Clevenger Wins Super Pro Shootout at Week 16 of O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags at AMS
One of the most anticipated nights in the nine-year history of O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags at Atlanta Motor Speedway did not disappoint.
Drivers both new and old arrived at the pit lane drag strip in hopes of leaving $500 richer by the end of the night, crowned as Super Pro Shootout champion and winner of the first-ever cash purse at Friday Night Drags.
As the final race of the evening arrived, it was Jonesboro's Billy Clevenger, the season's most prolific driver in the Harbin's Mechanical Services Super Pro Division, in the left lane, and Mike Weaver, who just happened to make his 2015 season debut Friday night, in the right: one last battle for the cash.
It didn't take long between the flash of the green lights and end of the race, but as the cars exploded towards the finish line an eighth of a mile away, it was Clevenger's 1963 Chevrolet Corvette that edged out Weaver's 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air by mere feet, a difference worth $500.
"It feels really good," said Clevenger on winning the Super Pro Shootout and the money. "It felt like the track came to us, just like I predicted. The car ran well all night."
Not one to dwell much on the financial glory, Clevenger hadn't even been handed the winning check before he already had his sights set on wrapping up an inevitable Harbin's Mechanical Services Super Pro Division championship. After Friday night's Week 16 victory, he owned a 10-point lead in the standings heading into the final two weeks of the season.
"I've been doing this eight years here, and I've got a lot of second-place trophies," he said. "This year, I'm going to have a first.
"We're going to come out and do just like we've been doing. We're gonna win."
In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Pro Division, second-place driver Jimmy Jones beat out Dale Rodgers in the final for his second victory of the season, while Shannon Shelton, second place in the Zaxby's Street Outlaw Division, edged leader Lamar Chambers to shave down what was a six-point gap in the standings entering the night.
Other notable winners include Buddy Patrick in the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division, Will Coots in the Truck Advanced Division and Kirk Pennywitt, driving a 2013 Tesla, in the Factory Street Division.
Below is a complete list of the Aug. 14 race winners:
Harbin's Mechanical Services Super Pro: Billy Clevenger (Jonesboro); 1963 Chevrolet Corvette
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Pro: Jimmy Jones (Jonesboro); 1970 Plymouth Cuda
Zaxby's Street Outlaw: Shannon Shelton (Forest Park); 2000 Pontiac Trans Am
Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman: Buddy Patrick (Stockbridge); 1948 Willy's
Harbin's Mechanical Services Domestic Advanced: Eric Roycroft (Grayson); 1986 Ford Mustang
Harding Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Domestic: Alex Cook (Decatur); 1995 Dodge Dakota
Truck Advanced: Will Coots (Stockbridge); 1985 Chevrolet C10
Street Modified: Douglas Anglin (Griffin); 1988 Ford Mustang
Factory Street: Kirk Pennywitt (Sharpsburg); 2013 Tesla
Diesel Truck: Taylor Wilder (Locust Grove); 1994 Dodge Ram 1500
Truck: Brian Leath (Hampton); 1976 Chevrolet C-10
Tuner: Jose Sameniego (Jonesboro); 1993 Honda Civic
Sport Compact: Damon Waldrop (McDonough); 1992 Honda Civic
Super Bike: Tony Freeman (Stockbridge); 2006 Suzuki
Sport Bike: Bryan Berube (Forest Park); 2006 Suzuki 1300
Motorcycle: Ricky Harrelson (McDonough); 2006 Yamaha R6
Thunder Tower West Harley-Davidson Cruiser/Dirt Motorcycle: Andrew Bunn (Hampton); 1999 Harley-Davidson
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 Aug. 14 Show-N-Shine winners:
Classic Custom (Through 1972)
First Place: Robert Morgan (Fayetteville); 1966 Chevrolet Corvette
Second Place: Donald Hood (Covington); 1972 V.W. Beetle
Third Place: Mandy Campbell (Hampton); 1968 Chevrolet Camaro
Modern Custom (1973 through 1999)
First Place: Scott Conway (Griffin); 1995 Dodge Viper
Second Place: Chris Cheeves (Griffin); 1974 Dodge Dart
Third Place: Mark Hatten (Barnesville); 1976 Pontiac Trans Am
Current Custom (2000 through current)
First Place: Herb Laws (Atlanta); 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Second Place: Steve Kochik (Stockbridge); 2008 Ford Mustang
Showroom Classic (Through 1972)
First Place: Randy Thornton (Oxford); 1961 Chevrolet Impala SS
Second Place: Randy Kent (Griffin); 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Third Place: Bill Dudley (Williamson); 1964 Mercury Comet
Showroom Modern (1973 through 1999)
First Place: Richard Hanna (Brooks); 1984 Chevrolet Camaro
Second Place: Bruce Holcomb (Fayetteville); 1998 Chevrolet Corvette
Third Place: Terry Ison (Zebulon); 1998 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Showroom Current (2000 through current)
First Place: Rodney Edwards (Griffin); 2015 Ford Mustang GT
Second Place: Jerry Clutter (Jonesboro); 2011 Chevrolet Corvette
Third Place: Kevin Bridgewater (Stockbridge); 2012 Dodge Charger
First Place: Adam Wallace (McDonough); 2007 Mini Cooper
Second Place: Jose Lopez (Griffin); 2013 Genesis
Third Place: Nick White (Covington); 2013 Genesis Coupe
First Place: Chase Williams (Senoia); 2011 Ford F-250
Second Place: Rob Zubek (Chicago); 2013 Chevrolet Silverado
Third Place: Cole Richardson (Hampton); 2015 Platinum
First Place: Mike Hilyer (Griffin); 2005 Springer Softail
Second Place: Jose Lopez (Griffin); 2011 Freightliner
Third Place: Terry Sark (Conyers); 2001 Harley-Davidson
Atlanta Motor Speedway's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine continues with its penultimate week of the season next Friday, Aug. 21.
Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m., and nightly drag race eliminations start after 9:00 p.m.
Spectator tickets are just $8, and children 5 and under are free. Entry to either drag race or for the Show-N-Shine is just $20, or competitors can purchase a combo ticket for $30.
More information can be found at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/drags or by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211.