After Bobby Daniel totaled seven points in the season's first-two points races, Atlanta Motor Speedway's sixth week of Friday Night Drags saw a familiar challenger emerge in the Super Pro class as 2009 champion Frank Taylor claimed his first win and points of the season.
Taylor, a two-time Super Pro champion with 18 wins in three years, appeared to hit his championship stride on Friday. Matched with points-leader Bobby Daniel in the Super Pro finale, Taylor not only got the jump from the line, but also seemed to pull away from Daniel approaching the finish for the win.
After leaving the track without points in his previous two starts due to mechanical failures, Taylor was enthusiastic to claim his first win of the season.
"It took me a while to finally get back, but I'm back," exclaimed an exuberant Taylor after the victory.
Prior to the series' first points race, Taylor had problems with a valve spring retainer during practice and opted to withdraw his car to prevent damage during drag elimination races. In his second start, Taylor had transmission trouble in practice, again forcing the Friday Night Drags star out of competition and leaving him without points.
Despite his win and accompanying four points, Taylor still trails Daniels significantly in points by a six-mark margin, with four points to Daniel's 10.
Below is a complete list of the June 18 winners:
Super Pro: Frank Taylor (Gray) in a 1993 Chevrolet Lumina
Pro: Alan Kidd (Stockbridge) in a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette
Pro Four: Juan Ramos (Buford) in a 1980 Toyota
Street Outlaw: Daryl Stiles (Williamson) in a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro
Sportsman: Greg Adamek (Gay) in a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle
Truck Advanced: Chuck Poole (Stockbridge) in a 1986 Chevrolet
Truck: Stephen Fulton (Jonesboro) in a 1972 Chevrolet C-10
Domestic Advanced: Terry Bates (Locust Grove) in a 1988 Ford Mustang
Domestic: Frankie Collins (Zebulon) in a 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle
Sport Compact: Timothy Schultz (McDonough) in a 1994 Honda Del Sol
Tuners: Tony Taylor (Stockbridge) in a 2005 Mitsubishi Evolution
Super Bike: Derrick Burr (Rex) on a 2005 Suzuki GSXR 1000
Motorcycle: Jason Lowery (Williamson) on a 2004 Honda
ATV: Lamar Fitzgibbon (Griffin) on a 2005 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 June 18 winners:
Showroom Current (1973 through current): Keith Smith (McDonough) in a 2009 Ford Mustang GT
Runner-up: Scott Nelson (McDonough) in a 2010 Roush 427R
Third-place: Jon Cosper (Jackson) in a 1973 Dodge Challenger R/T
Showroom Classic (1972 and prior): Bill Garren (Lithia Springs) in a 1972 Buick Convertible
Runner-up: Earl Reed in a 1961 Chevrolet Corvette
Third-place: Brandon Sampler (Griffin) in a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette
Tuner (all sport compact vehicles): Heather Downard (Thomaston) in a 1994 Acura Integra
Runner-up: Misty Cody (Ellenwood) in a 2009 Honda Civic Si
Third-place: Mary Sheppard (Thomaston) in a Honda Civic
Current Custom (1973 through current): Patricia Hayes (Hampton) in a 2003 Ford Mustang GT
Runner-up: Anthony Mountjoy (Fayetteville) in a 2004 Pontiac GTO
Third-place: Dustin Northway in a 2005 Ford Mustang
Classic Custom (1972 and prior): Rod Harris (Stockbridge) in 1971 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Runner-up: Wayne Hansard (Tyrone) in a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro
Third-place: Ivan Hawkins (Jonesboro) in a 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Truck: William Lowry (McDonough) in a Ford F150 XLT
Runner-Up: Tim Fenner (Pike) in a 2003 Ford F150
Third-place: Austin Stokes (Griffin) in a Ford F150 Lightning
President's Choice: Ken Thaxton (Fayetteville) in a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
Atlanta Motor Speedway's Friday Night Drags resumes on June 25 for week seven, including a burn-out contest and a Hot Rod Heaven special Show-N-Shine class. 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.