AMS announces 2016 Friday Night Drags, Thursday Thunder schedules
Atlanta Motor Speedway's street-style drag racing series, O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags, returns to the pit lane drag strip this spring and summer, starting April 29, while its U.S. Legends and Bandolero car racing program, Thursday Thunder Legends Series Presented by Papa John's Pizza, hits the quarter-mile "Thunder Ring" for its 19th consecutive season beginning June 2.
O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags features side-by-side, street-style drag racing on the AMS pit lane drag strip. The popular summer-long racing series heralds competition among 18 different divisions, featuring a massive array of cars, trucks and motorcycles. Vehicles competing range from supercharged hot rods all the way down to daily drivers and stock vehicles seen navigating local streets. Drivers battle in a nightly, single-elimination tournament for trophies, bragging rights and season championship points.
This summer, the 10th full season of O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags is scheduled for 17 dates, beginning April 29 and running every Friday through Aug. 26, with the exception of May 27 for Memorial Day Weekend.
Drag racing competition is open to all participants for an entry fee of $20. Vehicles are required to have a working seat belt, and each driver and passenger must wear a DOT-approved helmet.
Drags will also include the weekly Show-N-Shine competition, with seven divisions of judging between cars, trucks and motorcycles. Show-N-Shine participation is $20 and also allows entrants to participate in the weekly Speedway Cruise on the 1.54-mile AMS racing surface following judging and prior to the start of drag racing eliminations. Vehicles from the Show-N-Shine will also be displayed on the frontstretch following the Speedway Cruise.
Pricing for combo tickets to compete in both the Show-N-Shine and drag racing are available for $30. Spectator admission is just $8, with children 5 and under admitted free. Exterior parking is free, and infield parking is $20.
Returning to the Thunder Ring on the AMS frontsretch for its 19th season, the Thursday Thunder Legends Series Presented by Papa John's Pizza, which boasts notable alumni including NASCAR drivers Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, David Ragan, Reed Sorenson, Austin Dillon and Darrell Wallace, Jr., features racing's stars of tomorrow with competitive divisions for every age and skill level.
The season kicks off June 2 and runs each Thursday through July 21, with select Wednesday evening dates on June 15 and July 6, for a total of 10 dates in 2016. Drivers in each division will vie each night on one of the most challenging short tracks in the South for championship points in pursuit of a coveted 2016 division title. For many drivers, Thursday Thunder serves as the final step before moving on to professional-level racing in what has become a proven training ground for future NASCAR stars.
Last season, Senoia's Tina Johnson became the first female to win the Masters Division championship, rising to the podium's top spot with a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the season's final race. She edged second-place Scott Moseley by a mere three points.
William Martin of Douglasville won three races and posted seven top-5s on his way to the Semi-Pro/Young Lions division championship in his first Thursday Thunder season last year, while Weaverville, North Carolina's Ashton Higgins, also in his first Thursday Thunder season, won six straight races in weeks 2 through 7, to claim the Outlaws Division crown.
DJ Canipe, a Fallson, North Carolina native, also won six of eight races last year to claim the Bandits Division championship, while Noah Dominy of Statham won three races and posted an average finish of 1.6 to lead all Beginner Bandolero drivers.
Grandstand admission for the affordable, family-friendly Thursday Thunder Legends Series Presented by Papa John's Pizza cost just $5 per person, with kids 5 and under admitted free. For more information about both Friday Night Drags and Thursday Thunder, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.