What a better way to kick off week six of Atlanta Motor Speedway's Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine than with a battle between two trucks that race in different divisions, but have a linked past.
Dwayne Bethune, driver of a 2006 Dodge 2500 in the Diesel Truck division, has challenged Buddy Patrick and his father Bill to a grudge match. Patrick races the popular 1948 Willy's "Milk Truck" in the Truck division. The two families are friends and have competed together at Friday Night Drags for several seasons.
When the Patrick's purchased the Willy's a few years ago, it was located in Louisiana. Dwayne's Dodge was used to tow the vehicle back to Georgia, where it was refinished and prepped for racing. The Patrick's hope this Friday night, the Willy's no longer has to "follow" the Dodge and the two trucks get to go head-to-head in front of the AMS crowd.
Points Season Underway at Friday Night Drags
This week's Friday Night Drags holds a great deal of importance, with points being up for grabs for the second time in 2013. In any racing series, it's never too early to be looking at the points standings, as a driver plots his or her strategy for the following race.
With the points opener last week, the racing on the eighth-mile pit lane drag strip was intense, as racers battled to get the points season off to a strong start. The fastest division at Friday Night Drags saw a close battle right to the finish line, as Mike Herring went to victory lane for the first time in the popular "Batmobile" in Super Pro competition. Herring defeated week one winner Michael Ramsey, who has shown a lot of speed in the early weeks of Friday Night Drags.
While Herring got the points-paying portion of the schedule off to a fast start, other drivers are now looking forward as they try to rebound from less than desirable finishes last week. Longtime Truck Advanced champion Danny Mason looked ready to challenge Will Coots for the final round win, but a mechanical problem sidelined Mason. The issue relegated Mason to second-place points on the night.
Friday Night Drags awards points as follows: four points for a final round victory, three points for a runner-up finish, two points for a semi-final round appearance and all other racers are awarded one point. Racers must make a pass or attempt to make a pass during eliminations to be awarded points.
This Week and Upcoming at Friday Night Drags
Atlanta Motor Speedway brings back a popular activity of the young crowd as the Kid's Candy Scramble returns this week prior to drag race eliminations.
Kids of all ages are invited to the speedway's infield grass area at 8:30 p.m. this Friday night to compete for as much candy as one can grab. Participants will be divided into two age groups, and all kids will receive candy items. Thousands of pieces of candy will be up for grabs between hundreds of kids, giving families one huge night of fun at Friday Night Drags.
The 2013 Friday Night Drags season runs most Friday nights through Aug. 16, with the Fall Stampede taking place Sept. 13 and Sept. 20. 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 8:20 p.m. Drag racing eliminations begin at 9:15 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.