Competitors chase glory a few seconds at a time during Friday Night Drags
At O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags races are decided in a matter of seconds, but the competitors who pull up to the start line are fueled by an everlasting pursuit of high-speed thrills.
"We heard about it and we thought, "Hey, we'll come out here and see what's going on,'" David Harbin, of Milner, said. That was several years ago - since then, David Harbin's group has been bringing a car to rocket down Atlanta Motor Speedway's pit lane dragstrip on a regular basis.
"We enjoy it. It's nice, close to home Friday night fun for friends and family," said Kevin Mayo of McDonough, who drives Harbin's car.
Harbin says the effort was modest at first, but his group soon became more meticulous in their prep for each race. Each week the car is poured over to make sure it's in tip-top shape, and when a new season starts, the group typically has a bit more firepower under the hood - after all, in the QuikTrip Pro Division that Harbin's group competes in, that's what's necessary.
"You better be on your game because if you're not, somebody will put you on the trailer," Harbin said.
Last year, they were on their game - winning the division championship. On Friday night's points opener for the 2019 season, Harbin's group will have a new car, but the goal remains the same.
"We're shooting for another one. We want it bad and we're going to do what we can do to get another one," Mayo said.
That said, a trophy or a championship isn't what brings the group back every week - it's the friendly, yet fierce, competition.
"At the end of the night that's what it's all about," Mayo said. "We're all friends - and it's fun!"
With years of experience at O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags, Harbin has just one thing to say to anyone who hasn't spent a summer night at the drag races:
"Shame on you! Come out and join us," Harbin said with a smile. "For everything from going around the track to seeing the 1/8-mile drags; it can't get any more fun than that!"
Atlanta Motor Speedway's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine returns to the pit lane drag strip in two weeks on Friday, May 31, for the first points-paying night of racing for the 2019 season. Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m., and nightly drag race eliminations start just after 9:00 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 are just $10, and children 5 and under are free.
More information can be found at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/drags or by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 770-946-4211.