Featuring an Independence Day weekend fireworks show and on-track action to delight fans, Atlanta Motor Speedway's eighth week of Friday Night Drags played host to the largest crowd in the event's history with more than 350 cars racing in front of more than 8,000 fans.
A massive crowd flocked to the Speedway for the fireworks display, which preceded sparks on the track as 357 drag competitors battled for wins in 15 classes of action. In addition to the fireworks display, the evening also featured a crowd-pleasing belly flop contest in an Infield mini-pool.
After posting consecutive wins in the last two events to challenge the points leaders in the Super Pro class, Frank Taylor appeared poised to repeat for a third week and sit among the leaders. However, Taylor shot from the line unsteady in semi-final action, costing the 2009 champion valuable time and resulting in a loss. With points leader Bobby Daniel following suit in the following semi-final run, the door was opened for Mike Herring of Conyers to claim victory in his first start of the 2010 season.
In addition to Herring, seven other classes featured first-time winners in 2010, while three classes – Howard Wolfe in Domestic Advanced, Mason Mercure in Super Bike, and Jason Lowery in Motorcycle – successfully defended victories from week seven to post consecutive wins. In fact, the win marked the fifth-consecutive victory for Lowery in the Motorcycle class.
Below is a complete list of the July 2 winners:
Super Pro: Mike Herring (Conyers) in a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette
Pro: Tony Morse (Grantville) 1990 Pontiac Trans-Am
Pro Four: Vincent Varela (Jonesboro) in a 1971 Datsun
Street Outlaw: Jeff Coker (Hampton) in a 1975 Chevrolet Luv
Sportsman: Jeremy Rhodes (Hampton) in a 1989 Ford Mustang
Truck Advanced: Chris Elliott (Barnesville) in a 1986 Chevrolet Silverado
Truck: Stephen Fulton (Jonesboro) in a 1972 Chevrolet C-10
Domestic Advanced: Howard Wolfe (Marietta) in a 1999 Chevrolet Corvette FRC
Domestic: Glen Brown (Meansville) in a 1955 Chevrolet
Sport Compact: Chris Hill (Hampton) in a 1993 Honda Civic
Tuners: Tony Taylor (Stockbridge in a 2005 Mitsubishi Evolution
Super Bike: Mason Mercure (Fairburn) on a 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa
Motorcycle: Jason Lowery (Williamson) on a 2004 Honda
ATV: Lankston Johnston (Thomaston) on a 1998 Yamaha Banshee
Radical: Austin Carden (McDonough) in a 2005 half-scale junior dragster
The Show N' Shine competition featured everything from new imports to classic muscle cars. Below is a complete list of the July 2 winners:
Showroom Current (1973 through current): Keith Smith (McDonough) in a 2009 Ford Mustang GT
Runner-up: Nick James in a 2009 Shelby GT 500
Third-place: Bill Czap (Fayetteville) in a 2010 Camaro SS/RS
Showroom Classic (1972 and prior): Bill Whatley (Snellville) in a Plymouth Superbird
Runner-up: Keith & Xavion Chapman in a 1970 Ford XL Convertible
Third-place: Wes Padgett (McDonough) in a 1968 Pontiac Firebird
Tuner (all sport compact vehicles): Irwin Brown in a 1966 Volkswagen Bug
Runner-up: Deanna Hall (Griffin) in a 1999 Honda Accord
Third-place: Bryan Scott (Gay) in a Nissan 240 SX
Current Custom (1973 through current): Lance Mullen (Clarksville, Tenn.) in a Ferrari Replica
Runner-up: David Dunson in a 2005 Pontiac GTO
Third-place: James Robinson in a 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Classic Custom (1972 and prior): Johnny Jones in a 1941 Willy's Coupe
Runner-up: Billy Poore in a 1951 Ford Victoria
Third-place: Scott Rigsby (Fayetteville) in a 1948 Chevrolet Truck
Truck: Dwayne Jackson (Cumming) in a 2001 Peterbuilt
Runner-Up: Damon Cantrell (Fayetteville) in a 2003 Ford F-150 H-D Edition
Third-place: Matt Sellech (Fayetteville) in a 2003 Ford Lightning
Harley-Davidson: Stephen Edge (College Park) on a 2009 H-D Street Glide
Runner-Up: Robert Glaze (Hampton) on a 2006 H-D Road King Classic
Third-place: Randy Arnold (Jonesboro) on a custom H-D
President's Choice: Bobby Richards (Fairburn) in a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
Atlanta Motor Speedway's Friday Night Drags resumes on July 2 for the second-of-three 2010 FastLife Friday events, featuring celebrity drag racing and live music performances. 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 to enter both. Spectator tickets at Friday Night Drags are just $7 for adults and children under six are free. More information can be found atwww.atlantamotorspeedway.com.