After four weeks of intense competition on the eighth-mile drag strip at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Friday Night Drags returns this week with added emphasis on the racing action. With points being up for grabs for the first time this season, week five will serve as the true “season opener” for many competitors.
The sixth season of Friday Night Drags at AMS has seen some of the most heated racing action in the history of the series. Parity has been prevalent throughout many of the 16 divisions of racing this year. Many of the more competitive and rivalry-laden divisions, where racing is already amped up with excitement and grudges, has seen multiple winners to add fuel to the racing fire.
For example, the Truck Advanced series has hoisted a different winner in victory lane each week this season. While familiar faces have been bringing home the hardware, new foes have been in the mix and appear to be ready to bring home a win any week. Despite the usual suspects appearing in victory lane, the wins have been spread evenly between old rivals Danny Mason, Chuck Poole, Will Coots and Andrew Pride.
The always-popular Super Pro division has not seen the same type of diversity in race winners, but a possible challenger to the points championship may have emerged during the season’s first month. Defending points champion Mark White has visited victory lane twice in the crowd-favorite 1967 Shelby Mustang, but the other two victories went to Matt Carden. Carden has proved his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro is quick, stoking the embers on an ever-growing rivalry between Ford and Chevrolet drivers.
As the “battle for the bullets” starts this week, the hotly-contested battles on the pit lane drag strip will be enhanced even more. Nearly every points champion from 2011 will be returning to defend their titles, giving the rest of the field in each division a true benchmark to shoot for. Including the expectation that a record number of drivers will be turning out to compete for a points championship this week, Friday Night Drags will be can’t-miss racing action on Friday night.
This Week and Upcoming at Friday Night Drags
In addition to the intense racing competition that points racing will bring to Friday Night Drags, fans will also be treated to a race car display courtesy of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. Vintage race cars will be on-hand for racing enthusiasts to browse and enjoy as they take in the drag racing excitement at AMS.
This year, Friday Night Drags will feature several challenge and clash nights for various divisions, the popular kids’ Power Wheel races, kids’ candy scramble, Fourth of July fireworks, Top the Cops night featuring the chance to drag race local law enforcement and more.
Last week, wins by the red cars of Super Pro Mark White and Andrew Pride in the Truck Advanced division earned Papa John’s Pizza customers a 50 percent discount on their online order. This promotion is going on all season each time a red car takes a victory in the drag racing finals. The offer is good for the entire weekend by using the promo code 50RED through Sunday, and is only good at participating locations. Fans are urged to cheer on their favorite red cars each week as they try to win a great pizza discount courtesy of Papa John’s Pizza.
Show-N-Shine competitors are also encouraged to come out and show off the special and custom automobiles of yesterday and today. All participants are invited to the track cruise following judging. The cruise will feature two laps around the 1.54-mile speedway followed by a display of all cars on the speedway’s frontstretch, where fans will be invited to come down and take an up-close look at the machines.
Fans in attendance each week can enter to win weekly NHRA ticket giveaways with a grand prize to be drawn on championship night, Aug. 17. Each week through Aug. 10, one fan will win two Sunday tickets to the NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. on Sept. 16.
During the Aug. 17 Friday Night Drags, one lucky fan will win a trip to all three days of drag racing at zMAX Dragway, Sept. 14-16. The grand prize winner will receive two suite passes to all three days of drag racing, hotel accommodations and parking. Fans can pick-up an entry form at the gate ticket windows or the souvenir stand on the main concourse. All entries will be at the souvenir stand on the main concourse.
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.