The success of Atlanta Motor Speedway’s weekly street drag racing program, Friday Night Drags, has prompted an off-season change that is sure to create a more competitive, faster and safer racing series this year.

When the Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine season opens in April, drivers will enjoy the luxury of a new 250-foot NHRA-quality concrete launch pad extending from the burnout box through the starting line and nearly 100 feet down the eighth-mile pit lane drag strip. Two-time Friday Night Drags Super Pro points champion Frank Taylor and Taylor Enterprises designed the project, complete with laser screed and finishing.

“This is an NHRA-style launch pad,” said Taylor. “All drivers participating in the Friday Night Drags series will be anticipating the opportunity to lay some rubber down on the new surface.”

Competitors will be able to take advantage of the laser screed technology, which ensures an accurate level finish through the use of electro-hydraulic controls. Laser receivers mounted at each end of the screen head receive a signal from a transmitter multiple times per second, providing totally automatic control to finishing the launch pad. This will provide an equal racing surface, regardless of lane selection.

“We have had tremendous support from the local drag racing community since we began our Friday Night Drags program,” said Ed Clark, Atlanta Motor Speedway President and General Manager. “Our competitors have told us the concrete starting box would enhance our program. Therefore, we have done it to thank them for their loyal support. Hopefully this will improve their 2013 racing season.”

Increased traction at the starting line will also result in better tire wear for the competitors.

“The asphalt was chaffing our tires,” said Friday Night Drags Pro division driver Billy Clevenger. “Most teams should be able to run the same set of tires an entire season at Atlanta Motor Speedway with the cleaner concrete surface.”

The surface will see its first use when Atlanta Motor Speedway begins its seventh full season of Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine on Friday, April 26. The weekly series will feature street-style drag racing for all makes and models of cars, trucks and motorcycles. Similar vehicles will be placed within divisions competing in a nightly, single elimination tournament for trophies and bragging rights.

Each week’s drag racing show also includes a Show-N-Shine open competition car, truck and motorcycle show, featuring a number of class awards, speedway cruise and fan showcase.

“If you like cars, you will love the Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine,” Clark added.

Events are set for April 26, May 3 and May 17 with the 2013 points season opening on May 31 and continuing through Aug. 16. The speedway will also once again host the Friday Night Drags Fall Stampede on Sept. 13 and 20.

For more Friday Night Drags information, divisional rules and Show-N-Shine specifications, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/drags or call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX or (770) 946-4211.