Competitors took to the pit lane drag strip to hone their skill in the final race before the season points opener in 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.
The Jailhouse Brewing Company Super Pro division is shaping up to again be one of the most competitive at Drags. Racing since the inaugural season, Arnie Cobb of Locust Grove in his 1974 Chevrolet Nova earned the win when he defeated the 1986 Ford Thunderbird piloted by Tony Byrd of Stockbridge.
"It was a good [final] run, but we had some problems with too much power for the track tonight," said Cobb, "but we took some power out and it and it finally went [straight] down the track."
Cobb, who had overpowered a bye run earlier in the night, was able to keep it steady as Byrd fishtailed off the starting line in the final.
"He got a little close to me," said Cobb, "but it looked like he had it pretty well under control. All I saw was this glance of him when I went by."
In the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Class, Robert Blankenship of Locust Grove in his 1986 Ford Mustang edged out Chris Couch of McDonough in a 1997 Chevrolet S10 for the win.
"It was a good opportunity to get all the kinks worked out," said Blankenship. "It was a confidence boost to get the win [heading into the season points opener on May 30th], but you can never be too confident because you never know who is going to show up each week."
Other winners in Week 2 of O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags and Show-N-Shine included Eric Rycroft of Grayson in his 1986 Ford Mustang who defeated Adam Burgess of Forest Park in a 1974 Chevrolet Corvette.
Advancing to the finals for the second consecutive week was Kirk Pennywitt of Sharpsburg in a 2013 Tesla Model S all-electric vehicle. Pennywitt could not pull out the win as Sam Lee of Stockbridge in a 2002 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 used a quick jump off the start to claim victory.
As a non-points event, the night afforded competitors the opportunity to prepare for the 2014 drag racing season. The first points night of the year is Friday, May 30.
Below is a list of the May 16th winners:
Jailhouse Brewing Company Super Pro: Arnie Cobb (Locust Grove), 1974 Chevrolet Nova
Pro: David Clevenger (Hampton), 1975 Chevrolet Vega
Street Outlaw: Shane Ergle (Fayetteville).
Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman: Robert Blankenship (Locust Grove), 1986 Ford Mustang
Domestic Advanced: Eric Roycroft (Grayson), 1986 Ford Mustang
Truck Advanced: Mike Chambers (Griffin), 1973 Chevrolet C10
Street Modified: Michael Gregory (Riverdale), 1985 Ford Mustang
Factory Street: Sam Lee (Stockbridge), 2002 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Domestic: Douglas Anglin (McDonough), 1988 Ford Mustang
Diesel Truck: Dwayne Bethune (Covington), 2006 Dodge 2500 4x4
Truck: Shelton Maynard (Hampton), 1972 Chevrolet C10
Tuner: Jim Dean (Senoia), 1990 Mazda 300zx TT
Sport Compact: Yuniesley Cuevcs (Morrow), 1992 Honda Civic Hatchback
Super Bike: Robin Malcolm (Lithonia), 2004 Busa
Sport Bike: James Roberts (Jackson), 2000 Suzuki Hayabusa
Motorcycle: Robert Thomas (Griffin), 2002 Harley-Davidson
Cruiser/Dirt Bike: Pernell Webb (Griffin), 2003 Kawasaki 250
ATV: Bradley Smith (Griffin), 1987 Yamaha Banshee
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 16 winners:
Classic Custom (Through 1972)
First Place: Gary Lee (Peachtree City), 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Second Place: David Wells (McDonough), 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
Third Place: Tony Taylor (Stockbridge), 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle
Modern Custom (1973 through 1999)
First Place: Charles Adcock (Jackson), 1999 Ford Mustang GT
Second Place: Victor Sneed (Fayetteville), Toyota Celica
Current Custom (2000 through current)
First Place: Suzi Russell (Brooks), Ford Mustang Coyote
Second Place: John Trudewind (Fayetteville), 2012 Chevrolet Silverado
Third Place: Lee Thomas, 2006 Ford Mustang GT
Showroom Classic (Through 1972)
First Place: Keith Kenny (Griffin), 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28
Second Place: Robin Sark (Conyers), 1969 Pontiac Firebird
Show Room Modern (1973 through 1999)
First Place: Justin Osterland (Griffin), 1996 Ford Mustang Cobra
Second Place: Shane Frix (Griffin), 1976 Chevrolet Camaro
Third Place: Randy Hewell (Rex), 1999 Chevrolet Corvette
Showroom Current (2000 through current)
First Place: Brian Davis (Griffin), 2000 Ford Saleen Mustang
Second Place: Keith Golden (Griffin), 2012 Shelby GT 500
Third Place: Bryan Eubanks (Covington), 2010 Ford Mustang GT
First Place: Jesse Olive (Hampton), Scion XB
Second Place: Jose Lopez (Griffin), Huyndai Genesis
Third Place: Dane Owells (Charleston, SC), Scion XB
First Place: Adam Wallace, 1985 Chevrolet
Second Place: Matthew Pryor (Newnan), 1998 Ford F-150
Third Place: Jody Stinchcomb (Jonesboro), 2012 Ford F-150
Atlanta Motor Speedway's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine continues with the season points opener on May 30th. 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.