Three weeks into the sixth season of Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the best has been brought out in the competition thus far in 2012.
Close battles and a variety of winners have both been witnessed by fans on the 1/8-mile pit lane drag strip on the speedway’s fronstretch. With week four serving as the final tune-up prior to points going on the line during week five, the drivers and crews will be looking for that little extra bit of speed or will have one last chance to test out any setups that could prove beneficial during the summer stretch.
Week four will also be the first Super Pro Challenge night of the season. The fastest and most powerful division at Friday Night Drags has seen increased competition during the first three weeks of racing. Several new cars have been out to challenge defending points champion Mark White, who grabbed the checkered flag during week two in his refurbished 1967 Shelby Mustang. Weeks one and three went to Matt Carden and his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro, further adding to the budding Chevrolet vs. Ford rivalry that brewed throughout the off-season.
With the return of the Super Pro Challenge, the gauntlet has been thrown down for other Super Pro drivers to come out and try to wrestle division supremacy away from the usual suspects. With the new cars adding into the mix, several new faces have emerged as contenders. At the same time many of the traditional winners are right at the top of the heap, like John Bonner and Bobby Daniel. Mike Herring and his popular Batman car will return this week, along with veterans Arnie Cobb and Gary Thomas.
Following this Friday’s racing action, Friday Night Drags will take a one week break on May 25th for Memorial Day weekend before returning for the official season points opener on June 1.
Fans and competitors alike will have an added incentive to be at Friday Night Drags this week. The Georgia Lottery’s “Cadillac Riches” instant game has been a major part of Friday Night Drags and the special promotion will conclude this week.
In addition to the 16 regular divisions of drag racing at AMS, Cadillac owners are invited to compete in a “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 of this week’s division winners will receive a complimentary “Cadillac Riches” instant game ticket, which could instantly win them 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.
Residents of Stockbridge will receive free admission to this week’s Friday Night Drags thanks to mayor Lee Stuart’s victory during last week’s “Mayor Match-Up.” Mayor Stuart defeated Hampton’s R.W. Coley in the finals to earn the title of “fastest mayor in Henry County.” Stockbridge residents will be asked to show proof of residency at the gate to take advantage of the free admission.
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.
Last week, wins by the red cars of Super Pro Matt Carden and Darrell Hallford in the Papa John’s Pizza Domestic 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. 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.
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.