Close races, tight championships highlight Friday Night Drags finale
A thrilling season of O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags wrapped up with a spectacular night of racing on Atlanta Motor Speedway's dragstrip.
The final race of the 2019 season was not only one last shot to win some bragging rights or a grudge match, but also to claim the last few points needed to earn a division title.
The closest battle entering the night was in the South River Agency New Edge Division, with Jacob Turner holding a single point advantage over James Walker.
Both Turner and Walker advanced to the semi-finals, but that's where Turner and his 1993 Ford Mustang were knocked out of the running. Walker meanwhile won his matchup to advance to finals, clinching his second consecutive championship in the division.
"This has been a great season," Walker said alongside his victorious 2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat. "We have some really fast cars and pickups racing in this division and I enjoy it. It's been great making friends and competing with everyone. We've been doing it in a way that it's enjoyable so it's been fun."
The fastest class of racers also featured a close contest for the championship, with Mike Chambers and his 1992 Pontiac Firebird clinging to a small advantage over David Clevenger of Hampton. Clevenger took the final win of the season, but Chambers took the championship by making it to the final round and securing enough points to stay ahead of Clevenger.
"It's amazing to come out here and win the Super Pro championship," said Chambers, who is already familiar with winning championships on the pit lane dragstrip. The Griffin driver has previously won titles in the Metro by T-Mobile Tuner Division, the Pro Four Division, and the Harbin's Mechanical Services Street Outlaw Division before topping the Super Pro division for the first time this year.
"This is as fast as they get out here," Chambers said. "They're fun and this is such a great place to race."
Mike wasn't the only member of the Chambers family to seize a title Friday night. His father Lamar Chambers also sealed up the Metro by T-Mobile Tuner division title in his bright red 1966 V61 bug.
"It feels really good," Lamar Chambers said. "We've been racing here since they opened up for the drags and we've won several championships, but this is the first time we've won together."
"We're both winners, we're both champions, and that's what we set out to do this year," added Mike Chambers.
Below is the complete list of Aug. 23 race winners:
Harding Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Domestic Division: Chase Shelton (Fayetteville); 1986 Chevrolet Blazer
South River Agency New Edge Division: Gary Kelly (McDonough); 2018 Ford F150
Super Pro: David Clevenger (Hampton); 1963 Chevrolet Corvette
Harbin's Mechanical Services Street Outlaw Division: Mike Moore (Peachtree City); 2017 Chevrolet Camaro
Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division: Vincent Varda (Jonesboro); 1979 Mazda RX-7
Truck Advance: Glenn Evans (McDonough); 1977 Ford F150
Ultimate Tailgating Street Performer Division: Tory Hornsby (Senoia); 1973 Datson 240z
Super Bike Division: Toney Freeman (Stockbridge); 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa
Sport Bike: Eric Denham (Williamson); 2018 Hayabusa
US Marine Corps Motorcycle Division: Keith Stamps (Tyrone); 2002 Honda CB900
Cruiser Division: Robert Thomas (Griffin); 2004 Harley Davidson
Quad/Tri Division: Andre Martin (College); Banshee
JR Dragster: Gracie (Hampton); 2012 Mike Boss
Street Modified Division: Kelly Morgan (Jonesboro); 1968 Ford Mustang
Starfire Automatic Gates Truck Division: Ed Blanford (McDonough); 1968 F100
Diesel Truck Division: Brian Sparrow (Floville); 2013 Chevrolet Duramax 2500
Metro by T-Mobile Tuner Division: Luis Romaz (Jonesboro); 1985 Mazda RX-7
AT&T Mobility Sport Compact Division: Amanda Brown (Senoia); 2012 Ford Mustang V6
Diamond Resorts Factory Street Division: Mitchell Sullivan (Jonesboro); 2015 Ford Mustang
The Show-N-Shine competition featured everything from new imports to classic muscle cars and automobiles ranging as far back as the 1930s. Those vehicles then took part in the Speedway Cruise following judging.
Classic (1980 or older classic; restored; modified cars or trucks)
Winner: Norman Collier (Sylacauga, AL); 1955 Chevy Handyman Wagon
Runner Up: Mike Newton (Hampton); Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Generation X (1981 - 2008 cars)
Winner: Chris Gallagher; 1998 Trans Am
Runner Up: Ernest Strozier (Rex); 2003 Mustang Saleen
Current (2009 - current cars)
Winner: Donna Marley (Warner Robins); 2017 Ford Mustang GT
Runner Up: Dewitt (Locust Grove); Chevrolet Corvette
Winner: Chris Haines (Senoia); 2012 Ram 1500
Runner Up: Jackson Cloy (Zebulon); 1984 Chevrolet K10
Winner: Steven Smith (Fayetteville); 2003 Honda Accord LX
Runner Up: Johnathan Bilow (Roberta); 2006 Chevrolet 1500
Atlanta Motor Speedway's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine returns to the pit lane dragstrip for another summer full of action starting on May 8, 2020.