After two weeks of intense competition on the 1/8-mile pit lane drag strip at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine is off to a fast start.
In what has become one of the country’s most popular weekly drag racing programs, each person that comes out to race or watch does so for their own personal reasons. Some enjoy the speed, others the smell of the burning fuel and rubber. And many find it a way to hang out with family and fellow gearheads.
Over the first two weeks there has been a mix of new faces and repeat winners through the various divisions. Defending Super Pro champion Mark White got his refurbished 1967 Shelby Mustang into victory lane for the first time. Friday Night Drags veteran Daryl Stiles also took home his first finals victory in the Street Outlaw division. Tony Morse, who normally competes in the Super Pro division, has been dabbling in other divisions so far in 2012. Opening Night saw Morse compete in the Cadillac Only division, while last week he went to victory in the Sportsman division in a 1980 Chevrolet Malibu.
Meanwhile a few drivers found their way to victory lane for the second consecutive week, flexing some early season muscle and possibly establishing themselves as the top dogs in their respective divisions. Bobby Bramblett went back-to-back in the Tuner division with his Volkswagen Rail Buggy. David Harbin’s 1969 Chevrolet Nova proved again to be the fastest machine in the Pro division. And Clark Stoddard claimed victory for the second time in as many weeks in the special Cadillac Only division. This division is open to any competitor in a Cadillac for the next two weeks at Friday Night Drags.
The wins by the red cars of Super Pro Mark White and Jon Stovall in the Domestic Advanced division 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.
“Cadillac Craze” Returns for the Next Two Weeks of Friday Night Drags
Fans and competitors alike will have even more incentive to be at Friday Night Drags for the next two weeks. The Georgia Lottery’s “Cadillac Riches” instant game will be a major part of Friday Night Drags through the end of May.
In addition to the 16 regular divisions of drag racing at AMS, Cadillac owners are invited to compete in an additional “Cadillac Only” division, pitting Caddy vs. Caddy down the pit lane drag strip. There will also be a “Cadillac Only” Show-N-Shine division for those owners looking to show off their rides.
Each division winner at Friday Night Drags during the “Cadillac Craze” will receive a complimentary “Cadillac Riches” instant game ticket, which could instantly win a lucky ticket-holder up to $250,000 or a new Cadillac vehicle. All “Cadillac Only” division winners in the drag racing and Show-N-Shine divisions will each win 25 complimentary “Cadillac Riches” instant game tickets.
However it won’t only be the competitors that get to take part in the Cadillac festivities. The first 10 fans that show a “Cadillac Riches” instant game ticket at Gate 15 will receive $1 off their gate admission plus the opportunity for a pace car ride at the next week’s Friday Night Drags event. Even if customers can’t be among the first 10, any fan that shows a “Cadillac Riches” instant game ticket will receive $1 off gate admission. All contestants must be 18 or older to participate. This discount will be available for the following nights of “Cadillac Craze” at Friday Night Drags: May 11 and May 18.
This Week and Upcoming at Friday Night Drags
Week three of Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Friday Night Drags will feature a Mayor Match-Up racing competition between all four Henry County mayors. AMS will provide mayors Robert Price of Locust Grove, Hampton’s R.W. Coley, Stockbridge mayor Lee Stuart and McDonough mayor pro tem Rufus Stewart with identical cars and it will be up to them to battle it out down the 1/8-mile to find out who is the fastest mayor. Residents of those communities are encouraged to come out and cheer for their municipality. The winning mayor from the Mayor Match-Up will earn that city’s residents free admission to the following week’s Friday Night Drags on May 18. Proof of residency will be required at the gate.
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.
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.
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 most Friday nights 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.