With points on the line for the third week at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Friday Night Drags, drivers that had enjoyed good runs prior to week seven looked to add to their good fortunes, while those that had not achieved the results desired hit the eighth-mile pit lane drag strip to shake loose a strong finish and close up ground in the points standings.
The intense drag racing action did not disappoint, as several drivers took advantage of the misfortunes of those ahead of them in points to climb back into the thick of the championship battle as the summer drag racing series will hit the midway point of the season next week. Week seven saw several new faces garner checkered flags at the end of the night for their performances.
In the Super Pro division, a new face went to victory lane as John Bonner claimed his first victory of the season. Prior to week seven, only Matt Carden and points leader Mark White had claimed trophies at the end of each night. The final round of action was slated to take place between Bonner and White, but White suffered a mechanical problem following the semi-final round of eliminations, allowing Bonner to claim the win on a solo pass-through. The win will move Bonner from his ninth-place points position into the thick of the points championship battle.
The hotly-contested Truck Advanced division saw a shake-up at the top of the standings as Andrew Pride, who entered the event tied atop the points standings with Chuck Poole, broke down during early round action and was sidelined for the rest of the evening. This opened the door for Will Coots, who took down Poole in the final round to claim his second win of the year and his first in points competition.
Meanwhile, David Sisk claimed his first win of the season in Pro competition. Sisk has now clawed his way back into the thick of the championship race in a division that had been all but dominated by David Harbin, who entered the night winning every Pro race up to this point, with the exception of one win by Billy Clevenger. Brian Leath was another driver who was able to take advantage of other drivers ahead of him not being as competitive and would claim his first Friday Night Drags trophy for this season. The win will move Leath up the ladder and inch him closer to points leader Buddy Patrick, who did not have his 1944 Willis Milk Truck racing on Friday.
Below is a complete list of the June 15 winners:
Super Pro: John Bonner (Molina) in a 1957 Chevrolet
Pro: David Sisk (Fayetteville) in a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro
Street Outlaw: Daryl Stiles (Williamson) in a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro
Sportsman: Vic Vickers (McDonough) in a 1988 Ford Mustang
Truck Advanced: Will Coots (McDonough) in a 1985 Chevrolet
Diesel Truck: Daniel Meeks (Hampton) in a 1996 Dodge Ram 2500
Truck: Brian Leath (Hampton) in a 1976 Chevrolet
Domestic Advanced: Terry Bates (Locust Grove) in a 1988 Ford Mustang LX Coupe
Papa John’s Pizza Domestic: Kelly Morgan (Jonesboro) in a 1968 Ford Mustang
Tuner: Chase Ponder (Brooks) in a 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
Sport Compact: Ruben Quiambao (Roswell) in a 2008 Nissan 350Z
ATV: Justin Wooten (Zebulon) on a 2001 Yamaha Banshee
Super Bike: Roderick Stephens (Newnan) on a 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa
Sport Bike: Joshua Jones (Riverdale) on a 2003 Suzuki Hayabusa
Street Motorcycle: Chad Meadows (Loganville) on a 2003 Suzuki GSX-R
Cruiser/Dirt Bike: Jacob Turner (Griffin) on a 1987 Honda CR 500
The Show-N-Shine competition featured everything from new imports to classic muscle cars and cars ranging as far back as the 1930s.
Below is a complete list of the June 15 winners:
Showroom Current (1973 through current):
First Place: Chris Gallagher, 1998 Pontiac Trans Am
Second Place: Justin Osterland, 1990 Ford Mustang GT
Third Place: Robbie Garrett, Lexus IS 300
Showroom Classic (1950 to 1972):
First Place: Tony Taylor, 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle
Second Place: Robert Cheney, 1971 Plymouth Duster 340 W
Third Place: Shane Davis, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
Sport Compact:
First Place: Jesse Olive, Scion xB
Second Place: Mark Twigger, 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
Third Place: Shaunna Vance, 2003 Dodge SRT-4
Classic Custom (1950 to 1972):
First Place: Bruce Russell, 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle
Second Place: John Cox, 1963 Chevrolet Nova
Third Place: Robert Cheney, 1971 Dodge Challenger R/T
Current Custom (1973 through current):
First Place: Michael Smith, 2009 Ford Mustang GT
Second Place: Michael Weisel, 2006 Ford Mustang
Third Place: Mark Castilla, 1978 Chevrolet Corvette
First Place: James and Mandy Campbell, 1954 Ford F-1
Second Place: Micah Bates, 1966 Chevrolet C-10
Third Place: Victor Sneed, Chevrolet
First Place: Tim Yancey, 1936 MG Q-type Special
Second Place: Justin Kent, Suzuki GSX-R
Third Place: Bruce Russell, 2004 Kopavi Bike
President’s Choice:
Tim and Connie Yancey, 1936 Jaguar Q-Type
Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine resumes June 22 with week eight of drag racing action with the second Super Pro Challenge of 2012 and the ABATE Motorcycle Mania for Show-N-Shine . Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and nightly drag race eliminations start at 9:09 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.