The phrase "high-powered truck" takes on a new meaning each Friday night at the nation's most popular street drag racing series - The O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
One of three divisions exclusively for trucks, which enter to race each Friday at the pit lane drag strip, Truck Advanced, permits full-sized trucks to be modified. As a result, drivers in this division jump off the starting line in some of the highest-powered vehicles around, so it is not uncommon for a truck's front wheels to rise up off of the ground when the driver floors the gas pedal to begin each drag race.
Through the first three points events of the season, Stockbridge's Will Coots has been the truck to beat. He has won three final-round eliminations in a row to open the points schedule in his 1985 Chevrolet C10.
Despite the early points lead, Coots as well as all of the other division leaders at O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags, cannot afford to be complacent. Close racing has been evident in all divisions this season - including the Truck Advanced division.
Danny Mason of Locust Grove in his yellow 1962 Chevrolet pickup nicknamed the "Nuclear Banana" along with Griffin's Mike Chambers in a 1973 Chevrolet C10 each earned a win in one of the first two non-points events in the Truck Advanced division to open the season. Chambers, who has claimed final-round wins in the Pro Four and Street Outlaw divisions in the past at Drags, picked up the win on May 9th. Mason earned the win on May 16th and was defeated in the final last week.
Fans Can Vote On Grudge Match Drivers On The Drags Facebook Page
Drag racing fans no longer have to dream about how some of the fastest drivers in different divisions would do if they were pitted in races against one another. Atlanta Motor Speedway is allowing fans to vote on its O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags Facebook page on which driver "Fan's Choice Grudge Match" they would like to see each week on the pit lane drag strip.
This week's grudge match choices are Hampton's Jason Kinard from the Domestic Advanced Division in a 1997 Chevrolet S10 against Grantville's Joshua Morse in a 1981 Chevrolet Malibu from the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division, Coots against the Pro Division's David Harbin of Hampton in a 1969 Chevrolet Nova and the Truck Division's Shelton Maynard, of Hampton, in a 1972 Chevrolet C10 against the Harding Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Domestic Division's Kelly Morgan.
Each week, the Speedway will pre-select multiple potential grudge matches and post them on the Drags Facebook page. The matchup with the most votes will be selected as that week's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags grudge match.
Kids Candy Scramble Next Week
Atlanta Motor Speedway will host another installment of one its fun kid-friendly events this week with the Kids Candy Scramble prior to drag racing eliminations at O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags.
The candy scramble will take place on the grass ball field near the starting line at approximately 8:30 pm. Kids participating will be divided up by age before the candy scramble begins. During the event, all kids will have the chance to gather up as much candy as possible.
Papa John's Pizza Fireworks Extravaganza Is July 4th
The largest display of Fourth of July Fireworks on Atlanta's Southside will be at O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags on July 4th for the Papa John's Pizza Fireworks Extravaganza.
The night will be lit up by an impressive display of fireworks after 9 p.m. Fans will be able to have a complete view of the entire fireworks show from either the infield or grandstands at O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags.
The 2014 Friday Night Drags season runs Friday nights through August 15, with the Fall Stampede taking place September 12 and September 19. 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 Speedway Parade at 8:05 p.m. Drag racing eliminations begin after 9 p.m.
Drag Racing is open to any licensed driver. Competitors must wear a DOT-approved helmet and have operational seat belts in their vehicle. All racers ages 16 and 17 must have a fully-executed minor's release form on file at the speedway prior to competition. Forms are available at the Speedway or at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
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.
Fans are reminded that Atlanta Motor Speedway offers a non-smoking grandstand. Smoking is allowed in designated areas behind the grandstands or the infield, but not in the grandstands, concourse or seating areas.
For more information on O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/drags.