As spring turns to summer the days get longer, and the nights get faster with the return of O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The 13th year of racing on the 1/8 mile pit lane drag strip begins on Friday, May 10, and competitors can't wait for high-octane, high-speed action to return.

"It's hard to explain the rush you get," said Mikey Mardy of Atlanta. "You never know what's going to happen."

That's because drivers and their cars are placed into one of 19 divisions to compete in, ensuring everyone and every type of vehicle - whether it's a muscle car, a pickup truck, or a purpose-built speed machine - has a shot of winning.

Beyond that, competitors say the excitement and fun experienced from the driver's seat keeps them coming back.

"(It's great) being able to get out there, race your vehicle, and be competitive up against everybody and have a good time doing it," said James Ragsdale from Hampton.

Covering 1/8 of a mile faster than whoever lines up beside you is a battle of machines…

"My car's been apart basically since last October and I just put it back together probably like two months ago," said Jacob Turner. "I've been working on it pretty much nonstop to get it ready."

"I'm hoping what I've done is gonna work," added Ragsdale.

… and those that drive them.

"You gotta be on point when the light turns green," said Turner.

"You've gotta be on top of your game because if you slip for half a second that's the race. It costs you the entire race," added Mardy.

Whether they win or lose, there's no place they'd rather be on Friday night.

"It's fun," said Turner. "If you like it, it's the thing to do."

O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags and the Show-N-Shine competition return to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, May 10. Drivers in 19 different divisions take on the Pit Lane Drag Strip for the first race of the season. New competitors with vehicles of any kind are always welcome; entry to drag race or for the Show-N-Shine is just $20, or competitors can purchase a combo ticket for $30.

Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m. and nightly drag race eliminations start just after 9:00 p.m. Spectator tickets are just $10, and children 5 and under are free. More information can be found at or by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 770-946-4211.