McDonough) in a 1981 Chevrolet Corvette
Sport Compact: David Nemeth (Locust Grove) in a1998 Honda Civic Hatchback
Tuners: Derek Hofmann (Milton) in a 2004 Subaru STI
Super Bike: Adam Jones (McDonough) on a Suzuki GSXR1000
The Show N' Shine competition featured everything from new imports to classic muscle cars. Below is a complete list of the Aug. 21 winners:
Showroom Current (1973 through current): Gary Lee
Runner-up: Chris Gallagher
Third-place: Zakery Whitley
Showroom Classic (1972 and prior): Bill Steele
Runner-up: Darryl Jackson
Third-place: Deidre Lawrence
Tuner (all sport compact vehicles): Tony Taylor
Runner-up: Shannon Pittman
Third-place: Jesse King
Current Custom (1973 through current): Steve Coker
Runner-up: Clint Mogel
Third-place: Mike Lozano
Classic Custom (1972 and prior): Don McLaughlin
Runner-up: Shelby Willis
Third-place: Linda Colley
Motorcycle: Douglas Smith
Runner-up: Michelle Ewing
President's Choice: Leigh Blakey
Specialty Super Bike Award: Greg Stewart
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.
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.