With the points season still in its infancy, a host of drag racers across all divisions of competition came out to the pit lane drag strip at Atlanta Motor Speedway's Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine to chase after points that would go towards a coveted points championship.A large car count brought intense racing to the eighth-mile strip for the spectators to enjoy, as drivers looked to place themselves in a solid position in the points standings as the season approaches its halfway point.
Among those intense battles was a grudge match prior to the evening's elimination rounds, as the rescheduled race between Diesel Truck competitor Dwayne Bethune and Truck division competitor Buddy Patrick kicked off the night in front of the crowd and all FND competitors.
The two families are friends as well as longtime FND competitors. A few years ago when the Patrick's purchased the 1948 Willys that they now race, it was located in Louisiana. Dwayne's 2006 Dodge was used to tow the vehicle back to Georgia, where it was refinished and prepped for racing.
With Bill Patrick, Sr. coming in from Louisiana to see the competition, the race went down to the wire, but Bethune edged Patrick and the "Milk Truck" at the finish line, earning him bragging rights. Both drivers would go on to win their respective divisions during elimination racing, giving both drivers two-straight wins in divisional action.
Other highlights from the evening's racing included a close matchup in the Pro division between Allan Kidd and David Clevenger. The two were nose-to-nose down the eighth-mile, but Kidd used the left lane to pick up the win, his second-straight points victory.
Another very competitive battle took place in the Domestic Advanced division, as Terry Bates and Jason Kinard went door-to-door to the finish line. The left lane was again the winner, as Kinard's Chevrolet S-10 edged the Ford Mustang of Bates by inches.
The final race of the evening literally left sparks flying through the air. Super Pro veterans Mike Herring and Bobby Daniel lined up in the fastest division at Friday Night Drags, with Herring piloting the popular "Batmobile" and Daniel wheeling his red Chevrolet Monte Carlo. At the start, Daniel slipped in the outside lane, giving the advantage to Herring. But just as the race appeared over, Herring bobbled himself as he suffered a mechanical failure, sending the yellow Chevrolet sliding into the pit wall and spraying sparks across the track. Herring's machine suffered some cosmetic damage and he walked away unharmed as Daniel claimed the win.
Thanks to a red car win on Friday night, fans will be treated to a pizza discount on Saturday, courtesy of Papa John's Pizza. Anytime a red car ends up in victory lane in any division, fans qualify for 50 percent off any regular priced menu item on Saturday when ordering online at PapaJohns.com. Fans are asked to use the promo code 50RED when ordering at participating locations.
Below is a complete list of the June 14 winners:
Super Pro: Bobby Daniel (Stockbridge) in a 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Pro: Allan Kidd (Locust Grove) in a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro
Street Outlaw: Nicolas Feliciano (Griffin) in a 1985 Mazda RX-7
Summit Racing Sportsman: Tony Morse (Grantville) in a 1981 Chevrolet Malibu
Diesel Truck: Dwayne Bethune (Covington) in a 2006 Dodge Ram
Truck: Buddy Patrick (Stockbridge) in a 1948 Willys
Domestic Advanced: Jason Kinard (Hollonville) 1997 Chevrolet S-10
Street Modified: Mike Gregory (Riverdale) in a 1985 Ford Mustang
Domestic: Doug Anglin (McDonough) in a 1988 Ford Mustang
Tuner: Gigito Deliz (Griffin) in a 1982 Toyota Corolla
Sport Compact: Erion Jackson (Miami, Fla.) in a 2011 Infiniti G37
ATV: Bradley Smith (Griffin) on a 1987 Yamaha Banshee
ATV Modified: David Armstrong (McDonough) on a 2000 Yamaha Banshee
Cycle Nation Super Bike: Robin Malcolm (Lithonia) on a Suzuki GSX-R
Sport Bike: Sterling Ford (McDonough) on a 2007 Kawasaki ZX-10
Motorcycle: Jason Lowery (Williamson) on a 2004 Honda 919
The Show-N-Shine competition featured everything from new imports to classic muscle cars and automobiles ranging as far back as the 1930s. Those vehicles then took part in the Speedway Cruise following judging.
Below is a complete list of the June 14 winners:
Showroom Current (1973 through current):
First Place: Eric Strub (Jonesboro), 2011 Ford Mustang
Second Place: Chris Gallagher, 1998 Pontiac Trans-Am
Third Place: Gina Moseley (Fayetteville), 2010 Chevrolet Camaro
Showroom Classic (1950 to 1972):
First Place: Robert Cheney (Jonesboro), 1970 Ford Boss 302
Second Place: Charles Dancy (Forsyth), 1972 Chevrolet Corvette
Third Place: Carl Martin (Fayetteville), 1967 Lincoln Continental
First Place: Jose Lopez (Griffin), 2013 Hyundai Genesis
Second Place: Leo Martinez (Griffin), 1993 Honda Civic
Third Place: Dane Owens (Charleston, S.C.), 2006 Scion xB
Classic Custom (1950 to 1972):
First Place: Val Smithbauer (McDonough), 1966 Ford Mustang
Second Place: Mike Norrod (Cartersville), 1934 Ford Coupe
Current Custom (1973 through current):
First Place: Justin Sherman (Fayetteville), 2002 Dodge Intrepid
Second Place: Cameron Daniell (Griffin), 2000 Ford Mustang
Third Place: Melvin Lewis (McDonough), 1999 Pontiac Trans-Am
First Place: Zain Naier (Hampton), 2005 Chevrolet Silverado
Second Place: Adam Wallace (McDonough), 1985 Chevrolet Silverado C-10
Third Place: Carl Pope (Fayette), 1966 Chevrolet C-10 Rat Rod
First Place: Jerry Everett (Senoia), 1974 Volkswagen Rail Buggy
Atlanta Motor Speedway's Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine returns June 21 with week eight of the drag racing season, and the return of the Kids' Power Wheel races prior to drag race eliminations. 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 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 or by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211.