Atlanta Motor Speedway's Friday Night Drags has reached the midpoint of the points-racing season, yet many classes remain enmeshed in close points races entering week 11's action on Friday, July 23.
In addition to tight points racing in many Friday Night Drags 15 divisions of straight-line speed, week 11 is Ride-Along Night and passengers are allowed to ride with competitors in lower divisions. Friday's action will also include the Show-N-Shine car show with six classes of show cars, plus a President's Choice and Student Choice awards.
Majority of FND Points Races Separated by Six Points or Less
As the Friday Night Drags points racing season hits its midpoint, the 2010 championship points races are arguably the closest in the series' four-year history. Points leaders in 10-of-15 Friday Night Drags divisions currently hold leads of just six points or less, with two divisions – Domestic and Pro Four – are tied atop the standings.
Points remain at a premium in Friday Night Drags' top divisions, where the leaders hold 19 markers in the Super Pro and Pro classes. Bobby Daniel (Stockbridge) holds the advantage among Super Pro competitors and added to his lead with a week 10 win, but Gary Thomas (McDonough) remains in striking distance by virtue of his three-point second-place finish, boosting his points total to 15.
In the Pro class, Tony Morse (Grantville) broke a first-place tie with Alan Kidd (Hometown) by claiming the week 10 win, while Kidd was eliminated during semi-final elimination runs. Gaining four-points for his victory, Morse sits alone with 19 points, while Thomas trails with 17 marks.
In Friday Night Drags' most-competitive division, three racers are tied for the Domestic class lead with 10 points: Frankie Collins (Zebulon); Butch Lashley (McDonough); and Ron Wiese (McDonough). However, 12 Domestic division competitors sit within four points – the awarded points from one win – of the leaders. And with 118 class entrants that have earned 2010 points, the 2010 Domestic division championship remains up for grabs.
Among Pro Four competition, Jose Samaniego (Jonesboro) and Vincent Varela (Jonesboro) are tied with eight points, but three competitors remain within just two points of the leaders. Samaniego is also tied for sixth among Tuner division points and claimed the 2009 Tuner division championship.
Week 11 Entertainment: Ride-Along Night, Andrea Thompson to Sing Anthem
Week six of Friday Night Drags is Ride-Along Night, allowing race fans to ride with competitors in lower divisions. The Ride-along opportunities will take place during drag racing practice, prior to eliminations, between 6:20 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. Rides will cost $20 and riders must have a DOT-approved helmet. Vehicles eligible for Ride-Along Night rides must have a passenger seat with proper restraints.
Andrea Thompson will perform the National Anthem during Ride-Along Night. A resident of Clarksville, Tenn. but originally from New Jersey, Thompson is a country and blues singer who has performed the National Anthem at Philadelphia 76ers and Phillies games. Thompson also wrote and recorded the song, "Inspiration," for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
The 2010 Friday Night Drags season will run on Friday nights through Sept. 10. Practice drag runs begin at 6:15 p.m. and grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m. Show N' Shine car show judging begins at 6:30 p.m. with the drag eliminations starting at 9:19 p.m.
All racers ages 16 and 17 must have a fully-executed minor's release form on file at the speedway prior to competition (forms available at theSpeedway or at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com). Competitors must wear a DOT-approved helmet and have operational seat belts in their vehicle and pass a pre-race safety inspection.
Entry to drag race or for the Show N' Shine is $20 or competitors can enter both for $30. Spectator admission is only $7 and exterior parking is free, while infield parking is $20.
For more information about drag racing at AMS, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visitwww.atlantamotorspeedway.com.