Before the night heats up with street-style drag racing on Friday July 6, fans at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine will continue the Fourth of July holiday celebration with a fireworks display. 

The largest fireworks display on the south side of Atlanta will take place prior to drag racing eliminations, which begin at 9:09 p.m. Speedway officials are encouraging fans to grill out and tailgate on the infield and watch the fireworks from a prime position.

Halfway Mark for Points Race

The status of midseason points champion will be at stake in all drag racing divisions on Friday. With this week being the halfway mark of points events on the pit lane drag strip, the points champion for the first half of the season in each division will be determined.

A number of midseason points champions are likely not to be determined until the final round, with leaders in a handful of divisions either holding a one-point advantage over second place or being tied for the lead.

Chad Meadows and Arthur White are tied for first place in the Motorcycle Division. Johnny Sims leads Jason Thomas by a point in Street Outlaw. Other drivers holding a one-point lead are Will Coots ahead of Chuck Poole in Truck Advanced and Justin Wooten ahead of Bradley Smith in ATV.

New Challenge for Hallford

Throughout the Friday Night Drags season, Senoia’s Darrell Hallford has proven to be the class of the field in the Papa John’s Pizza Domestic Division, collecting three final round victories in points events. Hallford, who has won four final rounds overall, has done so behind the wheel of his 1995 Ford Mustang, which is a five-speed.

Now, a new challenge awaits Hallford, as he’ll be moving up to the Domestic Advanced Division in accordance with Friday Night Drags rules. The Domestic division is one of three at Friday Night Drags which requires a driver with three final round victories in points events to move up to a higher division. The other two are Truck and Sport Compact, which require three-event winners to move up to Truck Advanced, and Tuner, respectively.

Locust Grove’s Terry Bates, who won the first three final round points eliminations of the season driving a 1988 Ford Mustang, currently leads the Domestic Advanced points standings. He is ahead of Curtis Teal of Peachtree City, winner of the past two final round eliminations within the division in a 1975 Chevy Luv Truck.

This Week and Upcoming at Friday Night Drags

A large influx of competitors is expected to challenge crowd favorite Mark White and his 1967 Shelby Mustang on July 20 for the third installment of the Super Pro Challenge.

A week later on July 27, drag racers will have the chance to either make up ground in the points standings or strengthen their championship hopes on double points night. On that night, twice the number of usual points will be awarded. The Friday Night Drags points system awards four points to each week’s final round winner, three to the final round runner-up, two to semi final losers and one point to all drivers who complete a pass during eliminations.

The 2012 Friday Night Drags season runs each Friday night through Aug. 17, with the Fall Stampede taking place Sept. 14 and Sept. 21. Practice runs begin at 6:15 p.m. and grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m. Show-N-Shine car show judging begins at 6:15 p.m. with a track cruise at 8:15 p.m. Drag racing eliminations begin at 9:09 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 and forms are available at the speedway 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 $8 with children five and under free. Exterior parking is free, while infield parking is $20.

For more information on Friday Night Drags or Atlanta Motor Speedway, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/drags.