With mid-season champions being honored last week, this week becomes a new opportunity for each and every competitor at Friday Night Drags. Several of the first half points battles went down to the wire last week, and the second half racing is expected to be just as intense.
Drivers who fell short of a first half championship or that are looking to step up their results will get a fresh start, beginning this week. The points standings for each division will be reset, making week eleven key to getting the second half of the season off to a good start.
Second half points will be totaled until the final week of Friday Night Drags competition, August 19. After eliminations that evening, the first half champion will go head-to-head with the second half champion to determine the overall division champion for the 2011 season. The loser of that battle will be the division runner-up, and all other final points positions will be determined by total combined points for both half seasons.
"It's pretty good, pretty fun," says Hampton's Bill Hatfield, who claimed a spot in the championship race with his first half championship in the Sportsman division. "You just never know at Atlanta. You don't know how the track will go from week to week. One night you think you are going to win and the car will grip really well, and the next week you'll be sliding around." Hatfield is a former champion at Friday Night Drags, and claimed this year's first half title by four points over Jeremy Rhodes, also of Hampton.
Atlanta Motor Speedway will honor the top three drivers in each division at the end of the season. Division champions will be honored during the speedway's Labor Day AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend.
In awarding points, a final round winner gets four points and a final round runner-up gets three points. A driver that falls in the semi-final round gets two points and all others receive one point.
With the opportunity to be honored in front of thousands prior to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the tight points battles from the first half, and at least one double points night on the schedule, the second half of Friday Night Drags is sure to be can't-miss action at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Hot Rods are MCR Safety Show-N-Shine Special Class This Week
Each week, there is a featured class during MCR Safety Show-N-Shine, with special awards given to a select group of vehicles. This week's special MCR Safety Show-N-Shine class is Hot Rods. Awards will be given to the most radical, fan favorite hot rod.
The 2011 Friday Night Drags season will run on Friday nights through Aug. 19. MCR Safety Show-N-Shine car show judging begins at 6:00 p.m. and practice drag runs begin at 6:15 p.m. Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m. with the drag eliminations starting 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 MCR Safety Show-N-Shine is $20 or competitors can enter both for $30. Spectator admission is only $8 and exterior parking is free, while infield parking is $20.
For more information about Friday Night Drags and Atlanta Motor Speedway, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.