Results From Week Five of Atlanta Motor Speedway's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine
Racing for keeps began Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, as O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drag and Show-N-Shine opened its official 2015 season points competition in Week 5, following a one-week layoff for the Memorial Day holiday.
With points on the line and statements to be made, the early-season racing gave fans a high-octane show and drivers an adrenaline-pumping ride.
One familiar face in victory lane at the end of the night was Will Coots of Stockbridge, who drove his 1985 Chevy C-10 pickup to his first win of the season in the Truck Advanced Division, a class he's won the season championship four years running.
But for Coots winning isn't always easy.
"I've got a head gasket leaking, and it won't shift, but we made a pass anyways," said Coots. "It's got an electric shifter, but something's wrong with it.
"When we found that leak, I said we might as well just do what we can do."
And do he did, beating out Keith White of Luthersville in his 1982 Chevy truck in the finals, to draw the win and take an early lead in the division points standings.
In the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division, Keith Johnson kept the momentum going following wins in each of the last two weeks, taking the victory in the points opener with a little flash. In his final two races of the night, Johnson executed impressive wheelstands off the line in his 1986 Ford Mustang before crossing the line ahead of the competition. But it's nothing new for him.
"I'm used to it," said Johnson. "I've got another car, like a real race car, that runs in the higher classes, so this thing's just something to play with."
Assuming his car stays in one piece for the long run, he plans to have a lot more fun in 2015.
"As long as the motor stays together," he said when asked about racing the Mustang all season. "It's on its last leg. It's been together for a long time."
Other notable winners who claimed victories and took early 2015 point standings leads include Billy Clevenger in the Harbin's Mechanical Super Pro Division, his brother, David Clevenger, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Pro Division, and Doug Anglin in the Harding Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Domestic Division.
Below is a list of the May 15 race winners:
Harbin's Mechanical Services Super Pro: Billy Clevenger (Jonesboro); 1963 Chevrolet Corvette
Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman: Keith Johnson (Jenkinsburg); 1986 Ford Mustang
Harbin's Mechanical Services Domestic Advanced: Jon Stovall (Alpharetta); 2006 Dodge Viper
Harding Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Domestic: Doug Anglin (Griffin); 1988 Ford Mustang
Street Outlaw: Lamar Chambers (Canton); 1985 Chevrolet S-10
Truck Advanced: Will Coots (Stockbridge); 1985 Chevrolet C-10
Street Modified: Peter Rogowski (Dallas); 1992 Ford Ranger
Factory Street: Nelson Moseley (McDonough); Dodge Charger
Diesel Truck: Dwayne Bethune (Covington); 2006 Dodge Ram 2500
Truck: Brian Leath (Hampton); 1976 Chevrolet C-10
Tuner: Richard Snitzer (Peachtree City); 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass
Sport Compact: Amanda Prince (Griffin); 2012 Ford Mustang
Super Bike: Robin Malcolm; 2003 Suzuki
Sport Bike: James Roberts (Jackson); 2014 Yamaha
Motorcycle: Joshua King (Marietta); 2012 Yamaha R6
Cruiser/Dirt Bike: Andrew Bunn (Hampton); 1999 Ultra Harley
The Show-N-Shine competition featured everything from new imports to classic muscle cars and automobiles ranging as far back as the 1930s. But for Shelbi Nelms, a 1978 Pontiac Trans Am was perhaps the shiniest car in the garage.
Shelbi's father, Mike, gave her the classic car, complete with a red bow on top, as a graduation gift after the Georgia Southern University-bound student received her diploma last week. But it was all a surprise before Friday night.
"She had no idea," said Mike. "We bought it two weeks ago, and we've been trying to keep it away from her the last two weeks.
"We're Smokey and the Bandit buffs, so since she was a little kid, she's always wanted a black Trans Am. But when she got older, she said 'I want something different. I want a silver or gold one,'" he said. "So I started looking about a year ago and found this car recently and ended up buying it."
Shelbi was none the wiser.
"I went down a couple of weeks before they bought it and test drove it and fell in love with it," she said. "I tried not to get my hopes up just in case they didn't get it. And they told me they didn't and that the person had already sold it to someone else, but here it is.
"I'm in complete shock. This is my dream car. When anybody ever asked me what's my favorite car in the world, it would be this one."
Nelms will head to Statesboro in the fall to pursue a degree in exercise science.
Below is a complete list of the May 29 Show-N-Shine winners:
Classic Custom (Through 1972)
First Place: Charles Richardson (Hogansville); 68 ElCamino SS
Second Place: Clifford M. (Newnan); 1960 Pontiac Ventura
Third Place: Matt Powers (Hampton); 23 Ford T-Bucket
Modern Custom (1973 through 1999)
First Place: Adam Wallace; 85 Chevy Silverado
Second Place: Shelbi Nelms (Newnan); 78 Trans Am
Current Custom (2000 through current)
First Place: Nathan Johnson; 2009 Dodge Challenger
Second Place: Cori Penson (Peachtree City); Mustang 04 Mach 1
Showroom Classic (Through 1972)
First Place: Fred Briggs (McDonough); 1971 Plymouth Duster
Showroom Modern (1973 through 1999)
First Place: Chris Gallagher (Fayetteville); 1998 Pontiac Trans Am
Second Place: Ian Mol (Hampton); 84 Z28 Camaro
Third Place: Donnie Brooks; 1989 Fire Bird
Showroom Current (2000 through current)
First Place: Sherry Sirani; 2013 Convertible Mustang
Second Place: Tanya Moore (Williamson); 2007 BMW Nissan Z
Third Place: Steve Turner (Newnan); 2009 Dodge Challenger
First Place: Jose Lopez (Griffin); 2013 Hyundai Genesis
Second Place: Chris Hawkins (McDonough); 2012 Honda Civic Black
Third Place: Ryan Darr (Sharpsburg); 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX
First Place: Dan Guzman (Hampton); 2013 Scion FR-S
Second Place: Charles Lane (Griffin); 2002 Dodge Ram
Third Place: Jordan Lewis (Newnan); 2004 Chevy Colorado
First Place: Buddy Mendias (Griffin); 1959 Willy's Pick Up
Second Place: John Becker (Zebalon); CR 250
Atlanta Motor Speedway's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine continues with Week 6 on Friday, June 5. Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m., and nightly drag race eliminations start after 9:00 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 are just $8, and children 5 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.