Atlanta Motor Speedway has added a Junior Dragster division for the 2011 Friday Night Drags season, giving drag racing's youngest fans their own class in Atlanta's summer drag racing series.

The Junior Dragster division will allow racers under the age of 16 to compete at Friday Night Drags in NHRA-approved half-scale dragsters on Atlanta Motor Speedway's eighth-mile pit lane drag strip. The division will be the only class at Friday Night Drags to allow drivers under the age of 16 and drivers without a current driver's license to compete.

Junior dragsters began competing at Friday Night Drags during the 2010 campaign in the Radical division. With an influx of junior dragsters late in the season and interest growing throughout the offseason, Atlanta Motor Speedway officials opted to create a Junior Dragster class for 2011.

"The Junior Dragster division offers young racers the opportunity to race alongside competitors in our other classes while developing their skills in a safe and competitive racing environment," said AMS president and general manager, Ed Clark. "They have proven to be a popular element in our Friday Night Drags lineup and we look forward to an even bigger participation of junior dragsters in 2011."

Austin Carden of McDonough competed in a junior dragster in the Radical division during the 2010 Friday Night Drags season and finished second in the class, winning four races in just four appearances.

"I have a cousin whose son was racing junior dragsters and we went to one of his races. As soon as Austin saw it he wanted to do it and he was in a car as soon as he turned eight," said Charlene Carden of her 11-year old son who was recently named junior dragsters track champion of his age group at Atlanta Dragway. "He's very serious about it and we enjoy it as a family. I was so nervous the first time he raced, but I saw how much he enjoyed it and we've taken it from there."

The Junior Dragster division will compete for points during the 2011 Friday Night Drags season, with trophies awarded nightly and championships awarded at the season's mid-point and conclusion.

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