Fireworks highlighted a wild night of drag racing under Friday the 13th skies during week 11 of Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine. The event saw several different types of action, as the speedway’s annual patriotic display of fireworks for the Independence Day holiday was held, a couple of small fires from race cars broke out and a short rain shower fell, which couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the energetic crowd.
The racing action was just a dramatic as the crazy events that took place around the racing itself, as mid-season points championships were crowned through the evening’s results. Official standings and championship awards will be determined and released next week.
In the fastest division of racing that Friday Night Drags offers, the Super Pro division did not disappoint the fans in attendance. Points leader Mark White, undefeated when his car did not suffer a mechanical issue, was defeated in head-to-head competition for the first time all season. The final round saw Mike Herring and his “Batmobile” pitted against Arnie Cobb and his 1974 Chevrolet Nova. A very close battle to the line, Herring prevailed and claimed his first win of 2012.
Pro final round action pitted points leader David Sisk against David Craft and his 1988 Chevrolet Corvette. Sisk’s 1968 Chevrolet Camaro, a fast ride all season, was not fast enough on this night as he was upset by Craft for his second win in as many weeks. Craft entered the night fourth in the points standings, and should advance on Sisk as the series turns towards the latter portion of the season.
Making a familiar return to the track was the popular 1968 Chevrolet “Nuclear Banana” of Danny Mason, and Mason put it in a familiar location, winning the Truck Advanced final round battle in an ultra-competitive battle with Chuck Poole. Points leader Will Coots, who entered the event on a three week winning streak, was defeated in earlier round action.
Making its debut to Friday Night Drags competition was the 17th division of competition in the Street Modified division. This new division was designed for vehicles that did not quite fit in the Papa John’s Pizza Domestic, Domestic Advanced, Truck or Truck Advanced divisions. Import and domestic vehicles, kit cars, street rods and exotics with a single power adder will be able to compete in this group. Super chargers, blowers, turbo and nitrous single stage plate kits are all acceptable engine enhancements. Zebulon’s Frank Collins took home the inaugural trophy for the division in his 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport. The new division meant some new faces joined the fray this week, and the competition will only continue to improve as the car count grows each week.
Below is a complete list of the July 13 winners:
Super Pro: Mike Herring (Conyers) in a 1993 Chevrolet Lumina
Pro: David Craft (McDonough) in a 1986 Chevrolet Corvette
Street Outlaw: Daryl Stiles (Williamson) in a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro
Sportsman: Vic Vickers (McDonough) in a 1988 Ford Mustang
Truck Advanced: Danny Mason (Locust Grove) in a 1968 Chevrolet
Diesel Truck: Dwayne Bethune (Covington) in a 2006 Dodge Ram
Truck: Brian Leath (Hampton) in a 1976 Chevrolet
Domestic Advanced: Terry Bates (Locust Grove) in a 1988 Ford Mustang Coupe
Papa John’s Pizza Domestic: Herbert Steverson (Newnan) in a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro
Tuner: Jose Samaniego (Jonesboro) in a 1993 Honda Civic
Sport Compact: Damon Waldrop (McDonough) in a 1994 Honda Civic
ATV: Bradley Smith (Griffin) on a 1991 Yamaha Banshee
Super Bike: Toney Freeman (Stockbridge) on a 2002 Suzuki Hayabusa
Sport Bike: Joshua Jones (Riverdale) on a 2003 Suzuki Hayabusa
Street Motorcycle: AJ White (Riverdale) on a 2009 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
Cruiser/Dirt Bike: Jacob Turner (Griffin) on a 1987 Honda CR 500
Street Modified: Frank Collins (Zebulon) in a 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport
The Show-N-Shine competition featured everything from new imports to classic muscle cars and cars ranging as far back as the 1920s.
Below is a complete list of the July 13 winners:
Showroom Current (1973 through current):
First Place: Chris Gallagher, 1998 Pontiac Trans-Am
Second Place: Nick Nicholson, 2004 Ford Mustang Cobra
Third Place: Marlon Giles, 2005 Ford Mustang
Showroom Classic (1950 to 1972):
First Place: Mark Statham, 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS 350
Second Place: Mark Castilla, 1978 Chevrolet Corvette
Third Place: Rick Campbell, 1970 Ford Torino GT
First Place: Matthew Czarnowsky, 1993 Toyota Starlet
Second Place: Bart Hammock, 1970 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
Third Place: Jose Lopez, Toyota
Current Custom (1973 through current):
First Place: Clarence Cox III, 2008 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Second Place: Lefty Lawson, 1996 Chevrolet Caprice Bubble
Third Place: Stan Trip Jr., 1988 Ford Mustang
First Place: Darrel Johnson, 2002 Chevrolet S-10
Second Place: Larry Schulke, Acura MDX
Third Place: Neal Long, 2002 Dodge Ram Sport
First Place: Jake Brinson, 1935 Ford
Second Place: Richard Payne, 2006 Suzuki Hayabusa
Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine returns July 20 with week 12 of drag racing action on the eighth-mile pit lane drag strip. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and nightly drag race eliminations start at 9:09 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 Friday Night Drags are just $8 for adults and children five and under are free. More information can be found at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/drags.