Jet Dragsters Set New Pit Lane Drag Strip Record at O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags
People flock from all across the Southeast to see fast cars compete in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags at Atlanta Motor Speedway each week. Eighteen different division from highly modified muscle cars to grocery-getters to everything in between, drivers bring the speed to see who is fastest each night.
Spectators and race fans were treated to the fastest cars to ever to take on the pit lane drag strip on Friday night. The Hanna Motorsports Jet Cars "Top Secret Eastern Raider" and "First Strike" wowed the crowd with a pair of exhibition races down the strip.
"We love it. We pulled around the corner [onto the grid] and I saw the crowd and I was stoked," exclaimed Rich Hanna, driver of "First Strike". "We did a few extra fireballs, a few extra burner pops and try to give them that little extra show."
The pair split the two exhibition races with the "Top Secret Eastern Raider" collecting the first win while "First Strike" extracted revenge in the second and final race between the two Jet Funny Cars at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
"It's crazy, it's 4-Gs of acceleration off the line with 6,000 pounds of thrust and 4,000 horsepower," said Hanna. "With Jet cars in particular its tough getting parts for them, that's why they are so rare and that's why people like to see them because there aren't too many of them in the county."
While the Jet Cars set track records ripping down the strip at breakneck speeds of more than 200 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds, the regular 18 different division battled for bragging rights and ever important points in the chase for a division championship.
A Locust Grove showdown in the finals of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division saw Richard Cocoran snag his third victory of the season as he defeated the 1988 Chevrolet S10 of David Cobb in the final.
"Stay in the pedal," said Cocoran about the key to his final round win. "Don't lift. I was all over dancing, but it worked out for me. My car has been running real good."
Cocoran extended his points lead on David Waksman of Sharpsburg with the final round win as four points races remain in the season.
Kevin Mayo of McDonough and his 1969 Chevrolet Nova earned his fifth win of the season in the QuikTrip Pro division to take control of the points race. Mayo knocked off the Ford of Dale Cosby of Ellenwood in the finals.
Other notable winners included Robert Cheney of Jonesboro and his American Dragster in the Super Pro Division and the 1973 VW Bug of Rodney Bunn of Griffin in the Harbin's Mechanical Sportsman Division.
Below is a list of the July 27 race winners:
Super Pro: Robert Cheney (Jonesboro); 2014 American Dragster
QuikTrip Pro: Kevin Mayo (McDonough; 1969 Chevy Nova
Harbin's Mechanical Services Street Outlaw: Rodney Bunn (Griffin); 1973 Volkswagen Bug
Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman: Richard Corcoran (Locust Grove); 1986 Ford Mustang
New Edge: James Walker (Fayetteville); 2016 Dodge Challenger
Street Performer: Brandon Sampler (Griffin); 1995 Chevrolet S10
Harding Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Domestic: Andrew Morgan (McDonough); 1987 Ford Mustang
Diamond Resorts Factory Street: Chad Greenway (Conyers); 2001 Pontiac Firebird
Street Modified: Kelly Morgan (Jonesboro); 1968 Ford Mustang
Starfire Automatic Gates Truck: Ed Blanford (McDonough); 1968 Ford F100
Diesel Truck: Justin Mercer (Barnesville); 2015 Ford F250
Tuner: Shane Kirkland (Marietta); 1983 Datsun 280ZX
Sport Compact: Brian Grieb (Newnan); 2004 Nissan 350Z
Super Bike: Robin Malcolm (Lithonia); 2003 Busa
Sport Bike: Robin Malcolm (Lithonia); 2006 GSXR 1000
US Marines Motorcycle: Keith Stamps (Tyrone); 2002 Honda
Cruiser: Billy Mueller (Stockbridge); 2006 Harley Davidson
ATV: Wayne Cline (Griffin); Yamaha Banshee
Jr. Dragsters: Gracie Haralson (Hampton); 2005 Mov. Tub Jr.
Peach Pass Burnout Zone: Jay Velez (Fayetteville); Extreme Automotive 1979 Mazda RX7
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 Custom (Through 1972)
First Place: Ken Moore (Griffin), 1936 Plymouth
Second Place: Bruce Russell (Brooks), 1954 C-Heavy Sedan Delivery
Third Place: Scott Conaway (Griffin), Dodge Charger
Showroom Modern (1973 through 1999)
First Place: Chris Gallagher (Fayetteville), 1998 Pontiac Trans AM
Second Place: Ralph Aviles (Griffin), 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28
Modern Custom (1973 through 1999)
First Place: Austin Lynch (Griffin), 1996 Chevrolet Camaro z28
Current (2000 through current)
First Place: Andrea Lawson (Jackson), 2018 Ford Mustang GT
Second Place: Trey Metzger (Macon), 2018 Ford Mustang
Third Place: Family First Custom Creations (Covington), 2016 Chevrolet Camaro
First Place: Paul Kocsis (Fayette), 2004 Ford F250
Second Place: Chase Hembree (Notown), 1966 Chevrolet C-10
Third Place: Tanner Miller (Stockbridge), 1970 Ford Bronco
First Place: Brandon Shaddix (Riverdale), Honda CRB 929 DragonBallZ
Second Place: Jeff Powell (Social Circle), 1968 Chevrolet Camaro
Third Place: Eric Perricone (Cleveland, OH), 2000 Fat Boy
Showroom Classic (Through 1972)
First Place: Bill Whatley (Hampton), Plymouth Superbird
Second Place: Bubba Dutton (Griffin), 1953 Dodge Fire Truck
Third Place: Richard Brackett (Forest Park), 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Atlanta Motor Speedway's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine returns to the pit lane drag strip next Friday, Aug. 3. 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.