Fans younger than a year old as well as all the way up to the age of 86 enjoyed an exciting evening of Fourth of July Fireworks and thrilling street drag racing during week eight of Atlanta Motor Speedway's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine.
In addition to multiple drag racers who claimed their first career final-round victory in the Speedway's popular drag racing series, fans were also treated to a sky-illuminating fireworks show during the Papa John's Pizza Fireworks Extravaganza.
Among the drivers who captured their first win on Friday was Luthersville's Keith White in his 1982 Chevrolet pickup. White outraced Fayetteville's Chad Etheridge in a 1981 Chevroelt C-10 to get the milestone win. The victory gave him sole possession of second place in the division after Friday's final-round first-place finish.
"It feels great, it really does. I come out here and the place is great, we meet a lot of nice people out here," White said. "It's not really about the wins, because I just enjoy racing out here and meeting people. The win is icing on the cake."
In the latest turn in the sibling rivalry within the Harding Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Domestic Division, Chris Morgan, driving a 1966 Ford Mustang, won his second final round of the season as he topped brother Kelly Morgan in a 1968 Ford Mustang.
Williamson's Daryl Stiles, who was a past winner in the Street Outlaw Division, found victory for the first time this season in the Jailhouse Brewing Company Super Pro Division in his 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. He beat out Hampton's Billy Clevenger in the final. Clevenger was racing in memory of his wife, Deborah, who died early this week and had lettering on his car honoring her memory.
Below is a list of the July 4 winners:
Jailhouse Brewing Company Super Pro: Daryl Stiles (Williamson), 1967 Chevrolet Camaro
Pro: Alan Kidd (Locust Grove), 1969 Chevrolet Camaro
Street Outlaw: Gary Thomas (McDonough), 1974 Chevrolet Nova
Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman: Terry/Bonnie Queen (Jonesboro), 1994 Dodge Dakota
Domestic Advanced: Jason Kinard (Hampton), 1997 Chevrolet S10
Truck Advanced: Keith White (Luthersville), 1982 Chevrolet Pick Up
Street Modified: Michael Gregory (Riverdale), 1985 Ford Mustang
Factory Street: Kirk Pennywhitt (Sharpsburg), 2013 Tesla Model S
Harding Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Domestic: Chris Morgan (Jackson), 1966 Ford Mustang
Diesel Truck: Dwayne Bethune (Covington), 2006 Dodge Ram 2500
Truck: Paul Foster (Hampton), 1969 Ford F-100
Tuner: Brian Consaul (Cumming), 2009 Porsche 997
Sport Compact: Jose Samaniego (Jonesboro), 1993 Honda Civic
Super Bike: David Fletcher (Lawrenceville), 1984 Kawasaki Ninja
Sport Bike: Jeremy St. Julien (Fairburn), 2013 Kawasaki 2X14
Motorcycle: Robert Thomas (Griffin), 2002 Harley-Davidson
Cruiser/Dirt Bike: Jacob Turner (Griffin), 1987 Honda CR500
ATV: Dedric Wright (Jonesboro), 1998 Yamaha Banshee
The Show-N-Shine competition featured everything from new imports to classic muscle cars and automobiles ranging as far back as the 1920s. Those vehicles then took part in the Speedway Cruise following judging.
Below is a complete list of the July 4 winners:
Classic Custom (Through 1972)
First Place: Charles Hawley (McDonough), 1991 Ford Mustang LX
Second Place: Victoria Plott (Griffin), 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
Third Place: Ken Thaxton (Fayetteville), 1964 Chevrolet II Nova
Modern Custom (1973 through 1999)
First Place: Randy Hewell (Rex), 1999 Chevrolet Corvette
Second Place: Walter Passmore (Jonesboro), 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass
Third Place: David Culpepper (Stockbridge), 1999 Pontiac TransAm WS6
Current Custom (2000 through current)
First Place: Dean Phillips (Morrow), 2002 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Second Place: Brian D'Arig (Fayetteville), 2013 Ford Mustang ET
Third Place: Wendy Jo Jordan (Dawsonville), 2000 Jaguar XK8
Showroom Classic (Through 1972)
First Place: Henry Byrd (Hampton), 1967 Shelby GT 500
Second Place: Andy Sarratt (Social Circle), 1965 Chevrolet Corvette
Third Place: Tabitha Taylor (Stockbridge), 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle
Showroom Modern (1973 through 1999)
First Place: David Garten (Hayetteville), 1995 Ford Cobra Convertible
Second Place: Chris Gallaher (Fayetteville), 1998 Pontiac Trans AM
Third Place: Mark Holloway (Williamson), 1978 Pontiac Trans AM
Showroom Current (2000 through current)
First Place: John Relder (Jonesboro), 2012 Boss 302 Laguna Seca
Second Place: David Junger (Hampton), 2008 Chevrolet Corvette
Third Place: Ken & Teresa Mabe (Sharpsburg), 2005 Chevrolet Corvette Coup
First Place: Jose Lopez (Griffin), 2013 Hyundai Genesis
Second Place: Jim Dean (Senoia), 1991 Nissan 300zx TT
Third Place: Nathan Pearson (Newnan), 2012 Kia Forte Coup
First Place: Ronnie Skinner (Conyers), 1964 Chevrolet C-10
Second Place: Brad Smith (McDonough), 2004 GMC RST
Third Place: Carter Watson (Palmetto), 2013 Chevrolet Silverado Z72
First Place: Lemmie Tate (Locust Grove), 1929 Dodge Fango
Second Place: Scott Conaway (Griffin), 1976 Storling Kit
Atlanta Motor Speedway's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine continues on July 11. Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m. and nightly drag race eliminations start at 9:15 p.m.
Entry to drag race or for the Show-N-Shine is just $20 or competitors can purchase a combo ticket for $30. Spectator tickets at Drags are just $8 for adults and children five and under are free. More information can be found at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/drags or by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211.