The nation's most popular street drag racing series, the O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags and Show-N-Shine at Atlanta Motor Speedway opened as the 2014 season for the 9th year of drag racing at the track.
As a non-points event, opening night afforded competitors the opportunity to prepare for the 2014 drag racing season. The first points night of the year is Friday, May 30.
A new division added this year to O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags, the Factory Street Division, provided fans with a probable Atlanta Motor Speedway first with the victory of an all-electric car at Drags.
Kirk Pennywitt of Sharpsburg in a 2013 Tesla Model S, an all-electric vehicle, posted the first win in the Factory Street Division at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
"The tesla is pretty fast and I figured it had a pretty good shot," said Pennywitt. "It has 443 foot-pounds of torque at 0 RPMs so it gets everything right off the line - and then there's no shifting so it never bogs down."
According to Pennywitt, the Tesla is perfect for Atlanta Motor Speedway's 1/8-mile drag strip. "It's at its fastest in that first 1/8 of a mile."
"I think I'll be back [to O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags] in the future," said Pennywitt. "It was my first time here and it was a lot of fun."
In the Jailhouse Brewing Company Super Pro Division, Jim Harris of Snellville in a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro knocked off the 2002 Pontiac Trans AM piloted by John Fahmy of Acworth to capture the victory.
Below is a list of the May 9th winners:
Jailhouse Brewing Company Super Pro: Jim Harris (Snellville) in a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro
Pro: David Craft (McDonough) in a 1986 Chevrolet Corvette
Street Outlaw: Nicholas Feliciano (Griffin) in a 1984 Mazda RX7
Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman: Robert Blankenship (Locust Grove) in a 1986 Ford Mustang
Truck: Shelton Maynard (Hampton) in a 1972 Chevy C10
Truck Advanced: Danny Mason (Locust Grove) in a 1968 Chevrolet Pick Up
Domestic: Jimmy Harter (Rex) in a 1966 Ford Mustang
Domestic Advanced: Eric Roycroft in a 1986 Ford Mustang
Diesel Truck: Dwayne Bethune (Covington) in a 2006 Dodge 2500 4x4
Street Modified: Michael Gregory (Riverdale) in a 1985 Ford Mustang
Factory Street: Kirk Pennywitt (Sharpsburg) in a 2013 Tesla Model S
Tuner: Dominick Ciletti (Alpharetta) in a 2014 Audi S4
ATV: Bradley Smith (Griffin) on a 1987 Yamaha Banshee
Super Bike: DeMan Lewis (Fayetteville) on a 2001 Suzuki GSXR 1000
Sport Bike: Jeremy Julien (Fairburn) on a 2013 KAW 2X14
Cruiser/Dirt bike: Larry Henderson (Atlanta) on a 2007 YZ 85
The Show-N-Shine competition featured everything from new imports to classic muscle cars and automobiles ranging as far back as the 1930s. Those vehicles then took part in the Speedway Cruise following judging.
Below is a complete list of the May 9 winners:
Showroom Current (1973 through current):
First Place: Bryan Eubanks (Covington), 2010 Ford Mustang GT
Second Place: William Lowry (Hampton), 2005 Chevrolet Silverado
Third Place: Allen LeBlanc (Fayette), Ford Crown Victoria
Showroom Classic (1950-1972):
First Place: Mike Howie (Locust Grove), 1969 Mach 1
Second Place: Angela Martinez (Hampton), 1967 Buick Wildcat
First Place: Terry Serk (Conyers), 2013 Dodge Dart
Second Place: Mark Cline (Jonesboro), 2007 Honda Accord
Third Place: Mark Peppers (Fayetteville), 2005 Honda Civic
Show Room Modern:
First Place: Chris Gallagher, 1998 Pontiac Trans Am
Second Place: Shar Mol (Hampton), 1973 Cuda 340 6-Pack
Third Place: Thomas & Melissa Gilbert (McDonough), 1976 Chevrolet Camaro
Current Custom (1973 through current):
First Place: Steve Kochik (Stockbridge), 2008 Ford Mustang
Second Place: Jose Lopez (Griffin), 2013 Genesis
Third Place: Louis McLeroy (Newnan), 2002 Ford Mustang GT
First Place: Daniel Dubee (Atlanta), 2002 Yamaha Vstar
First Place: Terry Luca (Rex), 2011 Dodge Ram
Second Place: Bradley Buongiorne (Newnan), 2010 Ford F-250 Super Duty 6.4
Third Place: Ben Michaud (Newnan), 2005 Ford F-350
Atlanta Motor Speedway's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine continues on May 16th. 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 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.