With one week of points racing in the books, racers at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Friday Night Drags will now look ahead to week two and many will find themselves in one of two situations.For some drivers, a successful run in week one has propelled them into solid footing in the points standings, as drivers chase an overall points championship to be awarded on Aug. 17. Meanwhile other drivers may have not had the runs that they hoped for last week, and it now becomes imperative to get up on the wheel and turn in a solid performance this week.
Several defending points champions asserted themselves as the guys to beat as they hope to bring home the title in back-to-back seasons. Defending Super Pro champion Mark White got his 1969 Shelby Mustang in victory lane again, defeating Bobby Daniel in the final round to place himself atop the points standings. Pro champion David Harbin, Sportsman champion Vic Vickers, Ruben Quiambao in Sport Compact, Kevin Connolly in the Sport Bike and Jacob Turner Cruiser/Dirt Bike are all defending champions who find themselves atop the points standings after the first week of points competition.
Defending Street Outlaw champion Jason Thomas finds himself one point behind Johnny Sims and his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro. One division features a newer face to the fray, as Josh Grant leads the Diesel Truck standings over Logan Forbes. Defending Truck Advanced champ Danny Mason did not get to make a pass in eliminations, allowing Chuck Poole to move to the top of the heap, with old foes Andrew Pride and Will Coots closely in tow. The always-deep Papa John’s Pizza Domestic division features Darrell Hallford on top following another victory by him last week, giving him a one point advantage over Darren Lewis. Buddy Patrick, taking over the reins of the fan-favorite 1944 Willis “Milk Truck” from his father, used his early-season momentum to gain the points lead in a very competitive Truck division.
Regardless of a new or familiar face, each points race is still in its infancy, meaning that all divisions are still wide open. While several drivers used the first week of racing to establish them at the top of the standings, there still remains plenty of racing left for those with less-than-stellar luck last week to get back in the thick of the championship battle.
For Friday Night Drags eliminations, points are awarded as follows: four points for a final round victory, three points for a final-round runner-up finish, two points are awarded to a semi-final round loser and all other drivers receive one point. Drivers must make a pass during elimination rounds to receive a point for the event.
This Week and Upcoming at Friday Night Drags
Week six at Friday Night Drags will feature the first individual challenge event for the two-wheeled racers, as the Super Bike division moves front and center in the Super Bike Drag Race Shoot-Out. One of the more popular divisions, the fast and powerful Super Bikes will be out in force to challenge each other and settle old grudges down the drag strip.
Last week, wins by red cars in the final round of competition earned Papa John’s Pizza customers a 50 percent discount on their online order. This promotion is going on all season each time a red car takes a victory in the drag racing finals. The offer is good for the entire weekend by using the promo code 50RED through Sunday, and is only good at participating locations. Fans are urged to cheer on their favorite red cars each week as they try to win a great pizza discount courtesy of Papa John’s Pizza.
This year, Friday Night Drags will feature several challenge and clash nights for various divisions, the popular kids’ Power Wheel races, kids’ candy scramble, Fourth of July fireworks, Top the Cops night featuring the chance to drag race local law enforcement and more.
Show-N-Shine competitors are also encouraged to come out and show off the special and custom automobiles of yesterday and today. All participants are invited to the track cruise following judging. The cruise will feature two laps around the 1.54-mile speedway followed by a display of all cars on the speedway’s frontstretch, where fans will be invited to come down and take an up-close look at the machines.
Fans in attendance each week can enter to win weekly NHRA ticket giveaways with a grand prize to be drawn on championship night, Aug. 17. Each week through Aug. 10, one fan will win two Sunday tickets to the NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. on Sept. 16. During the Aug. 17 Friday Night Drags, one lucky fan will win a trip to all three days of drag racing at zMAX Dragway, Sept. 14-16. The grand prize winner will receive two suite passes to all three days of drag racing, hotel accommodations and parking. Fans can pick-up an entry form at the gate ticket windows or the souvenir stand on the main concourse. All entries will be at the souvenir stand on the main concourse.
The 2012 Friday Night Drags season runs each Friday night through Aug. 17, with the Fall Stampede taking place Sept. 14 and Sept. 21. 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 track cruise at 8:15 p.m. Drag racing eliminations begin at 9:09 p.m.
All racers ages 16 and 17 must have a fully-executed minor’s release form on file at the speedway prior to competition and forms are available at the speedway or at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com. Competitors must wear a DOT-approved helmet and have operational seat belts in their vehicle and pass a pre-race safety inspection.
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.
For more information on Friday Night Drags or Atlanta Motor Speedway, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/drags.