With the temperatures warming, the grass turning ever greener and the azaleas blooming in bright color, those springtime happenings signaled it was time for another spring tradition, as the seventh full season of Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine kicked off on Friday night.
The pit road drag strip was hopping with activity, as over 300 machines geared up to battle across 17 different divisions on the eighth-mile pit lane drag strip. Among the off-season changes for the speedway, the implementation of a new concrete launch pad and the introduction of a starter light highlighted the new wrinkles during the lid-lifter for the 2013 season.
A new season with new changes always brings newcomers out to the speedway, with a few making their way to victory lane on Friday night. In Super Pro action, Michael Ramsey took his Undercover Dragster chassis to victory lane, as his competitor red-lighted the start and was disqualified. Ramsey noted after the win that his chassis is still in an experimental stage, perhaps meaning the best is still yet to come for this vehicle.
Another fresh face that took home the trophy was the Pro division’s Michael Moffett. Driving a car owned by Super Pro racer Mark White, Moffett wheeled his 1967 Ford Shelby Mustang to the win. The victory was very meaningful to the McDonough resident, who just recently starting driving for White, as he completed chemotherapy for colon cancer last week.
While new faces found success, veterans and previous winners also added to their trophy collection on week one, as guys like Tony Morse, Will Coots, Bill Patrick, Nicolas Feliciano, Toney Freeman and others were left standing tall at the end of final round eliminations in their respective divisions.
Fans are reminded to keep an eye out for the red cars once again this year at Friday Night Drags. Anytime a red car ends up in victory lane in any division, fans qualify for 50 percent off any regular priced menu item on Saturday when ordering online at PapaJohns.com. Fans are asked to use the promo code 50RED when ordering at participating locations.
Below is a complete list of the April 26 winners:
Super Pro: Michael Ramsey (Canton) in a 2010 Undercover Dragster
Pro: Michael Moffett (McDonough) in a 1967 Ford Shelby Mustang
Street Outlaw: Keith Johnson (Jenkinsburg) in a 1995 Ford Mustang Cobra
Summit Racing Sportsman: Tony Morse (Grantville) in a 1981 Chevrolet Malibu
Truck Advanced: Will Coots (McDonough) in a 1985 Chevrolet Silverado
Diesel Truck: Matt Mobley (Monroe) in a 2001 Chevrolet
Truck: Bill Patrick (Stockbridge) in a 1948 Willis Panel Wagon
Domestic Advanced: Kelly Kilbourne (McDonough) in a 1988 Chevrolet S-10
Street Modified: Casey Allen (Brooks) in a 1990 Nissan Pickup
Domestic: Rodney Tolbert (Locust Grove) in a 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Tuner: Nicolas Feliciano (Griffin) in a 1982 Toyota Corolla
Sport Compact: Trey Holley (Zebulon) in a 1992 Honda Civic
ATV: David Armstrong (McDonough) on a 2000 Yamaha Banshee
Cycle Nation Super Bike: Toney Freeman (Stockbridge) on a 2004 Suzuki GSX-R 1000
Sport Bike: Cordero Woody (Locust Grove) on a 2011 BMW S1000RR
Motorcycle: Matthew Carlile (Hampton) on a 2011 Suzuki GSX-R 750
Cruiser/Dirt Bike: Robert Thomas (Griffin) on a 2002 Harley-Davidson Low Rider
The Show-N-Shine competition featured everything from new imports to classic muscle cars and automobiles ranging as far back as the 1930s. An Atlanta Motor Speedway Show-N-Shine record 221 vehicles rolled into the infield to be judged and then take part in the Speedway Cruise.
Below is a complete list of the April 26 winners:
Showroom Current (1973 through current):
First Place: Chris Gallagher
Second Place: Brooke Turner (Hampton), Camaro ZL1
Third Place: Leigh Blakey, Ford Mustang
Showroom Classic (1950 to 1972):
First Place: Eric Fleming (Hiram), 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle
Second Place: Ken Thaxton, 1967 Chevrolet Corvette
Third Place: Nick Delong (Jackson), 1969 Dodge Charger R/T
First Place: Jesse Olive (Hampton), Scion xB
Second Place: Sasha Holley (Zebulon), 2011 Kia Optima
Third Place: Jose Lopez (Griffin), Hyundai Genesis
Classic Custom (1950 to 1972):
First Place: Gary Lee (Peachtree City), 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Second Place: Randy Thornton, 1956 Ford Truck
Third Place: Glen and Sheril Leslie (Conyers), 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air
Current Custom (1973 through current):
First Place: Shannon Pillman, 1970 Chevrolet Camaro
Second Place: Durant Hardwick (Atlanta), 2012 Dodge Challenger RT Sport
Third Place: Josh Frizzell (McDonough), 2004 Ford Mustang Cobra
First Place: Donald Nguyen (McDonough), Lincoln Navigator
Second Place: Brad Buongiorne (Newnan), 2010 Ford F-250
Third Place: James Campbell (Hampton), 1954 Ford F-1
First Place: Hank Kendall (Byron), 1937 Chevrolet Pickup Extended Cab
Second Place: Buddy Mendias, Willy’s Pickup
Third Place: Eddie Oliver (Warner Robins), 1949 Oliver Pickup
Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine returns May 3 with week two of the drag racing season, featuring the first Kids’ Power Wheel Race of the year. Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m. and nightly drag race eliminations start at 9:15 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 $8 for adults and children five and under are free. More information can be found at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/drags or by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211.